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Socioeconomic measures (SEMs) enable marketers to grasp realities for South Africans

History shows that a boom tends to follow a recession. While the uptick may be slow to tick over, when it picks up momentum, it unfurls like the Protea seed after the wildfire. How do you prepare today for a full new bloom?
Socioeconomic measures (SEMs) enable marketers to grasp realities for South Africans

Marketers must maintain a grasp on the realities of shifting markets during tough times. Brand custodians need to understand people’s moves and mindsets through market lows and in response, must power up their brands to shape solutions. 

The imperative to see ahead can at times feel like a heavy burden but market segmentation provides robust consumer intelligence to better carry the load. This is important for media strategists as they are looked to for tighter targeting. 

Valuable answers are in South African market and audience data which is available in the socioeconomic measure (SEM) market segmentation model. This tool provides strategists with reliable media audience measurement and reporting.

To cultivate new seeds of value in SEMs, Ebony+Ivory partnered with media consultant Gordon Muller. The result was the agency’s Market Segmentation: South Africa series in which SEMs are analysed across four pillars: People and Places, Purchasing Power, Products and Platforms. 

That, in turn, lead us to produce this book, which is a seed of a read for anyone wanting to secure their business strategy roots in an understanding of the complexities of South African living. 


We hope that it plants a helpful in-country perspective within your campaigns. 

Five strategic SEM dimensions 
  1. Agility strength
    Using SEMs to navigate through open-source industry databases means we have a tool that offers a reliable and agile interpretation of the South African marketplace and media landscape. 

  2. Segmentation value
    The PoPI Act and the constraints it implies for personalised data-driven marketing in a post-cookie environment has been the catalyst for a renewed interest in traditional market segmentation methods.

  3. Purchasing power
    The model retains a strong predictive capability as SEMs provide broad product and service landscape perspectives, and deep vertical insights at a branded level.

  4. Cluster clout
    As with their predecessor, i.e.  living standards measures (LSM), SEMs offer a 10-segment lens for segmenting the market but add functional application through inclusion of clusters/dupergroups. The Muller Segmentation model consists of five clusters/supergroups.  

  5. UX usability
    SEMs are versatile and allow media planners to adjust the lens to create brand specific segments and maximise marketing and media effectiveness.

  6. Multi-platform application
    SEM audience insights are available across all media platforms including digital and social media.

Check out the Market Segmentation Series ebook here.

4 Aug 2021 12:41

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