Issue 07   I    January 2006


Who we are   I    What we do    I    Our Team    I    Expertise    I    Research Solutions    I    News


Dear Reader,

Two years ago we became part of Synovate. Together with Synovate
we, Synovate South Africa, have continued our momentous growth, maintaining our position as the largest research company in South Africa, and contributing significantly to Synovate’s CEEMEA region.

We have you and your ongoing support to thank for that! This success brings with it change, as we need to accommodate the growth of the business and the growth of individuals.


This will be my first full year as Managing Director. How do I see things changing? Well why change a winning recipe? I will continue to lead the business with the passion for excellence that has become our trademark over the past 16 years.

I will be supported by a top class executive team, most of whom you will recognize.
Charlotte Jackson takes up the position of Director of Group Support whilst the rest of the Executive Team of 2006 will be comprised of:


Diane McLean: Director Human Resources

Richard Rice: Director Client Services

Mirna Wessels: Director Operations

John Nagel: General Manager Research

Debbie Stocks: Director Client Services

Megan Buttle: General Manager Finance

Albert, as you may know, has taken up the role of Chief Operating Officer Middle East and Africa. While he will spend some time outside of South Africa, he will continue to be involved in the local business, with a particular focus on the client and financial side.

Jeanette's expertise has been globally recognised, and she’ll be joining a global Synovate team responsible for the development of the Loyalty practice. Clients in South Africa will benefit from immediate access to Jeanette's groundbreaking work and the advantage of partnering in internationally leading customer loyalty thinking.

A number of new appointments have also been made, and we are proud to welcome some of the top practitioners in South Africa in the areas of research, data analysis, fieldwork and key account management. Not only do we now have a full suite of solutions, we have the best people to deliver these solutions to our clients.

People remain the core of our business and skilling them, the secret of our success.

I look forward to 2006 and anticipate the strengthening of the partnerships that we have built with you over the last 16 years.

All the best,
Jon Salters


Synovate ~ (sin-O-vate).  Synergy and Innovation = Synovate
(Formerly known as Proactive Insight)





> Giving back to Goodwin Park
> Synovate ahead of its competitors
> Synovate investigates women at work




The Year Ahead in the Marketing Industry

2006 is sure to bring with it both opportunity and challenge, for both researchers and marketers. A discussion about these challenges led us to identify some of the difficulties that buyers of research face – issues we need to be well aware of if we are to continue providing the best offering available.

Increased competition. Are you on top of what is happening?
There is escalating competition in all industries. From the automotive industry to the financial industry, there is no letting up on the pressure on each brand within every industry to maintain and increase their market share. In such a burgeoning economy, this often leads to the notion that research is no longer needed, as increased demand and high sales disguise the eventuality of a reverse cycle and different trends in customer movement. The answer here is not to discontinue research but use it with enforced vigour.

Information overload. Does your research supply data or drive your decision making?

Research has always yielded a lot of information. Table after table of data can be overwhelming for clients and end up unread in a bottom drawer. Recognising this, the research industry has placed further emphasis on value adding and strategic insight, data mining and interpretation. In a world overpopulated by so many brands in one industry, the information yielded by this research can play a fundamental role in brand differentiation and identity.

Retrospective Research. Does your research supply predictions?
Another challenge for marketers using research is that it is often retrospective. As competing brands fight for market share, marketers now need to know what their customers, or consumers, need and want as well as knowing what they have and what they thought. Predictive research models are being developed rapidly. Research solutions and products which can accurately predict consumer behaviour and attitudes are a formidable weapon for the marketer in the ‘battle of the brands’ and well worth the financial investment.

Globalisation. Are you staying head of the game?
Globalisation has also brought about its challenges, especially in the areas of global purchasing, where decisions made on a global level may / may not be the best practice on a local level.

What is needed in the face of these challenges is the openness and willingness to re-invent the way processes have been carried out previously and re-work them into new models – a creative endeavour that researcher and marketer should enter into together to make the essential research offering a valuable one.

The Gift of Giving

As a company, Synovate South Africa supports the Goodwin Park Children’s Feeding Scheme located in the Eastern Cape. This support is in the form of a monthly monetary contribution.



The Feeding Scheme relies on such donations in order to feed about 600 children who are reliant upon the scheme for a guaranteed daily meal. The children also partake in educational activities, and have recently been building a brickyard.

This December, Synovate as a company as well as individual staff members, contributed a cheque to the Feeding scheme that will further equip the feeding scheme with the tools that they need to keep them going. Feels good, doesn't it?



Synovate’s CSI

According to our recently conducted competitive
customer satisfaction index, Synovate emerged 3%
ahead of its competitors in
the field – with a whopping 79.3% scored for overall performance!

We are proud to say that
our highest scores were for ethical processes; trust in
our Key Account Managers
and recommendation.




Synovate’s acquisitions in Scandinavia, Germany and Turkey

December saw Synovate in the news with recent global expansions. The Scandinavian market research group, Univero, is now part of Synovate. Univero is the largest market research network in Scandinavia and provides both qualitative and quantitative services. They have particular expertise in FMCG; food and drinks; public sector; brand and communications; media; youth and retail research.

Our new German member is a media communications and market research group, Roland Berger Market Research. Their expertise lies in business-to-business; financial; utilities; telecoms; children / youth / traffic and transportation research.


The Turkish Company, Plus REMARK, has strong expertise in the financial services; consumer; automotive; industrial products; IT; telecom and media sectors. The company is located in Istanbul and employs 76 staff. We now employ almost 5,000 staff in 50 countries!

For more information on these acquisitions, please visit our website on



Synovate investigates women at work

Synovate, in conjunction with the Business Women’s Association (BWA)
and Amataz Business Solutions
, will be involved in the research for The Women in Corporate Leadership Census. We will measure the representation of women in senior positions, such as on the board of directors and executive management. This is a leading source of information and a tool for companies wanting to recruit, retain and develop women to reach their full potential.


Need more info? 
Contact our marketing manager, Catherine Barnhoorn on 011 709 7800, or 
visit our NEW website on and 



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