MRF’s MAPS holds up under scrutiny

According to auditors 3M3A, The Marketing Research Foundation’s (MRF) Marketing All Product Survey (MAPS) is of a “high standard”, healthy and in a good place. This is the result of a recent audit on the Survey’s underlying processes, procedures, and protocols.

“This was an extremely bold step for the MRF, considering that MAPS is such a relatively young survey, with only 18 months’ worth of fieldwork data to audit,” says MRF’s CEO, Johann Koster.” We believed that it was the opportune time to subject MAPS to this audit and we’re pleased to say that MAPS passed the audit with flying colours.

The auditors, 3M3A, have done a remarkable job in assessing the performance of MAPS and have approached a very complex assignment with the utmost professionalism and objectivity.”

Feedback and comments received by the MRF include:

  • Plus94 are doing a good job.
  • Overall, the processes and controls meet global standards across all areas.
  • From a field perspective, there is generally a good level of compliance in terms of interviewing at the randomly selected sample points.
  • The GIS (Geographic Information System) system is implemented at a high standard.
  • The Quality Control checks are in place and well documented.
  • The fusion process is working well and of a high standard.
  • The security protocols are of good standard and compliant with data protection regulations.

Plus94 Research CEO, Sifiso Falala welcomed the audit and the outcomes and said, “MAPS, by definition, is a multiple stakeholder survey, which means that it demands the highest levels of transparency and accountability.  The independent audit is a necessary part of that.”

While there were no major surprises, there are, of course, areas where MAPS can improve, and the auditors have been clear in what those are. Some technical adjustments will improve the accuracy and stability of MAPS, ensuring that the MRF can ultimately deliver on the goal of making MAPS a world class survey. The MRF and their research partner Plus94 Research have taken all the recommendations on board and are finalising an implementation plan that will be driven by the MRF’s Research Committee and Advisory Council, both consisting of industry experts.

“The current survey standards are high, and it is not the case where the fixes will take years to implement. With oversight and guidance from the auditors and Research Committee, we know that the necessary adjustments can be made over the next couple of months and again validated in subsequent releases.

This has been an invaluable learning experience for the entire team who have worked extremely hard to deliver MAPS,” concludes Koster. “We feel strongly that MAPS is delivering on the original mandate of being an independent survey without any commercial interests, is neutral, transparent, controlled by marketers and agencies and delivers world class data.”

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