Know thy customer

Date of publication: May 1, 1994


In November 1993 TV I launched South Africa’s first time budget diary. Faced with the impending deregulation of South African broadcasting, the need was felt to investigate the available television audience (in TV l’s target market), and the factors that contribute or detract from availability. A seven day, self-completion diary was distributed to a sample of 1 300 adults in which their daily activities, grouped into 24 categories, were recorded for each quarter hour of the day. Results portray the unique pattern of activities of the target market. Early to rise (compared to other parts of the world), the strict demarcation of the working day and television's dominance of night-time activities are illustrated. Drawing on findings of other authors, a new, two daypart definition of availability to view was developed for the TV 1 target market. A definition that takes cognisance of television’s displacement abilities but also the coexistence that is found between television viewing and certain activities. The application of the definition (and its demographic description), is illustrated in programme planning, scheduling and marketing scenarios.

Helen van der Walt


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