Bureau of Market Research (Pty) Ltd (BMR)

Valuable business intelligence advances the knowledge economy

The BMR has continued to sustain its independent market research business since being incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary company of Unisa in 2019.  At the end of 2021, the BMR surpassed the critical first three years of its start-up phase as a private company which will last until 2023. The business continuity of the BMR is admirable considering the impact of Covid-19 on business survival in general.

The BMR has secured valuable business intelligence for the advancement of the knowledge economy of South Africa. In this regard, the diversified business model has ensured valid, reliable, innovative and usable business information is available for its research syndicate members and externally commissioned research clients, in support of policy formulation and strategic business decision-making.

Syndicated research

In 2021, the BMR officially introduced a fifth research division, the Market Intelligence Research Unit (MIRU).

The new division was included as part of the range of syndicated research products and services available to its subscriber members, which comprise local government, commercial and development finance institutions, retail, private sector businesses, universities and sector education and training authorities, among others. The four existing syndicated research divisions are the economic, demographic, household wealth, and behavioural and communication research divisions.

BMR product and service range

Prominent stakeholders who continued to benefit from the BMR’s standard syndicated research publications included First National Bank, ACNielsen Marketing & Media, Ipsos (Pty) Ltd, Multichoice, the Industrial Development Corporation of SA, British American Tobacco SA (Pty) Ltd, SA Reserve Bank (Research Department), the South African Milk Processors’ Organisation (SAMPRO), Standard Bank, the University of the Witwatersrand, Sanlam and Woolworths (Pty) Ltd.

Furthermore, corporates who benefitted from the top-up household wealth, business and market intelligence syndicated research divisions included Old Mutual, Standard Bank, Sanlam, FirstRand Bank Limited, Liberty Group, Netcare Innovative Healthcare Solutions, Vodacom and Cash Connect Management Solutions.

The published research secured a good balance between supply and demand-side information, inclusive of the following productions which were released to syndicated business stakeholders during 2021:

  • Personal income trends and estimates for South Africa, 2016-2021
  • Mid-2021 population estimates for South Africa by province, district and local municipality, 2016 boundaries
  • Macroeconomic and retail trade sales forecast for SA, 2021
  • Brand happiness
  • Consumer market trends and strategies, 2021
  • Covid-19 impact on the consumer market with specific reference to social commerce

This rich and diverse research intelligence was also complemented with top-up research services dedicated to client-specific data requests, as well as the introduction of innovative Virtual Research Roasting Sessions presented online to all syndicated research members during the second part of 2021.

Commissioned research for local and international clients

Besides the syndicated research members benefiting from the BMR’s product and service offerings, major companies commissioned the BMR during 2021 to conduct client-specific and repetitive research studies.

Existing and new local and international clients included the Momentum Group, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), Marie Collins Foundation (UK), the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), the City of Tshwane metropolitan municipality, the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA), Old Mutual, the South African Police Services (SAPS), the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) and First National Bank.

The insights gained from the BMR’s research provided valuable business intelligence to guide policy decision-making and future business strategies aimed at addressing business challenges. The research produced by the BMR on many social, behavioural, financial and economic topics strengthened the research footprint of the BMR both locally and internationally.

Research innovation

In 2021, the BMR further expanded its research product range by introducing a new Consumer Market Segmentation tool for South Africa, as well as a Research Ambassadors Programme, which forms an integral part of the research activities of the BMR’s Youth Research Unit (YRU@BMR).

Research community upliftment

It is worth noting that the BMR annually employs approximately 188 part-time individuals from vulnerable groups (students, youth and females) as computer-aided telephone and face-to-face interviewers across South Africa. Through this initiative, the BMR is reinvesting and advancing knowledge and research skills development among vulnerable groups across South Africa.

The BMR’s involvement in the market research fraternity of South Africa is also notable from its corporate membership of the Southern African Market Research Association (SAMRA) where the BMR also holds a Board seat.

Brand exposure

Through the BMR’s involvement in the 2021 Momentum/Unisa Financial Wellness, Household Wealth and Consumer Financial Vulnerability Index (CFVI) research studies, the powerful branding effects and potential reach of media earnings have been most notable.

The 2021 Momentum study results were demonstrated at the annual Momentum/Unisa Science of Success (SOS) event in November 2021, which is a culmination of the final outcomes of the Momentum household wealth and consumer financial vulnerability research results generated by the BMR.

The media exposure earned for the research outcomes has expanded the Momentum, Unisa and BMR brands, which reach a wide variety of audiences (30 million) and generated an advertising value equivalent (AVE) of almost R31.5 million.

BMR website and social media platforms

The BMR website and Twitter and Facebook pages are ongoing and can be visited for more details regarding the service and product offerings of the company.

Vision statement: Towards shaping market research and transforming society

Our purpose


Our vision


Our way

To grow a knowledge-based economy by conducting applied market research to enhance the quality and application of market intelligence in South Africa and Africa to empower policy decision-making that creates economic and social benefits for everyone.


Develop a knowledge-based economy, shape future research and change society.


Scientific, rigorous, quality, applied and value-added market research.

Our strategy



Enquiries:      Mrs M Goetz

                        Senior Research Administrative Manager    

                        Bureau of Market Research (Pty) Ltd



Last modified: 2023/08/07