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Visual awareness: A manifesto for market research to engage with the language of images
Simon Pulman-Jones and Colin Strong, Market Research Society, Annual Conference, 2013
This paper argues the case for market researchers to use images in order to help marketers understand consumers.
This paper argues the case for market researchers to use images in order to help marketers understand consumers. More broadly, it calls for market research to recognise that the language of images must be given due recognition in the corporate world. Images form a tool for social identity through history; the digital revolution has also led, the paper argues, to society becoming increasingly image-based. But images play a limited role in the mainstream methodological repertoire of market research - and this needs to change. Such a process represents a great new opportunity for semiotics to move into a more central role within market research. The paper suggests three methodological approaches to help improve understanding of the language of images: individual, social and cultural.
Introducing 'Quintegrated' research: Leveraging the power of qualitative and quantitative research integration
Kristin Hickey, Market Research Society, Annual Conference, 2012
This paper foresees an era of Quintegration: the mixing and merging of left brain and right brain, qualitative and quantitative applications, techniques and thinking.
This paper foresees an era of Quintegration: the mixing and merging of left brain and right brain, qualitative and quantitative applications, techniques and thinking. It presents a series of six Quintegrated approaches where such dualism is not only advantageous, but essential. These include advertising ROI, concept testing and co-creation forecasting. The paper also covers how traditional MR methods can be turned on their head and explored from the perspective of the opposing discipline, how these techniques might be applied in an increasingly data intensive world and why this is likely to change the future of the market research industry.
Regulating Political Symbols: China's Advertising Law and Politicized Advertising
Xin Zhao and Jeff Wang, Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 51, No. 4, 2011, pp. 624-633
Advertising regulation in China contains political and ideological nuances. Despite evolution of its advertising law and years of practice dealing with various codes, advertisers still find it daunting to decipher the regulations after years of practice.
Advertising regulation in China contains political and ideological nuances. Despite evolution of its advertising law and years of practice dealing with various codes, advertisers still find it daunting to decipher the regulations after years of practice. The ideological components of China’s advertising law require careful analysis of political correctness and cultural appropriateness. In this paper, the authors use semiotic analysis to consider both advertising that has violated ideological rules and advertising that has successfully transmitted desired ideological messages. And the authors have selected four advertising cases that help clarify the perceptions regarding political ideology in China.
From co-creation to co-deployment: A case study on consumer segmentation - How strong collaboration between the insight function, research agency and ad agency led to effective results
Murat Demiral and Wendy Mitchell, ESOMAR, Qualitative, Vienna, November 2011
This paper uses a case study of a research project for Nestlé's NESTEA iced tea brand to highlight the importance of effective collaboration between a client's insight function, its market research agency and its advertising agency to bring customer segments to life.
This paper uses a case study of a research project for Nestlé's NESTEA iced tea brand to highlight the importance of effective collaboration between a client's insight function, its market research agency and its advertising agency to bring customer segments to life. Such an approach, it argues, ensures that insights and learnings are deployed throughout an organisation and actually acted upon. The NESTEA project involved two consumer segments ("Youthful and Carefree" and "Individual and Purposeful") and involved the advertising agency conducting in-home research, followed by fuller qualitative research by the research agency (with life collages, filming consumption behaviour, visual diaries and 'Me and my NESTEA' self-scripting). To deploy these learnings throughout the organisation, the agencies ran a series of workshops to immerse marketers in the lifestyles of the segments. These consumer insights were fed into the development of communications by the advertising agency and have also informed the creation of a platform for portfolio management and brand activation.
Culture: Insight's third space - Conducting and integrating cultural analysis to drive brand value
Julie Curphey, Andrew Dexter and Leanne Tomasevic, ESOMAR, Qualitative, Vienna, November 2011
This paper argues that culture - routinely ignored by "traditional" market research - can be an inspiring and effective source of insights for developing brand strategy and innovation, especially when combined with more consumer-centric methods.
This paper argues that culture - routinely ignored by "traditional" market research - can be an inspiring and effective source of insights for developing brand strategy and innovation, especially when combined with more consumer-centric methods. It illustrates this with a detailed case study of a research project undertaken by Pfizer to identify new opportunities in the women's health market in Europe. The pharma company used a three-stage process of mapping the category’s cultural and consumer orthodoxies; identifying new opportunities and cultural tactics; and crafting a brand and innovation strategy. The project identified a range of macro changes taking place in women’s health (e.g. women's new achievements and growing confidence, and a shift from health being seen as "binary" to encompassing a wider "wellbeing"). The project enabled Pfizer to message women effectively across Europe, it challenged how it launched new pills globally and led to a restructuring of the company. The paper concludes that market researchers are ideally placed to develop strong frameworks for cultural analysis and integrate these into their work with powerful impact.
The Rosetta Stone meets Foucault: Understanding social media via discourse analysis
Ray Poynter, ESOMAR, 3D Digital Dimensions, Miami, October 2011
The fastest growing source of data is the unstructured voices of nearly two billion people speaking in social media.
The fastest growing source of data is the unstructured voices of nearly two billion people speaking in social media. Traditional quant is too crude, while traditional qual is swamped. This presentation shows how the tools of discourse analysis - from psycholinguistics, to conversation analysis, to Foucault - can be used to interpret and unlock the meaning in the chatter. Your notions of language, structure and the location of issues such as attitudes and memory will be challenged, leaving you in a new world you may find a little more exciting, yet a little scarier.
Reality is cheap - The value of consumer imagination
Nick Gadsby, ESOMAR, Congress, Amsterdam, September 2011
It is fast becoming apparent that the human imagination and the fantasies it makes possible are crucial for human happiness on a day-to-day level.
It is fast becoming apparent that the human imagination and the fantasies it makes possible are crucial for human happiness on a day-to-day level. It has always been believed that the imagination is a subjective and idiosyncratic capacity, however recent research has shown that this is not the case – the things people hope, fantasise and dream about are shaped by culture. This paper shows how we have used semiotics to understand how and what consumers imagine and fantasise about and how brands and communications can use this resource to create highly compelling strategies, and ultimately that the imagination is a massive source of untapped value.
Using semiotics in consumer research to understand everyday phenomena
Madeleine Ogilvie and Katherine Mizerski, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 53, No. 5, 2011, pp. 651-668
This paper introduces a new method of studying consumer phenomena by combining two different semiotic philosophies.
This paper introduces a new method of studying consumer phenomena by combining two different semiotic philosophies. Using cosmetics as the vehicle to demonstrate the technique, this study explores the semiotics of visible face make-up in Australian Caucasian women. It aims to understand why women wear make-up and how they experience the signs of make-up and appearance in everyday life. The study comprises two phases. The initial phase adopts a communication model extended from Saussurean semiotics, while the second employs a triadic semiotic philosophy as proposed by Charles Sanders Peirce. Results indicate that, by combining the two semiotic perspectives within one study, the researcher is able to gain greater insights about the consumption behaviours of individuals from a communication as well as an experiential perspective. For marketers, this greater understanding of how the consumer interacts and experiences brands and products allows for more strategic and focused communication with their target market. In addition, this approach provides useful information about symbolic consumption, so trends and new directions in cultural paradigms can also be predicted. An example of this is shown in Figure 2.
The value of the visual: using the public's visual experience to improve local places
Ella Fryer-Smith, Market Research Society, Annual Conference, 2011
This paper describes a project for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), an advisory body to the UK Government, to acquire evidence about how people feel about their surroundings and to stimulate debate on the quality of urban environments.The project emphasized the importance of local and visual insights, built up through qualitative ethnography.
This paper describes a project for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), an advisory body to the UK Government, to acquire evidence about how people feel about their surroundings and to stimulate debate on the quality of urban environments.The project emphasized the importance of local and visual insights, built up through qualitative ethnography. From a relatively small project, the organisers created a series of films, two reports, a website and a model of participatory workshops. The client, CABE, also concluded that the project enabled it to demonstrate its commitment to involving local people in decision-making.
The blind ethnographer: material ethnography and new ways of seeing in the world
Mark Thorpe, Market Research Society, Annual Conference, 2011
This paper highlights recent debates about the importance assigned to ethnography in commercial market research.
This paper highlights recent debates about the importance assigned to ethnography in commercial market research. Quoting with approval the work of Pierre Bordieu, the author argues that ethnographic practice is dominated by visual and verbal findings and can appear devoid of a historical context. He argues in favour of a new form of materialised ethnography that combines participatory observation, material culture analysis and semiotics.
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