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International workshops before SAMRA conference

Neil McPhee, MD of Nuance Research and Dr Malcolm Evans, founding partner of Space Doctors, UK, will lead ESOMAR research workshops in ethnography and semiotics respectively on 31 May and 1 June 2011, before the 2011 SAMRA conference opens on 2 June at the Riverside Lifestyle Resort, Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng.


A specialist qualitative and ethnographic research provider, McPhee has been a qualitative researcher for 34 years. He has presented a number of papers on the use of advanced qualitative research and ethnography at various conferences and events, has degrees in politics, sociology and economics, and is a holder of a Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma.

Ethnography responds to the challenge of truly understanding consumers and their needs by observing them in their natural environments and then turning these consumer encounters into ideas that can transform a brand and product categories.

The two-day ethnography workshop will assist delegates to:
  • Understand the challenges faced in designing and implementing 'real world' research, including the methodological tools needed and the practicalities faced.
  • Learn when to use ethnographic research to address specific marketing issues and how ethnography can enhance other research methodologies.
  • Learn how to anticipate and overcome problems associated with global and cross-cultural ethnographies.


One of the world's leading analysts and thinkers in the field of semiotics, Evans has delivered semiotics projects for a wide range of clients including Procter & Gamble, Guinness UDV, Daimler Chrysler, BT, SAB Miller, Campbell's and Coca Cola.

Consumer research explores and uncovers consumer insights, beliefs, feelings, need states, and brand relationships. But that is only half the story. Semiotics delivers the other half of the equation: essential insights into the cultural forces that drive these deep feelings - and how they are communicated through marketing messages. That is why many major multinationals place emphasis on semiotic insights to help achieve saliency in today's ever more complex, multi-cultural consumer universe.

In the two-day workshop, delegates will learn how to use semiotics to:
  • Reveal the 'hidden consumer': Brands can unconsciously encode a hidden image of the consumer dangerously inconsistent with people's own self-perception and cultural beliefs. Semiotics help correct this.
  • Find the true consumer story: People must create narratives to understand brands and products. Semiotics unravels the process and finds the most important stories.
  • Discover how communications trigger rational and emotional responses. Both rational and emotional 'feelings' are built into all languages through verbal, visual, musical, design etc.
  • Map the codes of change in any area of brand communication or popular culture in any country. Brands must be aware of these changes to stay abreast and relevant to culture.
  • Create a magical brand myth. Myths hold the true secret of brand loyalty and the key to finding cultural 'gaps' for successful NPD.
  • Added to this: Integrate semiotics into the planning process for precise strategic development in tune with the culture that creates the consumer.
  • Recognise the importance of communication on the musical level and how music interacts with visual and verbal languages in the world of advertising. Discover how to research backing tracks, jingles and all musical brand messages.

For workshop bookings, email Nadia at az.oc.armas@ofni.

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