WORKSHOP ON ‘THE POWER OF SEMIOTICS FOR IMPACTFUL MARKET RESEARCH’ Speaker : Dr. Laura Oswald Assisted by : Dr. Piyul Mukherjee Organized by : CMEE (Center for marketing in Emerging Economies) in association with MRSI ( marketing research society of India ) The day long workshop was hosted by the IIML Noida campus on 25th May ‘15 and was attended by senior marketing professionals from the NCR region. The workshop was initiated by welcoming the esteemed speakers by the organizing committee members. The audience were consequently addressed by Prof Satyabhushan Dash, Chairperson, CMEE and Ms. Sharmila Das, Vice chairperson MRSI in accordance of knowledge building endeavors undertaken by the CMEE and MRSI council in the field of marketing and market research. This was followed with offering tributes to Maa Saraswati the goddess of learning and knowledge by the organizing committee and speakers. The day long workshop was carefully segregated into four session with each session catering to a distinct area of semiotic marketing applications. Session 1 : paradigm Marketing semiotics - A new research The session started off with a brief introduction to Semiotic processes, terminologies and techniques. The audience were introduced to theoretical foundations with respect to Saussure and Levi strauss’ concepts on Semiotic thinking. The audience were further introduced to the concept of binary analysis and the role of binary attributes in semiotic analysis. Real time case studies and example of veg/ non veg symbolism were used to further augment understanding into the binary element of symbolism Semiotic brand audit and brand strategy applications were introduced through a hands on team exercise using brand collages. Each team worked out the brand collages for their specific category and brand through use of key brand associations. The collages were decoded therein to define the brand essence through non-verbal / symbolic communication. Session 2: The Semiotic Brandscape The second session provided an overview to the semiotic square and a deeper understanding of the binary coordinates. The session also dealt with identifying and studying of cultural and ethnicity codes through a culture sweep analysis. Due emphasis was laid on paying attention to the context of the discourse as it was deemed crucial to decode symbols against the cultural backdrops of society, popular culture, beliefs and myths. The session was made enriching with case studies and semiotic understanding of real time advertising campaigns for codes, cultural context, binaries and semiotic square placements. The session members undertook a semiotic analysis of advertising / communication for key European fashion brands using qualitative techniques like metaphor analysis and brand personification. Session 3: Strategic Semiotic Ethnography The third session introduced participants to semiotic ethnography and its importance in conducting cross cultural consumer research. The session also dwelt into code switching amongst consumers to deal with social or personal goals therefore the role of ethnographic sessions at the informants’ lived in space embarking a newer symbolism perspective. The session was followed closely by the participants and resulted in an intense session of interactive shared learnings. The participants engaged in a nation branding exercise using social media ethnographic understanding for the country by following up posts, blogs and media reports Session 4 : Design Semiotics The last session for the day dwelt into semiotic analysis and implementation of semiotic learnings into retail spaces. The session highlighted different codes for various retail segment categories, store type and size outlets i.e. pick up vs boutique vs superstore layouts. The session outlined processes on mapping consumer footprints and optimizing the retail layout for an enriching consumer experience. The pizza delivery and pick up counter case study extended the participants’ understanding on how semiotics can facilitate layout and retail consumer experience for brands and marketeers.
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