Digital technology creates exciting new opportunities for immersive qualitative and ethnographic research. ModelPeople's custom suite of mobile and online functionalities, PeopleBlogSpotSM, lets researchers

  • Seamlessly integrate online and in-person methodologies for deeper, more immersive insight
  • Achieve better respondent quality and lower project costs
  • Maintain enthusiastic virtual community engagement over time using hybrid face-to-face/online techniques
  • Create an enhanced research Learning Journey with online video, photo and text content which can be downloaded by clients and their agencies for internal use





Emotions & Semiotics



Mobile Ethnography

The use of mobile ethnographic techniques allows for more immersive consumer interactions at lower cost. The PeopleBlogSpotSM App for iPhone and Android lets us observe consumer behavior more closely over longer periods of time, cost-effectively. Consumers can easily and spontaneously record contextual, consumption and shopping behavior in video, photos and text, when the ethnographic researcher cannot realistically or cost-effectively be present. We typically combine mobile and in-person approaches for deeper exploration and insight.

Case Study

We ran mobile shopping ethnographies with OTC shoppers to gain insight into the Path-to-Purchase (P2P). Shoppers recorded their P2P behaviors and emotions in text, photos and in-store video/audio narrative, which were subsequently explored in group discussions. The outcome was a new approach to designing the aisle, to reflect the emotional drivers of the different shopper mindsets identified in our research.

Hybrid Communities

Pure online communities may deliver puzzling or superficial observations, and are limited in scope. Creating a mix of in-person and online interactions over time builds much deeper consumer engagement, a wider, more nuanced picture of behavior and individual context for measuring response to stimuli such as new product or advertising concepts.

Case Study

Over twelve months, ModelPeople maintained a hybrid community of leading edge Millennials. We conducted foundational ethnographies and co-creation workshops in an upscale beverage category and then re-engaged participants in an online community, conducting various engagements to develop a new product positioning concept plus detailed flavor and packaging execution. Mobile ethnographies gave deeper insight into target consumer consumption behavior enabling concept reactions to be analyzed in the context of specific individual psychographics and category behavior. Consumer engagement was over 95% for each interaction and the valuable insights resulted in the pre-launch pilot of a major new product.

Subconscious Emotions & Semiotics

Virtual qualitative allows the researcher to explore subconscious emotions and cultural semiotics at lower cost. ModelPeople’s custom platform offers image-based tools such as Brand Metaphor and Semiotic Mapping to deliver rich insights more cost-effectively. Photo-based tools can be used to compile high quality style/lifestyle boards (e-collages) for ethnographic immersions.

Case Study

We conducted a Consumer Immersion for automotive marketing, engineering and design executives. We hand- selected participants and they completed several lifestyle/style boards to represent personal style and category semiotics. These e-collages were previewed to confirm respondent quality and discussed in detail during the immersion. The outcome was US consumer visual design context for a new vehicle concept to be designed outside the US.

Hybrid Methodologies

Hybrid in-person & virtual qualitative or ethnographic methodologies allow for more immersive interactions with your true target consumers. For example, using a mobile or online interaction to select the respondents you want to talk to in person greatly improves respondent quality for ethnographic interviews, reducing wastage and overall cost.

Case Study

We ran a complex strategic Learning Journey with allergy sufferers, with 15 client/agency observers. To ensure the highest quality respondents and the richest learning, we conducted multiple online ethnographies, using video and other exercises to select the best respondents for further in-person engagement. We produced a narrated short film of these interviews to institutionalize the strategic learning for the wider stakeholder team.