Advanced qualitative market & social research

Fancy a chat? Qualitative methods can get to the heart of a topic and allow for a deeper understanding of the issues – through our in-depth interviews, online and face-to-face focus groups, and ethnographic and observational techniques.  Take a look at our core qualitative research techniques below…

Depth interviews

One-to-one depth interviews allow for an open discussion to really understand motivations, attitudes and behaviours, sometimes on potentially difficult or emotional topics, or with seldom heard groups. This is all about creating a safe space to gain in-depth insights and truly listening to the individual.

Focus groups

We can gather small groups to discuss a topic, product or campaign, either face-to-face or online. Using a wide range of tasks, prompts and stimulus to generate debate, group discussions are a great way to really get to the heart of any issue.

Ethnographic techniques

Need to find out how your audience behaves in the real world? Through mobile ethnography, online forums, shopping safaris, diary studies, real-time video and social networking technologies, we can open a window into the lives of your customers.

Sensitive subjects

We specialise in engaging respondents in difficult conversations on sensitive topics – we’ve covered suicide prevention, sexual health, domestic violence, drug stigma, mental health, vaccine hesitancy and debt services, to name a few – if you have a difficult issue to address, we can tackle it with skill and sensitivity.

Language and Behaviour

Creating communications that customers are truly in tune with is a tricky and nuanced business. Our exclusive Language and Behaviour method provides linguistic decoding that goes further than conventional research, providing insights into how language works in your communications, bringing you closer to your customers and stakeholders, and ultimately strengthening bonds with your brand. 


Semiotics is the study of how words and other symbolic systems of communication make meaning. The term originates from the Greek word for sign, semeion, which means anything that is used to represent or stand in for something. Traditional qual research collects consumer opinions and behaviours, but semiotics shows you what creates those opinions and behaviours in the first place.  Semiotics takes a step back from people and analyses their culture, showing how it shapes, reflects and influences wider attitudes and behaviours. It also shows how organisations succeed or fail in connecting with these attitudes and behaviours, and how they connect better. The end result is that your communications become more distinctive and more culturally relevant.

“The team at Progressive have added great value to our research strategy, and I’d be very happy to recommend them. Their delivery is first class.”

Jennifer Wilson, Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service

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Your audience has a story to tell.

Can we help make sense of it?