Ethnographic Research: Putting Consumer Behavior In Context
This week on the Focus Pointe Global Blog, we’re taking a closer look at the important role played by ethnographies in marketing research.
Ethnography is a qualitative research method aimed at understanding cultural phenomena and behaviors in their natural contexts. Historically, ethnographic research strategies were developed by anthropologists as a way of studying the characteristics of foreign cultures.
More recently, many companies have begun to realize the intrinsic value of contextual understanding when it comes to gathering data from their target audiences. As a result, more and more companies are utilizing ethnographic research practices as a means of gaining key consumer market insights and developing customer-oriented marketing strategies in response.
Just as studies conducted in a laboratory don’t always yield the same results as field-based research, marketing research professionals are beginning to understand that the controlled atmosphere of a focus group isn’t always the most accurate method of gathering qualitative consumer data. In contrast, ethnographic research focuses on understanding the everyday contexts of consumer behavior and helping businesses better understand the socio-cultural dynamics of that behavior.
By making direct observations in the actual environments where consumer opinions are formed and purchase decisions made, researchers are able to establish a clearer picture of each subject’s motivations and desires in the context of multiple socio-cultural factors and influences.
In short, ethnographic research results in a more holistic understanding of the consumer as both an individual market actor and as a member of the larger culture and society.
To learn more about how to incorporate ethnographies into your next marketing research project, check the FPG blog later this week when we will continue our discussion or click on the button below to schedule a consultation with one of the experts at Focus Pointe Global.
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