Ethnographic market research allows you to observe consumer behaviors in the environments where they occur. This type of research can take place in homes, at stores, in cars, on the beach…anywhere!
Ethnography is the study of human behavior in its most natural and typical context. Research that uses ethnographic methods has long been used in anthropology by scientists that want to understand other cultures. It really isn’t possible to ask people details about their culture because culture is such an ingrained construct.
At the core of everything they do, marketing professionals seek to understand their potential consumers. Successful marketing is based on a solid understanding of why consumers make the decisions they do – how they identify a need or a want, how they gather information about their options, and how they decide what, or what not to buy
In the past, surveys have been the primary tool marketing people use to attempt to gather this information. The argument is simply: “if we want to know what people want, let’s ask.” the weakness in that argument is that sometimes people don’t know what they want or why they make the decisions they do. To understand the real life context of potential consumers, marketing professionals figured out that they needed to live the life of their target consumers What are benefits?
Learn by seeing, listening, experiencing: see how consumers really shop the aisle where your product is displayed, local cargo into their vehicles, or send a text message with a wireless phone. Uncover latent behaviors and attitudes: sometimes people are unaware of what they are doing and why. For instance, they may wash their face twice: once to remove makeup, a a second time to “really get their skin clean”. Bring to light differences between what people say and do (or report doing): Moms may say they only feed their kids healthy snacks, but their pantry reveals otherwise. Verify (or negate) people’s reproes: we all have a tendency to forget small but valuable pieces of information. Give your team a jolt of reality: this is how real people act in real life, not on paper or behind a one way mirror. They may never turn your box over to read the back panel.
When should you consider it?
• To uncover new product or packaging opportunities
• To shape advertising or communication strategy
• To supplement other qualitative (or quantitative) research
Before you jump in:
Remember that because the team must travel to various locations to conduct this research, it tends to be more time-consuming and costly than traditional qualitative marketing research. For greater efficiency, consider using ethnographic marketing research as one piece of a total research solution.
Methods of Ethnography in Marketing:
To conduct a quality ethnographic study, the researcher needs to be in the same role as the consumer. That means there are two options: take a consumer and teach them how to be an ethnographer or take an ethnographer and make them a consumer. Each method has its benefits and drawbacks, byr both are completely legitimate and used frequently. AMR Group-VINAMR-shoppers-choosing-products 2-amr.com.vn
When a company recruits a consumer to take part in an ethnographic study, they need the consumer to not only record observations related to a purchase decision, but also document the thoughts, feelings, and happenings that occur when the consumer identifies a need, considers an option, or decides to make a purchase. Recognizing all the ways we gather and process information can be difficult for the untrained eye. The benefit, however, is that the researcher is an actual consumer, so his or her experience is exactly what we want to study. AMR Group-VINAMR-shoppers-choosing-products-amr.com.vn
On the other hand, professional researcher may have all the skills necessary to conduct ethnographic research, but needs to be pit in the role of the consumer. Often, this just isn’t possible. You can’t tell someone to pretend they are in the market for a new vehicle and have them think and behave like they really would when they are about to make $20,000 purchase.
There is a third method of ethnographic research used in marketing that attempts to combine the benefits of a professional researcher and a real consumer. A research can live, or spend a lot of time, with consumer. The consumer should act like he or she normally does (although since he or she is being watched, he or she might not) and the researcher can focus on gathering the information. The downside of this strategy is simply the cost and the time required.
Marketing professionals are responsible for developing strategies that in many ways predict the way consumers will think and react. Predicting how people behave is tough business, so the more information available about how consumers think and act, the better the marketing strategies will be. Ethnographic research has become a valuable tool marketing executives have learned to use and those that do it correctly earn the reward of valuable, pertinent information about their consumers
The AMR Group is an expert in Vietnam and its markets. The team is local but with international training and experience, operating to global standards.The AMR Group helps brands bloom in Vietnam through lean, focused & reliable marketing research from VINAMR ; marketing & brand strategy with AMR. VINAMR Marketing Research & Consultants provide world class lean, focused and reliable research through deep understanding of the brief, international quality field, professional data handling & decision-orientated analysis, action focused recommendation. AMR use insights from VINAMR to deliver effective marketing & branding consulting, retail consulting & training, seminar & training: Brand War.
Compiled by AMR Group (Marketing Research in Vietnam-Nghien Cuu Thi Truong Viet Nam) on 2014
Source: Strategic Initatives
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