As you already know, having a thorough understanding of your customer is one of the keys to success. Although qualitative and quantitative analysis like surveys and focus groups are a great tool for providing important insights in regards to your target group; they are often not enough.
Why? Because people don’t always do what they say they do. They may answer ‘Yes’ when asked if they would buy a particular product, but they might actually never buy it when they come across it on the supermarket shelf. And after all – this is human nature. Hard to understand and difficult to predict.
But how can we minimize this uncertainty? This is where Business Ethnography comes into the game. Business Ethnography attempts to understand how people live their lives and how they behave during their daily routine. So, instead of asking the consumers survey questions or conducting focus groups in an irrelevant environment, Business Ethnography takes an alternative approach and encourages the researchers to visit consumers in their homes, office or other communal area. By observing consumers in an indirect way, we can gain a more thorough understanding of how consumers use a product, what value they assign to that product, and how they behave around the product.
1. Identify the problem and set out what you want to reveal.
2. Decide on the methods of data collection
3. Craft a framework for the questions to be asked in your ethnographic study.
4. Analyze the results and look out for patterns in consumer behavior.
5. Summarize everything and conclude on the most important key insights.
6. Craft an action plan based on the results and outcomes of the ethnographic study.