Ethnography is a holistic technique that goes beyond the limitations of focus groups by taking marketing research outside the laboratory setting. Ethnographers observe, interview, and videotape people in the context of their everyday lives: where they work, live, shop, and play. Ethnography overcomes the artificial nature of surveys and their standard question-and-answer format, which are based on self-reporting and the researcher’s frame of reference. And, ultimately, ethnographic research reveals the unspoken cultural and social patterns that shape consumer behaviour.
Asia Research Partners aggressively focuses on and executes ethnographic research as leading businesses recognize the value of ethnographic research and are incorporating it into more traditional marketing research methods. Our moderators have extensive experience conducting focus group discussions with consumers, Business-to-Business, and government stakeholders across India. Our focus group moderators have comprehensive sectoral knowledge and moderating skills that combine direct and projective techniques. Our moderators can provide you with valuable insights and advice about the responses gained from focus group participants.
Ethnography is the study of people in their natural or “native” environment—where they live, work, shop and play. It is a series of complementary techniques developed within the discipline of anthropology. The ethnographic method requires a well-trained researcher skillful in immersing himself or herself in diverse environments, cultures and populations; in establishing rapport with people in these social contexts; and in interacting with them through participation, observation and dialogue to uncover their attitudes, beliefs, perceptions and values, as well as the unspoken cultural patterns that shape behaviour.
In a business or marketing research context, ethnography is used to uncover, interpret, and understand the consumer’s point of view and the hidden rules of the environment. Whereas focus groups and surveys rely on self-reporting and out-of-context memory, ethnography provides a holistic view of consumers in their daily lives. There is no substitute for the opportunity to understand consumers’ experiences. For example, consumers do not interact with your products and services in isolation; they are influenced by changing family patterns, unseen cultural factors, and other products and objects in the proximate environment. Ethnographic research is the best way for getting at these unspoken cultural and social patterns that shape consumer behaviour. Ethnography can be used as a stand-alone technique or can be used in conjunction with other qualitative and quantitative marketing research techniques.