Ethnography

a.k.a. deep dive qualitative research

Get closer to the customer journey

Ethnographic research gets you closer to the customer journey and their ‘normal’ behaviours by immersion in their everyday lives. Sometimes referred to as deep dive qualitative research, this technique has gained popularity in recent years and is extremely useful in delivering rich consumer insights.

Ethnography seeks to understand ‘actual real-life behaviour’ versus ‘what they say or think they do’ and is particularly well suited to innovation and new product development. Researchers observe customers in their natural environment, as they shop, work and relax. The most effective studies are those that involve the least disruption. Researchers might interject to ask why somebody did something, but generally the idea is to observe real life. This is where technology can help.

Recording and reporting

Thanks to mobile social media platforms, many consumers have already become accustomed to ‘reporting’ what they do, when they do it, what they think of a product or service and why. Hence, mobile ethnography is an increasingly popular tool, with participants carrying their camera phones to record events as they happen. This approach can also make ethnographic research more attainable for smaller budgets.

Real world techniques

We have developed specific ethnographic techniques that are suitable for tradespeople and contractors. For example in a recent project we accompanied plumbers for an entire day observing their interactions with customers and merchants as well as seeing first-hand the challenges and pain points they have to overcome. This project delivered some unique real-life findings for our client which were used to improve product collateral and marketing.

Clients are using ethnographic research to help understand the customer journey, discover product or service pain points, enhance new product development and assess retailer or merchant performance.

Types of ethnographic research

Shopalongs / shopper observation

Day in the life

e.g. following a tradesperson in their daily role

Diaries and video diaries

Mobile ethnography

Reconvened focus groups

Website user testing

Passive observation

User centred design

for product design

Eureka! Research Light Bulb

Not sure what's best for you?

We’d love to bounce some ideas around with you. Either get in touch with us below or have a further browse of the different research services that can be applied to your business conundrums.

Not sure what's best for you?

We’d love to bounce some ideas around with you. Either get in touch with us below or have a further browse of the different research services that can be applied to your business conundrums.

The Eureka! approach

Once the project objectives and target audiences have been agreed, we progress through these key stages.

Recruitment of target

Let’s be honest, not everyone will be thrilled with the idea of having a researcher follow them around and ask probing questions. Our job is to sell the idea, put them at ease as well as making sure we get the right blend of the target audience. We write a recruitment questionnaire (or screener) to ensure the target audience matches the research requirement. This is typically a survey of 6 to 10 questions that we use to screen potential participants (for example) by job role, age, work focus, seniority, income, awareness or usage of a brand or product, etc.

Fieldwork

Ethnographic research is all about embedding ourselves in the world of the respondent. A typical study might have 6 to 12 respondents. We build rapport with the respondent and make the experience as ‘real life’ as possible. We get particularly excited about full immersion days where we in effect become a colleague (B2B) or family member (B2C). In our tradespeople research, this includes jumping in the van with the respondent, purchasing materials together at the trade counter and generally rolling up our sleeves and getting involved in the job.

Analysis

Seeing first-hand how users interact with a service or product, produces a potentially infinite number of data points, observations and rich material. Photographs, videos and Point of Sale (POS) collateral might also be relevant. Everything is recorded discreetly and top-of-mind notes are taken by the facilitator as soon as the session concludes. Eureka! use a range of laddering techniques to harvest the raw data and extract meaning from the noise.

Reporting

We will develop a report, varying from a top-line summary to a fully detailed output (dependent on client requirements). Check out free examples on our own website. Of course a presentation either in person or virtually is offered.

Bristan

Our ‘day in the life of’ approach embeds us with tradespeople from morning till night observing interactions with homeowners, merchants and complimentary trades.

Plumbase

Quantitative and qualitative research to develop detailed customer segmentations to drive targeted business engagement.

Bristan

Our ‘day in the life of’ approach embeds us with tradespeople from morning till night observing interactions with homeowners, merchants and complimentary trades.

Plumbase

Quantitative and qualitative research to develop detailed customer segmentations to drive targeted business engagement.

Eureka! Research

The Mill | Radford Road | Alvechurch | Worcestershire | B48 7LD

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