In the most basic sense, ethnography in market research involves watching what people do, rather than asking people what they do.
From this, researchers can make inferences from the observed behaviour.
Three popular forms of ethnography adopted by market researchers include…
- Conducting participant observation in stores, workplaces, and homes to observe real behaviour;
- Giving participants a video/digital camera to record their interactions with the target product [photo-ethnography]; and
- Having participants record their behaviour in a video diary.
Agency, Everyday Lives, adopted another interesting approach which involved filming consumer shopping in supermarket and then listening to the consumer and consumer’s family narrate the film [i.e. explaining what was going on, what they were thinking, etc].