BMGT 311: Assignment #4 – Ethnographic Research

Some call it Ethnographic Research.  Some call it hyper qualitative research.  But it’s all about getting closer to your users or potential users to “deep dive” and “needfind” to develop a solution to marketing problems.  Quantitative research is great – it tells marketers what is going on.  But it often overlooks the “why” and the “how” and even other opportunities.

1. Can you give an example of a company doing this type of research?

2. What was the result?

3. What is your opinion of these research techniques?

David Kelly, a pioneer on this research technique, talks below about creativity, and examples on this process and how to drive creativity throughout an organization.

See you next week.





7 thoughts on “BMGT 311: Assignment #4 – Ethnographic Research”

  1. Xerox is an example of a company that uses Ethnographic Research.

    According to this article Xerox has been using Ethnographic Research since the 1980s. In this particular study Ethnographic Research helped Xerox by observing how costumers dealt with printer problems and examined calls going to the service centers. From these observations Xerox was able to create innovative ways to deal with printer issues and customers without having employees have a lot of interruptions during their workdays.

    My personal opinion of this type of research is that it is extremely cool to learn about and I think that it has the potential to be very helpful to a lot of companies. For example in the video David Kelly was telling the story about changing the MRI room to help children feel more comfortable, which cut the number of kids that need sedated before an MRI way back. I think that this was an awesome changed based on observation which not only helps the company save time and money but it helps the consumer to have a better experience while receiving the service (MRI).

  2. Intel, because managers wondered whether users at home would become a distinct market. Ethnographic research showed so much potential that intel set up a business unit to concentrate on procession and platforms for home use. With smartphones, for example, they can contrast the technology perspectives of teenagers, who have used cell phones since they were in elementary school, with those of older generations.

    I think they can really help out a company to really get to know their customers an dhow they react to products and how useful they are.

  3. Toyota is a company that uses ethnographic research. Toyota teamed up with IDEO to design a vehicle for Baby Boomers. The goal of this ethnographic research was to understand the lifestyles, attitudes, and values of this customer base. Through the research, Toyota was able to discover five areas of “need”= comfort, smart, utility, transformation, and expression- that consumers wanted in a vehicle. They were also able to identify three lifestyle themes that should be displayed in the vehicle- wellness, sophistication, and crossover utility vehicle. Toyota took this data and created the Venza.
    I think that this technique of research is beneficial to a company. It allows them to get more real data, with less opportunity to lie or provide the answers you think a company wants, as in surveys. Companies get results that lead to product advances through ethnographic research.

  4. Toyota, Intel, Microsoft, and Lego are all companies that use ethnographic research.
    Lego found that even though they had a ton a research on paper, but it wasn’t the same as actually observing children play with the product. “From the design process, the more you understand the person you’re designing for, and the more empathy you feel, the easier it is to design the right experiences for them. You can read a lot from a report, but it’s not the same as being there.”
    I think that this technique of research is extremely helpful to a company. By observing customers, they are able to better the product and really get to the bottom of what the customer wants and better the product/service. Lego was able to see how children actually played with their product as opposed to how they thought the product was being used.

  5. Proctor and Gamble, because they do a tremendous amount of research on how people go about their daily lives and what products they use. In 2009, P&G teamed up with Qualvu, a marketing research firm, to perform a study of how people go about their daily, morning routine. The study required that 13 men and women allowed web cams to record them in their routine. P&G has done numerous projects similar to this one in the past.

  6. I would say Jackie and I came up with similar results while researching. When I took a look the same article “Every Move You Make”, the CNBC Business article, I found an interest in Joan Vinyets methods. Joan has developed his activity in the field of innovation by applying business anthropology studies. Methods include traditional business consultancy, quality market insights and design thinking. Their website was impressive, but I took note of their clients – multinationals and large-sized companies from all key sectors, ranging from consumer goods and electronics manufacturers to the financial services sector. I appreciate that Joan Vinyets practicing his business ideals through a different market.

    This type of research provides an opportunity for research that’s innovating, offers insights, and different capabilities.

    More Information on what A Piece Of Pie does:

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