One of the most powerful marketing research tools we can use is the one that is often overlooked: simple observation of customer behavior. By using observation in a real world environment, or using ethnographic techniques, researches can lean a lot from a very small sample, and design experiences around customer needs.
A good example of this was a new ATM designed by BBVA in Europe. In a partnership with IDEO (Pioneers in human centered design), they were able to use observation to redesign an ATM with the end-user in mind.
This type of observation is a powerful tool for marketing research. Your last assignment is to focus on the world around you, and take notes of customer behavior in a real world shopping environment. How do customers choose products? How do they pay? Do they feel rushed or stressed? What recommendations would you have from this observation.
Take some time this next week and observe the world around you, and let us know what you observed. Share with us what you found in observing customers around you in a real world environment.