5 Easy Ways to Bring Ethnography into Your Market Research

“I’m using ethnography in my research.”  If I said anything resembling this sentence to a small business client or in my small business marketing circles, people would think I was some kind of market research guru or something.  Overall, most of us small business folks can get rather plebian when it comes to technology or research.  Our take on the world is to stop talking all that fancy language and tell me how this is going to help me get customers, keep customers and make more money.

Is ethnography really that complicated?

If you haven’t heard of ethnography per se, don’t worry about it.  I know you know what it is.  Ethnography has its origins in 20th century anthropology.  It’s the practice of “embedding” yourself inside a culture and living with them so that you can understand how they tick.

And, like most things, it migrated into the world of business and large corporations hired very expensive and educated market research companies to live with and watch how their customers interacted with their products and services so that they can better understand how to market them.  A relatively recent case study comes from the masters of market research, Proctor and Gamble and their Febreeze product.  It wasn’t until researchers watched how consumers interacted with the product that they realized that they should position it as a way to make your house smell clean.  This was a pivotal moment in the product’s life that transformed it into one of the best selling air freshners of all time.

You don’t have to have big money to do ethnographic research

The bottom line is, that ethnography was out of reach for many small businesses. The good news is that those days are over!  QuestionPro is doing what it does best — bringing big business functionality to small business with the ability to upload pictures as answers to online survey questions!

THIS IS HUGE!  I’m ridiculously psyched about it because it gives those of us without monster budgets the ability to take a peek inside our customers’ lives and actually see how they use our products and services or how they perceive the world.  Not only this, but this new photo uploading feature comes at a time where you won’t even have to teach your respondent how to do it — they’ve been uploading photos to Facebook and Twitter for years – and this really isn’t any different.

How to use the photo upload feature in QuestionPro

Like all new things, you have to use this feature a couple of times before you get used to it and before you know it — it’s going to become as integral a part of your survey questions as the multiple choice or Likert scale question type.