Market researchers have always employed ethnographic research methods. But it wasn’t until recently that the right tools were in place for ethnography to scale properly to represent large and accurate consumer populations.
The explosion of smartphones (and the ever-growing big data on those smartphones) is allowing MFour to shift the landscape by providing a number of truths on your consumers.
These facts are free, they don’t require the consumer to provide any information. Why? The data is baked right into their device, and can be gathered in a simple, first-party format – through an app. Innate collection of data is the very essence of ethnography. In fact, ethnography is described as research that doesn’t interact with the participants of a study, but rather lets things happen naturally.
Here at MFour, we use ethnographic research as a starting point to passively gather data about consumers’ digital activities and real-time/historical locations. Then, we add GPS-intercept surveys on top of the data to allow us to pull deeper insights from consumers at various points throughout their path to a purchase.
This supersedes traditional forms of market research, because it gives you massive insights into consumer behavior. Data that used to be unattainable, without a lot of disruption, is now at your fingertips. And it’s fueling an exponential rise of ethnography across the industry.
Will you be doing more ethnographic research this next year?