Ethnography for Marketers


If you are serious about understanding your customers, you need to hone your ethnographic skills.  In plain english, how you watch and listen to people in order to obtain actionable insights. My favourite go-to book for advice is a gem from Hy Mariampolski. It is a practical guide to understanding ethnography – for those of you who didn’t study anthropology. Some business schools are getting smarter and suggesting business students study both anthropology and psychology in order to obtain better and faster customer insights. As Mariampolski states: “The greatest challenge for market research nowadays is to deliver value by linking findings to the strategic business decisions that confront corporate decision makers. Ethnography responds to this challenge by observing consumers in the their ‘natural’ environments and then turning these consumer encounters into ideas that transform brands and product categories.”  The book gives you basic theory and very practical guides to implementation. For beginners or experts, this is a great reference guide.  A recommended text for my business anthropology classes in Copenhagen and here in Canada.

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Ethnography for Marketers: A Guide to Consumer Immersion

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