Leading edge companies are shifting much more of their research spend to ethnographic methods. It's all about studying your target in their natural environment. If you don't know what this is all about, here's your chance.
The Qualitative Research Consultant's Association (of which yours truly is a part) runs regular web-casts on topics of interest. *** These are not sales pitches, they are researchers talking about their methods for educational purposes.***
The upcoming event is scheduled for September 7, 2005, 12:00 to 1:00 PM ET. These are good speakers and respected researchers, and it's a timely topic. Plus the price is right (free). Here's the official notice:
On-Site Insight: Ethnographic and Observational Qualitative Research from the Inside Out
Marketers are always looking for ways that research can "go deeper" with consumers, to access unconsciously driven behaviors. In this lively presentation, Jan Lohs, Lohs Research Group and Susan Sweet, Doyle Research Associates, Inc. will help even seasoned professionals understand why and when to conduct ethnographic and observational qualitative research projects to achieve rich, below-the-surface insights. The presentation will include intriguing examples and case studies of projects from home, retail and other environments, and will share ideas on ways to incorporate ethnographic elements into more "traditional" qualitative projects.
Susan Sweet has been with Doyle Research Associates in Chicago for the past 6 years, and has been practicing qualitative research over 10 years. Susan specializes in the areas of new product development, marketing strategy and observational research, and works to combine methods and techniques to meet individual client objectives. She is very active in the QRCA, having served on its Board of Directors from 2001-2003, and helped launch its award-winning QRCA VIEWS magazine.
Jan Lohs has worked in qualitative marketing research for over 20 years, founding Lohs Research Group in 1994 in suburban Chicago. She enjoys practicing a mix of ethnographic and more "traditional" qualitative research methods. She honed ethnographic research skills in retail environments working with Dr. John F. Sherry of Northwestern University's Kellogg School, and has conducted a number of ethnographic projects at retail for her clients, exploring the dynamics of consumer behavior at point of purchase. Jan is an active QRCA Member and is the current Chair of the QRCA Field Committee.
Pre-registration is required: http://www.qrca.org/QCastRegistration.asp
After you hear this, plan to rethink your research spending. Why? Because good ethnographic research can change the way you think about your market and provide dramatic insights that yield competitive advantage.
Acknowledgements: Picture from an ancient copy of Grimm's fairy tales, and *I think* in the public domain. If you think otherwise, do let me know.