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Key MBA Models by Dr. Julian Birkinshaw, Ken Mark

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Ethnographic market research

Ethnography is the study of human behaviour in its most natural and typical context. Ethnographic methods have long been used in anthropology by researchers who want to understand other cultures. Marketers are now adapting their techniques to help them develop better products and services for consumers.

When to use it

  • To develop a deep understanding of how consumers use your products or services, so you can improve them.
  • To identify unmet consumer needs, so that you can innovate more effectively.

Origins

The concept of ethnography can be traced back to Gerhard Friedrich Müller, a professor of history and geography, who delineated it as a methodology while participating in an expedition to Kamchatka (1733–43). ...

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