Does your busines use mobile ethnography? Watching the way people behave, what they like, and what they find to be important is some of the best data you can get. The word ethnography officially means “the study and systematic recording of human cultures,” according to Merriam-Webster. When talking about market research, ethnography plays a very important role in figuring out how to respond to customers and potential customer needs. The concept of mobile ethnography is an exciting new technique in market research.

Mobile Ethnography Cell Phone Opportunities

How Mobile Ethnography is Different

People use their smartphones for a variety of tasks, including the sharing of information. Mobile ethnography allows for the sharing of feedback and other types of data right from their mobile device. When researching the experiences that consumers have with different types of products or services, using smartphones and other mobile devices makes it seamless. Market researchers are able to get more information such as general location, and even varied questioning based upon responses. The opportunities for specialized data through mobile ethnography are better than ever before. Getting information from consumers on a point-in-time basis creates a better understanding of what they are experiencing and how they truly feel.

The Benefits of Mobile Ethnography

Doing market research using a mobile approach to ethnography has a variety of benefits. Smartphones today are the preferred mobile device used. According to Statistia, there are more than three billion smartphone users in the world, accounting for about 42% of the world’s population. While that seems a little low, this includes every person on the planet. Because so many people are using smartphones, and because they are mobile, the opportunities for consumers to interact with market research projects have never been greater. This means that they can be more engaged and participate in longer and more meaningful market research.

A Cheap and Easy Research Method

Fortunately, mobile ethnography is digital and does not require human interaction to conduct research. This drives the cost down considerably, meaning that more research can be done for less money. Given the cost-effective nature of mobile ethnography, projects can be more involved and result in more meaningful and accurate data. Wider audiences and study samples can also be accessed digitally at the touch of a button, versus investing resources for in-person research methods.

Data is Generated Faster

Market research projects will move faster because of the digital nature of mobile ethnography. There’s no travel, setup, or having to worry about study subjects attending (or not attending.) When consumers can interact immediately from their mobile devices, it’s instant and easy. Because of this, data can be generated almost instantly, making it accessible to researchers just as fast. The data will also be very accurate as a result of immediate “point-in-time” feedback from study subjects. Instead of asking them about something that happened previously, they’ll give their thoughts as they happen. Faster data collection is better, yielding improved results to drive the market accordingly.

Different Types of Feedback

Questions and answers are a very traditional method for market research, but with mobile ethnography, you have the opportunity to get much more involved feedback. Mobile devices can allow subjects to share photos or videos. They can also view photos and videos to provide their feedback immediately. This type of insight from subjects is highly beneficial, far more than the usual question and answer format.

Endless Possibilities

The data that can be generated through a mobile ethnography approach is truly the new frontier in market research. With so many possibilities for targeted research using multiple methods, now is the time to begin embracing a digital strategy. Contact the marketing research professionals at New Perspectives to find out what we can do to help you drive your business forward using state-of-the-art strategies using mobile ethnography.