Ethnography is no longer a research ‘innovation’ – it is a staple part of Mustard’s core research offer. We have developed a suite of ethnographic research methods grounded in the commercial reality of shortening timescales and limited budgets. In many instances clients need fresh “ethnographic” insight, but they need it quickly and cost effectively.
Our pragmatic approach allows clients to gain a window into the lives of consumers by adhering to the following principles and techniques:
- Rigorous screening so we understand the respondents “ background story” before meeting with them
- Empowering respondents with programme objectives, and not being afraid to “go with the flow” concentrating on the elements of their lives that are of most interest
- Using statement selection exercises to give us a short-cut to a raft of behaviours, perceptions and attitudes – and similar techniques that allow individuals to express themselves easily and without constraint
- Using homework, scrapbooks, paper diaries, online diaries, Pickles app, video diaries – so ethnography respondents can evidence behaviours, perceptions and attitudes when we’re not with them
- High volume, focused contact – multiple reconvened meetings, regular contact to build trust and rapport, and ‘contextual observations’ – capturing film evidence where appropriate
- Carefully selecting respondents with whom to ‘deep dive’ further
- Defining and agreeing the relevant ‘contexts’ and settings for each respondent meeting – the situations that define them, their natural habitats
- Using consultation channels that the respondent is comfortable and confident with – whatever their ‘normal’ is
We use ethnography for identifying product / service development opportunities, informing design of products / services, to support segmentation and to better understand customer journeys / experiences. We often produce high quality films to support the story of the insight.
How ethnography helped The Open University
Mustard delivered deep-dive qualitative research in the form of ethnography, allowing the OU to develop and drive-through an acquisition and retention strategy targeting people interested in undertaking Higher Education.
Discover how ethnography can make a difference to your business
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