In previous posts, we talked about one of the most widely used techniques by companies and brands in terms of market research: focus groups. But they’re not the only option when it comes to getting to know consumer tastes and behaviors.

Today we are going to explore another qualitative methodology: ethnographic interviews. These interviews are conducted in order to study -through direct observation- the behavior, interests, lifestyle and attitudes of a specific target of interest for the company/brand. External intervention through these techniques is minimal, since the aim is precisely not to lose the spontaneity of the user or consumer being studied.


More information button on-site qualitative research


What types of ethnographic techniques exist?

Ethnographic techniques are diverse, and all of them allow us to understand the behavior of the consumer/user by what they do, and not by what they say they do. This is what’s most interesting.

When analyzing or observing the user, the social, demographic, cultural and geographical setting is taken into account at all times.

We can classify ethnographic techniques as follows:


1.- Direct observation of individuals/groups

Here, we have to differentiate between non-participating and participating observation. In the former, the person or persons being studied are videotaped under normal and familiar circumstances and without the presence of observers. Then, their behavior is analyzed: their speech, their body language, etc. If the study so requires, long periods of observation of the subject or subjects are arranged. This way, they’ll be able to get used to the presence of the camera and act more naturally, so the information and data obtained will be much greater and more in-depth: a larger number of behaviors can be analyzed.

In participant observation, the recording of the person or group is done with the presence of an observer. In theory, its function is neutral and passive and only requires having to introduce various topics (in order to address those issues of interest to the brand), allowing the individual or group total freedom in their behavior.

2.- Psychological portraits

Here, the aim is to identify the lifestyles and behaviors of people through the observation of elements related to their environment. This analysis includes the addition of an ethnographic interview in the setting of the person being studied (at home, their usual places of entertainment, etc.).

EtnoCalm: remotely conducted ethnographic interviews

Ethnographic interviews can be conducted in person, but also remotely. In fact, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital tools that allow us to continue to conduct this type of research have become absolutely necessary.

Therefore, our technological commitment to Research and Market Studies at Calma includes providing you with our EtnoCalm platform, which allows the interviewee to share their images, videos and answers remotely with the researcher, entirely from their own mobile phone. It’s an easy-to-use and very convenient solution that allows companies, brands and agencies to continue developing their qualitative projects in the situation we’re currently in.

If you need more information about this or any of Calma’s services, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


More information button on-site qualitative research






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