This discussion topic will center on the increasing use of ethnographic studies in marketing research.
This relatively new direction in research uses methodologies and tools drawn from anthropology in an effort to provide marketers deeper insights about cultural trends,
attitudes, lifestyles and behaviors which influence adoption rates and buying decisions.
There is a great deal of writing on the topic. I have selected contemporary case from Harvard Business Review on this topic for your review. The case is called:
Microsoft Office: Gaining Insight into the Life of a College Student (A & B). You can access it at:
Another article on the topic available through Ebscohost (Business Source Elite) is “Watch Me Now”, American Demographics, October 2002, by Alison Stein Wellner. You
can search ebscohost for this article and retrieve it free of charge.
You will refer to the Microsoft case to answer the following questions:
a) What type of research is ethnographic research(Exploratory, Descriptive or Causal)?
b) What are the pros/cons, advantages/limitations on the different study tactics,(e.g. Day Diary, Tech Diary, One-on-One In-Depth Interview, Focus Groups), used in
c) What key insights are derived from this study for Microsoft? What are the implications for Microsoft marketing strategies from these insights?
d) Assume the role of Research Analyst. What recommendations would you have for Microsoft stemming from this study?