knowledge Opinions

Real World Insights

by Thomas McGillick, 27 May 2014

We believe that if a campaign is to deliver results in the real world it needs to be based on insights that were generated there.

The major problem facing consumer research is that what people say they want, and what they actually want, can be quite different. It’s the same for what they say they do and feel, and what they actually do and feel. The way to get around this is to observe actual behaviour (ethnography) rather than taking surveys and self-reports (eg. focus groups). The reason ethnography isn’t done more often is that observing real life behaviour takes time and even when this type of research is done, it’s usually carried out in one go rather than over time, so we don’t have much of an opportunity to observe trends in the subject’s behaviour.

How can we conduct research that does a better job of mining insights than run-of-the-mill surveys or research groups?

A new solution to the challenges of market research comes in the form of online self-ethnography. AdMap describes it this as “Dedicated online platforms or social media accounts that can be used to aggregate uploads from participants, in the form of written observations, photographs or films, and automated survey responses.”

This covers the say vs do challenge, but also eliminates many of the major costs of research such as moderation and venue hire.

Online self-ethnography is a cheap way to get good results, so consider it next time a research project is on the table.

— Thomas McGillick, Planner at Ward6


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