Secondary Research in Ethnography

The market environment changes every day.  Trends in your industry and your customer’sindustry change every day.  Consumers’needs change every day.  All thesechanges should affect the products you make. But how do you stay on top of trends, fads, needs and environmentalmarket changes?  Outside of interactingwith your customers in their own environment, there is a wealth of informationat your fingertips.  It’s just waiting tobe found and discovered.  Secondarysources of information like newspapers, magazines, and industry associationsare a great resource.  This informationin conjunction with other research methods will give you a great broadunderstanding of the industry, its trends, needs and fluctuations.  It is also a great way to formulate interviewquestions and prepare you to enter into your customer’s environment as anobserver.  Then the question becomes howdo you use these resources to your benefit.     

This article is devoted toexposing you to the resources you have available at your fingertips.   It is also focused on explaining otheranthropological techniques and how to apply them to the research of yourcustomers.  These techniques are to helpyou gain a broad understanding of your customer and the environmental factorsaffecting them.  The breadth of theresearch will help you make connections and uncover needs and trends that youwere unaware of

Below are examples of Secondary Research exercises:

  • Trend Tracking
  • Content Analysis
  • Archival and Written Record Research
  • Social Network Data

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