||Marketing research ethnography comes from social reasearch and anthropology. Instead of asking people what they believe or what they have done as we do in survey research, we watch what they do. Ethnographic marketing research is a popular technique for the study of human-computer interaction (HCI). There are variations in how data is collected: 1)sending an observer-researcher into stores, workplace, and homes to observe real behavior; 2) giving subjects a video camera to record their interactions with the target product; or 3) having subjects record their behavior in a diary. As with any research technique, ethnography has its measurement validity problems. Properly used however, it can yield exceptional insights useful for product redesign, new product concepts, discovering alternate product uses, and profiling true customer satisfaction.
For more on this topic, see our Market Research FAQ on Photo ethnography