A simple and effective way of enabling you to stand in your customers shoes and see the world from their perspective. Enabling you to put the consumer at the heart of your business and your brand strategy.
We are very mindful of the need to get under the skin and experience the wider context of people’s lives, motivations and influences.
While traditional methods can be very insightful, there is always a risk of the research effect prompting a rational response from participants, or inhibiting them from saying what they really think or do.
We also know from everything that has been explained by behavioural economics, that much decision-making is emotional and instinctive, and we are often poor witnesses to our own behaviour or motivations, or struggle to recall these responses accurately when asked.
As researchers, we are constantly exploring new ways of 'living with' people to ensure that we fully understand the context in which they experience choice and decision-making, and one approach that is yielding fantastic results is mobile ethnography.
We do this using a simple app that works a little like Instagram, but adapted for research purposes. The platform enables us to build a rapport with individual participants throughout the period of the research, contacting them on a daily basis, and setting questions or tasks.
Participants download the app on their phone, follow our simple instructions, and upload comments. But in the main, we encourage them to take selfie-videos.
These videos can be terrifically reflective, intuitive, revealing and engaging. This is in part because it is how many people are used to communicating nowadays. But it is also non-confrontational and non-judgemental means of sharing their deeper thoughts, feelings or reflections.
There are numerous advantages to this approach:
- The research effect is reduced as it all takes place in the respondents’ own time and space, creating a more ‘real-life’ and naturalistic setting.
- The data capture process is simple and seamless, Atticus moderators and clients or stakeholders will have access to a ‘dashboard’ to view content in real-time, the moment participants upload it, and we can respond to participants with additional questions or prompts, or simply words of encouragement to reassure them they are being listened to, and their contribution is of value.
- The selfie-videos bring the whole experience to life and our clients get to stand in their customers’ shoes and see the world from their perspective, and understand how their attitudes and motivations are shaped.
- Given the remote data capture methods, we are not limited geographically and can sample from across the UK or the world without incurring additional costs for travel etc.
This is a tried and tested method that can be adapted for a huge variety of research tasks – from capturing the way consumers use their heating systems at home, to how young people choose a university or course of study.
The key to success in projects of this nature is in careful moderating – we spend a huge amount of time monitoring responses and responding, both to probe and explore views further, but also to demonstrate to participants that they are being listened to, and to encourage them to continue with the tasks and uploads.
Being such a simple and intuitive platform, that feels so familiar to users, it often creates its own momentum, with users going on something of a journey of self-discovery and sharing thoughts and views they were previously unaware of.
Here are some case studies from some of our recent digital ethnography projects - click on the logos to find out more.