Ethnography and cross-cultural research

Date of publication: November 1, 1997


As cross-cultural marketing becomes more important, the need for tools and perspectives to understand the global consumer becomes more pronounced. This paper offers practical advice on using ethnographic methods as a foundation for consumer analysis and strategic marketing. Ethnography is a research approach that emphasizes the experience of cultural immersion. Through the use of interviewing and observational tools, ethnography provides a way to compare and contrast the behaviors, meanings and tools that are grounded in national consumer cultures. As long as various cautions and limitations are respected, this approach can offer an expanded understanding of both product usage and buying motivations.

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