Despite its cultural wealth and biodiversity, Peru is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, with approximately 55% of its population below the poverty line. Faced with this challenge, a multinational company known for its interest in market research asked its main local research supplier for a proposal to help it achieve a better understanding of low-income consumers. It became clear to Apoyo Opinion y Mercado that this objective could not be fulfilled using only traditional techniques, and an ethnographic approach utilizing participant observation was proposed. This paper describes the innovative methodology utilized in the project, reaffirms the importance of the client's involvement and active participation in ethnographic studies, and presents key findings obtained in Peru (Lima and main cities of the interior) and those arising from the subsequent expansion of the study to Mexico City, Bogota and Caracas, as well as from other studies carried out with the same technique for other consumer goods companies.
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