In global markets marketing acts upon consumers with very different idiosyncrasies. Market research can play a major role in optimizing strategies insofar as it helps understand the various meanings consumption acquires in each cultural context. In this process qualitative research in particular cannot hut play a decisive role. This paper shows different experiences that confirm these imperatives and yet at the same time highlights the fact that it is not advisable to restrict oneself to a focused and limited view but rather to entertain an anthropological standpoint that may reveal the cultural mores that make consumer attitudes meaningful. In this regard this paper also stresses how useful ethnological techniques can be both when applied in the context of their specific methodology and when they are integrated to the dynamics of focus groups.