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An Immersive Ethnography Technique for deep understanding

Presented by Chris Hauck, President of HauckEye

NewMR Event: Qualitative Research in 2021

Presentation Description

Over my long career, I have been lucky enough to work with really creative researchers who have taught me to be fearless and creative. On a project for a US based restaurant chain, I worked with my videographer to record interviews without the knowledge of those around us, focused on the research participants who are in the know, and my own brand of sneaky ethnography was born. After Covid, I’ll take this approach back out on the road to explore all sorts of restaurants, hotels, retail establishment, auto dealerships and so much more. If you can go do it, I can study it! And have fun too.

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An Immersive Ethnography Technique for deep understanding

  1. 1. Immersive Ethnography for deep understanding Webinar 24 March 2021 Chris Hauck HauckEye
  2. 2. Sponsors Communication
  3. 3. • A key component of my approach uses the idea of Empathy Marketing, understanding the perspective of the respondent through observation and in-depth conversation. • Empathy in terms of…… • Hearing people and putting ourselves in their place helps us to understand their attitudes. • Allowing people to be honest and open. • Developing real understanding. Empathy Marketing As a basis for methodology
  4. 4. Qualitative research is a variety of research, the common feature of which is a reliance on unstructured data and on forms of data analysis that are non-numerical.
  5. 5. It’s very flexible There are many fewer rules when it comes to doing qualitative research. Generally, if you don’t introduce bias towards one answer or another, you can do it. • Have one on one conversations, man on the street style – sure…that’s qualitative • Talk to random people in a bar – do it. That’s qualitative too. • Conduct some focus groups – online. Yup, that’s Qual. • Do a focus group of 100 people in an auditorium. Maybe not the best approach, but that’s qual too.
  6. 6. It’s easy to invent tools and techniques Because qualitative research is flexible, it’s easy to invent new tools and techniques to meet client needs. No statistics are harmed in this process. No rules are broken in inventing an approach. First step is to ask the question: what is the objective to be met on this project? Second step is to determine whether the approach is replicable across projects. If it is, you have invented a tool or a technique.
  7. 7. Deep Experience Ethnography Objective: Identify opportunities for improvement and growth for a restaurant chain Invention: Deep Experience Ethnography Components: Initial 30-45 minute interview at the respondent’s workplace or home to explore consumer choice in a topic appropriate environment. That step is then followed by an experience (like lunch or happy hour) in a real environment with both the client brand and competitors. Recordings are hidden and only the respondent and the team know there is a recording.
  8. 8. Recording tools are hidden from the people working in the store, the restaurant, the hotel or wherever. The tools of an immersive ethnography experience for deep learning iPhone is my camera iWatch is my monitor Apple Airpods act as our microphone
  9. 9. Today, if you go to retailers, you’ll see our solutions in displays, product organization and packaging to explain some complex concepts such as color, lumens, technology, programming and much more. Having the experience with the customer exposed a wide variety of missing components. I’ve also conducted the same research for smart/connected home products. Buying a light bulb became complicated with LED lighting. How do I help clients educate consumers and drive them to choose their products in a big box hardware store? Respondents were interviewed at home or at work first, then taken shopping for light bulbs in markets throughout the US. BUYING LIGHT BULBS CASUAL DINING BUSINESS TO BUSINESS In the competitive casual dining category, my client wanted to understand the experience at their restaurants and key competitors’ restaurants to move occasional customers to regular or heavy users. I took a wide variety of individuals and small groups out to lunch, to happy hour, to dinner or for late night drinks in five markets, while the restaurant staff had no idea I was conducting research. On a regular basis, my client, who makes machines the size of a large room that analyze human fluids, is required to make the case for system changes. By following each Lab Director around for 2 days, I was able to fully understand their experience and pain points while using the current version of the product. I experienced dining with the customer and was able to identify a wide variety of new approaches and opportunities to be more competitive. There were so many opportunities uncovered that the client will be implementing my ideas into 2022. My process allowed the Lab Directors to identify almost 100 process, product, system and software improvements for the specifications of the next generation blood gas analyzer.
  10. 10. Getting out in the world
  11. 11. Get in and get your hands dirty • Qualitative research is a creative space where there are few rules. So try things, see if they work… • I have some basic rules that I know to be pretty true from many years of experience… – Respondents remember better than you think they will – assume they will remember and be able to tell you what they remember. – People want to talk with you, they want to help you understand. You can talk to anyone and this will always be true.
  12. 12. THANK YOU Chris Hauck 720.273.4400
  13. 13. Sponsors Communication
  14. 14. Q & A Chris Hauck HauckEye Ray Poynter NewMR