NETNOGRAPHY:Some considerations about the beneﬁts of this method to marketing research c
Whatʼs it all about? Nethnography is a method for researching online social movements, coined by Robert Kozinets (2001); It is based on the anthropological method – ethnography; It allows the comprehension of social, cultural and symbolic issues, within online communities. c
Netnographyʼs distinct characteristics. Naturalistic; Immersive; Descriptive; Adaptable; Multi-Method; c Gives attention to contextual data.
Why use Netnography?The world’s internet usage is about 30%(data from June 2009).There’s a need for a technique capable of handling allthe conditions present in the online universe – therelationship between different kinds of users, andbetween users and the channel/system.The understanding that people (after all, alsoconsumers) are active creators, committed to theconstructions of meanings and opinions. c
Why use Netnography?Simpler and faster than other qualitative methods.Less obtrusive (it doesnt enter the individual privatesphere, and enables communication to be lessconditioned and natural).Netnography offers marketeers a window to thephenomena happening in the online environment. c
Some contextsin which Netnography has been used.Simpler than other qualitative methods like focus groups or evenIn an online community (Alt.coffee) dedicated to coffeetraditional ethnography.consumption – namely Espresso and Starbucks (Kozinets,2001);and more efﬁcient than other methods.FasterA study about Listerine (Kozinets, 2010);Less obtrusive (it doesnt enter the individual private sphere, andenables communication to be more unconditioned and natural).A study done on a Danish online forum about plastic andNetnography offers marketers a window to “netnographic”cosmetic surgery. In this study, some natural happeningphenomena had toonline environoment.guidelines on the be changed (Langer & Beckman, 2005). c
“Netnographic Method”.Robert Kozinets established some rules of practice for netnography: Entrée Planning and identiﬁcation of the research target Data Collection Two kinds of data to be gathered and contextualized: a) directly from the system and b) from the interaction with users online Interpretation The gathered data is trustworthy, because we are trying to understand not the individual himself, but his online behaviour. Ensuring Ethical Standards Questions about anonymity and informed consent. Research representation c The research should be presented to the users that contributed to the study in order to obtain their feedback (and gains).
Combining Netnographywith “Critical Discourse Analysis”.In order to have a more profound understanding of thewritten and audio-visual data gathered, one can use“Critical Discourse Analysis”.Its objective is to deconstruct the fundamental basis ofdiscourse - and, consequently, to deconstruct its culturalbackground. This is essential to get new points of viewapplied to business. c
“Immersion in the terrain”.Simpler than other the research will depend upon groupsThe time period of qualitative methods like focusor even traditional ethnography.the type of netnography wanted.Faster and more efﬁcient than done in the period of a week. A small netnography can be other methods. A medium/long term netnography can take one to threeLess obtrusivebeing completed.the individual private months until (it doesnt entersphere, and enables communication to be more one or On some academic endeavors it can take up tounconditioned and natural). even one and a half years. The more immersive the netnography is,Netnography offers marketers a window to naturalhappening phenomena onbe. online environoment. the better the results will the c
Conclusion:Netnography is very focused method for thecomprehension of people’s particular and relationaldimensions (users, consumers...).It is fundamental to the comprehension of onlinerelationships and how those affect the way peoplebehave regarding a certain product or brand.It allows companies to build upon the knowledge of theirconsumers, their thoughts and how they use products ontheir day-to-day lives. c
About the author.Marco ErmidasMA in Anthropology, with specialisation in Communication.firstname.lastname@example.org c