Netnography is a branch of ethnography. The term is a combination of two words Net and Ethnography. In order to understand netnography, we have to start with Ethnography. Ethnography is an exploration of a cultural phenomena. The typical ethnography is a holistic study and so includes a brief history, and an analysis of the terrain, the climate, and the habitat. It should make a contribution towards understanding the social life of humans. Ethnography observes the world from the point of view of the subject (not the ethnographer). It provides information on the symbolism, meanings, and consumption patterns of online consumer groups.
Consumers making lifestyle, product and brand choices often turn to the Internet for information on which to base their decisions. Consumers are using virtual communities to contact fellow consumers who are seen as objective information sources. Netnography allows researchers to keep record of these interactions, quantify changes over time, and perform insightful analysis.Marketers ground advertising insight in understanding of the consumer. Advertisers would benefit from a culturally-grounded understanding of the language, meanings, rituals, and practices of the consumer tribes with which advertising seeks to communicate.
So concretly, how does netnography works? What does it consist of?Netnography follows six overlapping steps: research planning, entrée, data collection, interpretation, ensuring ethical standards, and research representation.
Individuals participating in online communities often share in-depth insight on themselves, their lifestyles, and the reasons behind the choices they make as consumers.Benefits:+ identify industry trends+ help product engineers improve their products+ assist companies in developing marketing strategies
Mykhaylo (Mike) Mitkov
1. What is Netnography
2. Process of Netnographic study
3. Applications: where to use Netnography
4. The game
5. Best practices
Netnography = InterNET + EthNOGRAPHY
Netnography is doing Ethnographic study online,
from the comfort of your office
Ethnography is an observational research
It is used because there is a difference between what people say they do and
what they actually do.
Result of Ethnography is a discovery
position: 3:00 - 09:20min
Why do we use netnography?
The increasing importance of the internet and of consumers who are
active in online communities
What does netnography track?
Internet – source of information for consumers’ lifestyle, product and brand
keep record of interactions
quantify changes over time
For advertisers netnography provides culturally-grounded understanding of:
The netnography process
ensuring ethical standards
Source: Kozinets 2010
First: research planning
Where to go?
Questions to be addressed
define the field of study
How to choose an appropriate online community?
1. Relevant 2. Traffic 3. number of poster 4. rich data 5. between
Immersion in the communities
Getting to know the players
Learn culture and rituals
Objective: learning as much as
possible about the subject and
getting a better understanding
of the behaviors
• Without researcher involvement
• Co created by researcher and members
• Observational and reflective notes
Constructing classification system
Synthesis and contextualization
1) Are online forums private or public sites?
2) What constitutes « informed consent » in the internet?
Fully disclose your identity
Ensure anonymity of members
Obtain permission before publishing
add some insights
correct any possible misunderstanding of the context
feedback on the work.
Benefits for companies
Understand consumer choices
and identify industry trends
Help product engineers develop new and improve
Assist companies in developing marketing
Advantages of Netnography
Individuals may be more open online than in real
Internet provides access to a broader cohort of
Greater continuity in research
Cheaper and faster than offline research
Plentiful and easy to obtain data
Disadvantages of Netnography
Difficult to extrapolate results to the general
Focused on textual data
Underdeveloped toolkit for data gathering and
Instability of the user base
Ethical issues of using information
Assume that there is an online community of customers.
Based on where you sit, you work for:
(TD, RBC, etc.)
(P&G, Nestle, etc.)
(Ford, BMW, etc.)
Discuss and present to the class what you could learn about that community and how
you could use it for your company’s benefit (branding, advertising, product
Best Practices of Netnography
Example of Netnography research:
Jiyao Xun, Jonathan Reynolds, “Applying netnography to market research: The case of the online
forum”, December 15, 2009, Journal of Targeting, Measurement and Analysis for Marketing, Vol. 18, 1, 17–31
Frank-Martin Belz, Wenke Baumbach “Netnography as a Method of Lead User Identification” Creativity and
innovation management, Volume 19, Number 3, 2010
Robert V. Kozinets, “Click to Connect - Netnography and Tribal Advertising” Journal of advertising
research, September 2006,
Robert V. Kozinets, , “The Field Behind the Screen - Using Netnography for Marketing Research in Online
Communities”, Journal of Marketing Research, Vol 39, February 2002.
Robert V. Kozinets, “On Netnography - Initial Reflections on Consumer Research Investigations of
Cyberculture”, Advances in Consumer Research, Volume 25, 1998.
Ray Pettit, “Book review of ‘Netnography - Doing Ethnographic Research Online”, Journal of Advertising
Research, September 2010.
Hiro Sudo, Anferny Chen “Netnography: An Overview (Schulich MBA class)” February 18, 2012
Stefan Neunhäuserer et al. “Netnography – the movie”, January 26, 2012