Michael Ohler, Phil Samuel and Mark McMurray of BMGI argue in Industry Week that focusing on human behavior and personal experiences can help you discover unmet customer needs and gain a deeper understanding of your customer.

“Ethnography does not start with a hypothesis or a model that the researcher will then try to invalidate and accept as “useful” if he or she fails to do so. Rather, the output of ethnographic research is a frame, pattern or trend that allows putting the vast amount of gathered information into a meaningful context. Sound ethnographic research may require a trained and eventually certified professional. Practitioners also emphasize the need to “give yourself sufficient time” for such studies.

While ethnography is an inductive method, its output can be used for further quantitative deductive research, such as surveys and statistical analysis.”