What is Ethnography?
Context : Our Process |
The Context process is built on a core belief that we work best when we work closely with our clients. Our clients are as involved as they want to be in what we do, every step of the way.
Though the length and intensity of each step might vary depending on the scope of the project, we follow the same basic steps for every project:
Step One: Kickoff Meeting
A successful study requires a good beginning. That's why our first step is to gather all of the project stakeholders - from Context, the client, even client partners - for a kickoff meeting. During this meeting, we gather information and finalize decisions about the study objectives and methodology, the detailed questions the study must answer, and the participant sample.
After this meeting, we create a document detailing all of the study specs. This InfoDoc serves as a benchmark for the entire study. Once all stakeholders have agreed upon the study specs, we design the research.
Step Two: Ethnographic Field Research
Once the research design has been finalized, we then go into the field. Our anthropologists in our international network conduct the research as well as our core analysts. All anthropologists are briefed on the project together and follow the same field guides so data can be collected and analyzed in a systematic fashion. We welcome our Client to accompany us on these visits and we also hold Update Conference Calls, providing progress reports from the field.
Each field visit merits a written report or transcript. As the anthropologists complete the reports, they upload them to a secure web site. The entire study team will have access to this site, via password, so everyone can read as much as they'd like throughout the process.
Step Three: Analysis
As soon as reports are available, the Context team begins the analysis process. We conduct a series of insight sessions, during which we discuss the data and connect it back to the specific study objectives and to larger trends in the marketplace. Context again welcomes the Client to participate in the analysis phase of the project by joining us for an insight session. We also hold formal Update Conference Calls to review our initial findings with the Client and gather their feedback on which insights they feel are the most critical.
In the end, the process of anthropological analysis requires working with the data, emerging stories, and visual data to tease out the patterns, themes, and findings as they develop. We apply anthropological principals to explain participant behaviors, which gives our clients a simple visual of how their behaviors and overall culture influence their decisions.
Step Four: Deliverable Development
Once the field research is complete, we begin to work on our final deliverables. Context deliverables come in a wide range of forms – from video to PowerPoint® presentations to graphic recording. We work with our Clients early in the project to decide which deliverable format will help them best communicate internally. Presentation materials are vetted by Clients prior to the final presentation in order to incorporate feedback and create the most compelling deliverables.
Step Five: Final Presentation
Context will present the study insights to our Client team (ideally this includes everyone from the kick-off meeting as well as others within their cross-functional teams) to ensure that the findings are clear and to help our Client begin to think through next steps. This presentation is typically 3-hours long and includes time for questions and discussion.
Working Sessions: Context can also facilitate working sessions with Clients who want to take the insights to the next step. After our presentation and informal discussion we lead a structured group brainstorm around the findings to identify the top insights that the group feels can lead to the most innovative and/or strategically viable solutions. We then work to flesh out a game plan for next steps based on each insight and our Client’s overall goals -- be it marketing, product development or further research.
Communication: Checkpoint Calls
During the field research and analysis, we hold a series of checkpoint conference calls with the client. During these calls, we discuss project status and preliminary findings. The Research Director is also in constant contact with the client.