FamCam: virtual ethnography for consumer insights generation

FamCam is virtual ethnography for consumer insights generation, leveraging the latest technology to conduct ethnography remotely, without the introduction of the interviewer intervention effect, or consumer performance bias. By placing webcams into the home to yield "Big Brother" style observations, consumers go about their daily lives and rich insights can be drawn about what they do when they forget that the researcher is watching.

The results are real insights derived from observation, which can then be validated using BrainJuicer's proven insight validation tool, or used to brainstorm new product ideas.

How does it work?

We recruit participants from a large scale quant survey whereby clients can choose optimal consumer profiles, and garner quant data on what constitutes 'typical' behaviour (a valuable yardstick by which to assess the ultimate participants).

Webcams are installed in all areas needed (of the home or other locations) to capture relevant behaviour

Respondents are observed remotely over a period, and our trained ethnographers log and edit film to detail the most poignant observations. From the observations, we derive pertinent insights, and where appropriate, suggest and develop new product ideas

Insights can then be validated with the precise target sample using BrainJuicer's Insights Validator

What makes FamCam different?

Alternative methods have three principal weaknesses, to varying degrees: Cost, research effects and lower than optimum fitness for purpose.

Traditional focus groups principally fall down on research effects - exploring claimed behaviour rather than observing what actually happens, which can be very different. Whilst a powerful evaluative tool, the group dynamics can make focus groups a difficult place to formulate or uncover ground-breaking consumer insights

Traditional ethnography falls down in all three areas. Cost frequently prohibits anything but the most 'quick dips' of ethnography (the FamCam standard is a presence in the home for four weeks). The presence of an ethnographer in the home has significant effects on the natural behaviour of the subjects. Finally, the outputs are far less fit for purpose than BrainJuicer's observation clips - ready and primed for internal corporate advocacy.

Virtual ethnography eliminates the effect of the interviewer bias that exists in traditional approaches. Respondents forget the camera is there after just a few weeks, providing the ability for observation of uncensored, unrehearsed and candid behaviour. Furthermore, it focuses on drawing insights from the observations, vital to allowing the work to have direct relevance to corporate goals and priorities

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