Mobile Ethnography

 

SaskTel needed to determine current perceptions of its brand, and understand how customers are using their telecommunication services in their daily lives.

Challenge

As we move full blast into digital convergence and the Internet of Things (IoT), new Information and Communications Technology (ICT) business models will be rolled out to consumers. Our client needed to determine current perceptions of its brand, and understand how customers are using their telecommunication services in their daily lives.

 

This is an example of an ethnographic research approach, diving into the human psyche and comparing top of mind perceptions against reality. This information was used to help build a branding strategy for a leading full-service communications provider in Saskatchewan – SaskTel.

Approach

In order to achieve the study objectives, Insightrix recommended a blind qualitative approach which included:

     

  • In-depth interviews with 20 recruited consumers in the target audience.
  • A 10-day, online ethnography exercise with these consumers in which they completed different tasks, using their mobile devices.
  • Closing focus groups, at which an Insightrix researcher could better understand discrepancies in responses during the in-depth interviews to information that was provided during the ethnography phase.

 

For the online ethnography phase, participants were signed up for an online mobile app and were given tasks to complete and document.

 

The tasks were directly related to the study objectives and designed such that comparisons could be made to what was said during the initial interviews to what was actually documented within the app. In total, there were 710 posts among 18 participants.

 

After the online mobile exercise was complete, participants attended a closing focus group.

 

A presentation was shown and participants were asked to help co-create research findings and assumptions could be confirmed or altered based on the co-creation.

Outcome

The study provided deep insights into “a day in the life” of the target market as it relates to their telecommunication services. Details on items such as expectations of a service provider, value of the services provided, and customer services levels were analyzed. In addition, images and personification of the different brands were examined.

 

The study resulted in key insights into the actual time spent connected versus participants’ false perceptions. Using an ethnographic approach allowed Insightrix and SaskTel to dig deep and provide valuable information for the development of a communications strategy targeting the desired segments based on their actual behaviour and attitudes.