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International Education Market Research Tools Techniques

Research gets deep.   As the founder of Real Ethnography, Agafonoff is part of a growing trend for ethnographic market research.

Pioneered by companies such as Xerox in 1970s California, ethnographic market research eschews the statistical model of market research in favour of techniques pulled from anthropology, sociology and documentary filmmaking. It typically uses a much smaller statistical sample than ordinary market research, but looks in detail at the subjects’ lives, observing everything from a typical work day to familial relationships.

The advantage, practitioners argue, is that subjects are placed in a social context, better revealing their relationship with products. The technique also allows them to observe a subject’s unconscious or contradictory behaviours, or those many might not consider important enough to report.

The goal is to get a true idea of a consumer’s behaviour — not a reported one……

…..”A picture tells a thousand words,” she says, “but a video tells a thousand pictures.”

“There are various kind of social scientists at all the whitegoods companies: Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Whirlpool. The anthropologist at NASA has a really interesting job.”

It is a situation unheard of in Australia where, according to Julien Cayla, there are no in-house ethnographers or anthropologists at any major company.

Bell says that the impetus for US companies to turn towards ethnography has been the globalisation of markets and the creation of new and culturally unfamiliar consumers.

Surprised such techniques are not used in international education marketing by Australian university and vocational sector to inform international marketing and quality, when resources are freely available i.e.  international students, social scientists and marketing experts based in faculties onshore, as opposed to administrative communications and agent management strategies?

Some years ago an international manager from a state vocational institute i.e. TAFE who preferred not t0 travel had one of the most innovative ideas that is similar i.e. media students making videos about international students’ experience that could then be uploaded to YouTube, but idea was squashed by senior management…..

AIEC QUEST Australian International Education Centre.

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