Skip navigation
How to Use Ethnographic Studies to Discover Unmet Customer Needs

Online Training: People Watching: How to Use Ethnographic Studies to Discover Unmet Customer Needs

Purchase this online training


Steve Jobs said, “You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new.” Or maybe you’ve heard this quote, attributed to Henry Ford: "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” These famous words explain the dilemma companies face when identifying what the customer may really want. If companies had gone by what people said they wanted, we wouldn’t have products or services like the iPod, Amazon or even mobile phones.

We are told we have to “know our customers’” needs to an extent that even they are not aware of. The world is not short on books, trainings and consulting on the topic. Yet even companies that are convinced they have a good understanding of their customers’ needs can be deeply surprised by the impact of novel offerings.

In this two-hour online training session, we will explore the practical use of ethnography as a complementary approach to traditional voice-of-the-customer methods used to discover unmet customer needs.

Ethnography is an approach to describing human social behavior based on fieldwork and observation. It helps companies develop the deep empathy that is needed for a full understanding of existing and emerging customer needs. Traditionally, ethnography has been used more for the analysis of cultures and society. Yet you don’t need to be an anthropologist to employ the approach to help delight your customers. You can apply ethnographic approaches within your existing practices for understanding markets and customers in order to gain an even deeper understanding of your customer. The results of such research and experience can then be used in both launching the right products at the right time and in continuously fine-tuning your existing portfolio.

Attendees of this two-hour session will:

  • Understand what is meant by ethnography and when to use it
  • Learn a consistent method by which to apply ethnography
  • Using case studies as a guide, gain an understanding of how ethnography has helped companies deliver breakthrough solutions

Who should attend

  • Innovation leaders
  • Process improvement team leaders
  • Quality professionals
  • Product, process and business model designers
  • Marketing managers

Included with all registrations

• A login for the live training course

• Downloadable slides for note-taking

• 1 year access to an on-demand version of the course

BONUS: Each individual and group registration includes ethnography templates and documents (a $49 value).

Continuing education credits

Each registration entitles you to receive continuing education credits through our partnership with the International Association for Continuing Education & Training (IACET).  During the training session, you'll receive instructions on how to claim your credits.

IACET continuing education credits are accepted by the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and hundreds of other organizations and companies.


Choose your registration type:

Individual -- for those who want to attend the training alone. $199.

Group* -- if you want to train multiple people at your location. $399.

* Rules for groups:
A "group" consists of multiple people within a single room at a single location, viewing the training session on a single screen.  If you want to train people in multiple locations, or if each person requires their own screen to view, they must register separately.


• A CD-ROM of the training course can be added to any registration for an additional $199.


David Silverstein
Founder and CEO

David Silverstein is the founder and CEO of BMGI. A frequent public speaker and author, David's most recent works include the management book One Dot, Two Dots, Get Some New Dots (BMGI, 2013) and the new edition of The Innovator's Toolkit: 50+ Techniques for Predictable and Sustainable Organic Growth (John Wiley & Sons, 2012). David is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, beginning his practice at Seagate Technology, where he implemented operational improvements across the company’s 66,000-person Asia Pacific operations. Prior to this he was operations manager for Bayside Controls, and he spent seven years as an officer in the U.S. Navy’s elite nuclear submarine force. David holds an MBA from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a dual B.S. in Mathematics and Physics from Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y.

Technical Details

This training session, presented in partnership with IndustryWeek, will be conducted using a slides-and-audio format. You will also have the ability to ask the instructor questions, and you can participate in polls the instructor pushes to the audience during the session.

After you complete your registration, you will receive a confirmation email with details for joining the training course, as well as your unique password. On the day of the training, use the instructions in this email to log in.

A few days after the live training session is over, you'll receive an email informing you that the on-demand version is available.

System test (pops up in new window)
• Contact us: [email protected]

Purchase this online training


TAGS: Webinars