Interpretive marketing research: Using ethnography in strategic market development

Johanna Moisander, Elina Närvänen, Anu Valtonen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


This chapter focuses on interpretive research in marketing. As a methodological approach, interpretivism is argued to be particularly well suited for gaining Thick Data—data that is rich in context, authentic details, and narrative quality—and for developing customer-oriented strategies. It provides scholars and marketers alike with in-depth qualitative insight into markets and customers’ everyday lives, thus enabling them to keep up with and anticipate the continuous changes that are taking place in the marketplace. The chapter starts by discussing the general goals, principles, and practices of interpretive research, comparing it to the more traditional approaches of marketing research. Then, the chapter turns to exemplify the interpretive perspective by discussing how ethnography—a key methodology in the interpretive research paradigm—might be fruitfully employed in the context of strategic market development and branding. To conclude, the chapter outlines some challenges that marketing managers face when buying and evaluating interpretive research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Marketing Management: A Cultural Perspective
EditorsNil Ozcaglar–Toulouse , Luca Visconti Visconti , Lisa Peñaloza
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780203710807
ISBN (Print)9780203710807, 9781138561410, 9781138561403
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2020
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


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