Kozinets, Robert 2002
The Field Behind the Screen: Using Netnography for Marketing Research in Online Communities
The author develops “netnography” as an online marketing research technique for providing consumer insight. Netnography is ethnography adapted to the study of online communities. As a method, netnography is faster, simpler, and less expensive than traditional ethnography and more naturalistic and unobtrusive than focus groups or interviews. It provides information on the symbolism, meanings, and consumption patterns of online consumer groups. The author provides guidelines that acknowl- edge the online environment, respect the inherent flexibility and open- ness of ethnography, and provide rigor and ethics in the conduct of mar- keting research. As an illustrative example, the author provides a netnography of an online coffee newsgroup and discusses its marketing implications.