Anthropology has become a way marketers can add another layer to big data in their understanding of consumers, a means to seek out the narrative behind their behaviour – the “thick” data, as opposed to big data. Demographica’s Claire Denham-Dyson, speaking at an insight session held recently in Johannesburg, explained that while consumers may not always know why they behave the way they do, anthropology seeks to makes sense of the reasons. Anthropology has long been a crucial part of the way Demographica approaches clients and briefs. Market research, says Denham-Dyson, is a vast field and one that is highly quantitative. Anthropology produces knowledge about people, providing a deeper understanding of human behaviour that yields invaluable insights. Anthropology is about emotional connections; a science that has more value in terms of getting to grips with customers and their behaviours than brand awareness and customer satisfaction put together. “Emotional connections have proved ...

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