Ethnographers often seek to study a certain group in order to determine what makes them different and how they can make products or advertisements more appealing to the audience. They are often seeking target groups for very specific products or activities in order to capitalize on markets that may not already be saturated. One area that ethnographers frequently focus on is a religious group which may not be seen as mainstream by the general public; often these religious groups are quite disciplined and specific on their behaviors, values and morals. Many ethnographers will totally immerse themselves in the group they are studying in order to have firsthand knowledge of the cultural implications and difficulties faced by that group, such as single parenthood.
The benefits of this are numerous, a relationship is developed with similar individuals and a rapport is gained which allows the ethnographers to obtain data which isn’t coerced and occurs naturally. Benefits of observation versus interviewing include allowing the observer to compile a true and accurate picture, unbiased by opinion, which most individuals that interviewed are likely to have. This opinion can also shape and guide their interview responses in a way that they feel shows their particular group in the way in which they prefer to be viewed. Actual observation allows the ethnographer to obtain true and unbiased information which leads to more accurate and realistic reporting.
Participants who are primarily observing will usually keep very detailed field notes and these notes are usually used later on in order to analyze all the data they are able to collect during their observation and to arrange and make sense of the data. Often the notes may seem a confusing set of quick thoughts or observations but when written well will later be able to provide a complete picture of what the ethnographic observer