A fertile relationship is growing between anthropology and business. Marketers are finding that anthropologists gather very useful knowledge by studying consumers in their natural habitat using the ethnographic techniques of observation and interviewing.
A leader in this field is Bill Beeman, PhD, a professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota. He organized the Epic 2016 Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference held at the university last summer. Epic is a global organization for the use of ethnography in industry, business and design.
Minnesota Business talked with Beeman about the five areas where anthropological techniques are useful in business: design, marketing and advertising, international business, internal corporate culture and user experience.