Magazine article Marketing

Technology Research Detects a Gap between Leisure and Work. (Opinion)

Magazine article Marketing

Technology Research Detects a Gap between Leisure and Work. (Opinion)

Article excerpt

The heart sinks at the thought of new research from an outfit called the Happy Dog Group. The silly name surely indicates a dotcom company that has managed to survive against the odds in the current hostile environment. Since what it does is send ethnographers to homes to live virtually full-time with families to see what use they make of technology, and Completely Barking Dog Group might be amore appropriate name.

Except that the ears of senior marketers invited to a presentation of its Octagon study last week soon started to prick up. Many of the findings of the commercial ethnographers who lived with their subjects from 7am until 11pm each day could have been guessed at, but here was evidence of what people actually do rather than what they tell market researchers.

Some of it was agreeably dotty. People do actually use mobile phones in the toilet. There was the couple who had bought and set up a TiVo hard disc recorder but hadn't actually got round to using it .There was also much evidence of people's reluctance to throw out old electrical equipment such as TVs and computers. Instead they are passed on to others in the household or stored in case they come in useful some day.

But among the oddities some important themes emerged from the research, which have considerable significance for investment decisions in the sector. Wisely, Happy Dog does not make predictions but creates scenarios of how we behave now in the hope of getting close to how we might do so in future. …

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