The Field Behind the Screen: Using Netnography For Marketing Research in Online Communities

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This 2002 article is a foundational piece in the field of netnography and is written by the founder of the discipline. While the article precedes the emergence of social media, it nevertheless provides some critical foundation to the emergence and original context of netnographic research. In this article, the author develops the concept of netnography as an online marketing research technique for providing consumer insight. As an illustrative example, the author provides a netnography of an online coffee newsgroup and discusses the marketing implications.

This article will be of use to researchers and practitioners interested in building a foundation and a starting point to conduct netnographic research. The author adapts ethnography to the study of online communities and argues the benefits of this type of research, including information on the symbolism, meanings, and consumption patterns of online community groups, amongst others.

Robert V. Kozinets