Rethinking workplace tech to meet human needs

Demographica’s journey as the most successful B2B marketing agency on the African continent was driven by creating insightful campaigns for leading B2B brands in Africa and by taking a unique anthropological approach to understanding the needs of the target audiences for Demographica’s clients. Anthropology is the study of humanity – concerned with human behaviour, culture, societies as well as linguistics and, when applied in a marketing and business context, considers that decision-makers are humans who are influenced by factors beyond product, price, and purpose.

Due to the massive demand on Demographica’s business anthropology products from both B2B and B2C brands, the decision was made to launch the business anthropology aspect as a separate service for clients wanting anthropological insights into their target audiences, while the theory will continue to inform the rest of the agency’s insights and campaign development. “Effectively, we’ve developed our offering of business anthropology into a standalone division, where clients could previously only purchase anthropological insights along with strategy and creative,” says Claire Denham-Dyson, Demographica’s head of Anthropology, who now heads up Labs. “While business anthropology has historically helped our B2B clients in the marketing space, we already know there is a bigger appetite for the other applications of the discipline, such as UX design, product development, organisational or experience design, and more. Within B2B transactions, there’s a perception that business purchase decisions are entirely rational; that if you’re a CEO, CTO, or CFO buying the products or services of a bank or telco, you make rational purchase decisions based on what your spreadsheets tell you about price and feature comparisons.”

“The belief that people making B2B purchase decisions are robots who are not influenced by emotion, brand association, and sentiment is flawed – the truth is that they’re human beings who are very much influenced by their world as consumers. Understanding their world on a human level, rather than a purely functional level, provides the context within which they make their decisions and allows companies the chance to cater to their human and professional needs,” Denham-Dyson continues.

Labs will provide four business anthropology offerings:

  1. Target audiences ethnography: Offering insights into a specific audiences, e.g. how CEOs understand the purchase journey;
  2. Products ethnography: Insights into how people use a specific product or service and how that influences their choices;
  3. Employee ethnography: Understanding how a company’s employees function within their employment context; and
  4. Customer journey ethnography: Understanding the journey a customer goes on pre-, during, and post-purchase.

“From a company perspective, giving business anthropology its own brand is a major play because it gives business anthropology its own identity and adds significantly to our value proposition,” says Demographica founder and CEO, Warren Moss. “We receive a lot of enquiries from customers wanting our anthropological insights into the B2C space, and Labs gives us the room and independence to offer that service to both B2B and B2C markets, while keeping business anthropology at the heart of our full-service offering within the parent agency.”

For more about Labs, visit