Market Research Analyst Career

Market research analysts play a crucial role in the marketplace – they help companies/clients figure out who their consumers are, what new products are needed by them and also the price they are willing to pay. Analysts use traditional and new tools and technologies to reach conclusions so that companies can develop new products.

How to become a Market Research Analyst

The Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles information on a variety of jobs – according to the BLS, a bachelor’s degree is required to start working as an analyst. This degree could be in the field of business, social science, mathematics, computer science, statistics, economics or marketing. For some jobs, a Master’s level degree may be required.

Aspiring analysts with a degree from any of the above fields can work as interns to get experience in the field. Doing surveys is another way to get experience. Certifications are voluntary but these help in boosting am Analyst career. Essential skills required for the job are:

  • Analytical skills are essential as one has to go through huge amounts of information and data
  • Good communication skills are also essential as an analyst has to understand what a client needs and get that from consumers. They have to be able to design questionnaires and surveys get the information from the public, interpret the information and present it in a report form to the client.
  • Critical thinking is very essential as they have to use available information to pick an effective marketing strategy for their company or client.
  • Market research analysts have to also be very detail oriented as they deal with a large amount of data.

Available Certification for Market Research Analysts

Getting certified is very essential for getting a job these days. Organizations like the Marketing Research Association and International Institute of Market Research and Analytics offer certifications like

  • Certified Market Research Analyst
  • Business Analysis Certification
  • Certified Market Research Professional
  • Certified Data Analyst
  • Financial and Banking Analysis Certification
  • Professional Researcher

Programs are also available at different levels which help professionals get a good understanding of the market, consumer behavior and also how they all relate to each other. Check out professional institutes and get certified in your area of interest and expertise so that you can advance your career.

Role and Responsibilities of a Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts have a wide range of duties in an organization. They have to study market conditions closely and figure out if there is a need for new products and services. Their role is to help the company they work for what consumers are looking for, who will buy what and the price point for a product or service.

The role of an analyst includes the following:

  • Monitoring and forecasting trends in marketing and sales
  • Measuring how effective a marketing program/strategy is or has been
  • Devise new methods for data collection like questionnaires, surveys and opinion polls and evaluate them
  • Data gathering on the competition, consumers and market conditions
  • Analyzing data with the help of statistical software
  • The ability to present complex data in an understandable manner using tables, reports and graphs
  • Developing and presenting results of surveys etc. to company management and clients

Analysts have to also do research and collect data to help their organizations to market products and services effectively. Information on consumer demographics, buying patterns, preferences and needs are part of the data collected. Data is gathered using methods like focus groups, questionnaires, market surveys, interviews, opinion polls etc. Statistical software provides different techniques which are used to evaluate data. Data is used to interpret trends and also to do forecasts.

Research is also done on competitors and their products, prices, marketing methods and sales numbers. This information is used to scout out new markets, what products may be needed and the price point. In depth knowledge of customer bases helps them to develop marketing materials like flyers, brochures, advertisements and product promotions.

Why market research is necessary

Market research is essential for a company in many ways. It is a process of collecting data and figuring out what products and services are needed by consumers. Effective market research helps companies also gain insights into competitor practices, current economic trends, demographics and consumer spending patterns. With competitiveness on the rise, having in-depth knowledge of customer needs and their satisfaction is essential. Good research helps marketing campaigns succeed and drive up sales. Good research is essential to keep businesses profitable.

Work Environment and Career Opportunities

Market research analysts can start careers in a variety of industries like finance, insurance, pharmaceutical and retail companies, wholesale trades, technical and scientific consulting companies to name a few. Depending on their area of expertise, analysts can choose to work full or part time. They can also choose to teach or work as consultants. Since the job requires a lot of concentration, market research analysts usually work alone. Computer skills and knowledge of tools are important as they are used a lot to collect and analyze data, do forecasts and prepare reports.

An analyst can choose to reach out to customers to collect data and other pertinent information. Full time analysts have to deal with deadlines and tight schedules as the information presented by them is required to make important decisions.

General Job Outlook for Market Research Analysts

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will be 32% growth for analyst jobs for the decade 2012-2022. The reason for such high demand is that more organizations will need data to evaluate not only the effectiveness of the marketing plans of a business but also to evaluate the need for different products. Analysts earn an average income of $68,000 a year and the top 10% earn close to $115,000.

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