To understand who a Market Research Analyst is, you need to have a basic knowledge of what a market is. A market is a place where buyers and sellers meet to conduct transactions. This does not necessarily have to be a physical space or meeting point. In fact, many individuals now prefer online and other non-physical market places. They seem to be more convenient and pocket-friendly.
However, in the business world, a market is beyond the points where people meet for transactions. A market can also be a group of users and non-users of a product or service. The many phases and dynamic nature of a market is one of the main reasons for the rise of Market Research Analysts.
A market research analyst is a business expert who consults different sets of individuals or products, collecting, processing and translating business-related information for their employers or clients. An analyst writes reports of their findings in a spreadsheet. Some of these can be business opportunities for business owners, details about the nature of a market or users, the areas where a product or service will thrive, consumers’ actual needs, and some other factors that can influence sales.
What roles will you play as a Market Research Analyst?
Being an expert in Market Research, one of your roles be assisting organizations with information on the kind of products they can sell. You will also be responsible for identifying the type of consumers or end-users that will patronize them, and the best methods to create awareness about products or services.
Similarly, you will be in charge of creating surveys that can help businesses know the things they can do to attract their potential customers. These may be the size of a product, its colour, or even its functions. Since the surveys may be happening at different locations in the same period, you will sometimes have to train those who are face-to-face, or directly implementing the survey plans you must have created.
Your duty as a Market Research Analyst also extends to monitoring trends in your employer’s industry, brainstorming on marketing strategies, and developing your ideas into proposals that will help business owners decide on how to put their products or services in the right places and faces.
Thankfully, you can now engage with your actual audience or market with some IT tools. Some of these tools can even help you know where your customers pay attention to whenever they visit a company’s online store or website. They also help you with statistics. Examples include Google Analytics, GoSpotCheck, QuickTapSurvey, Repsly Mobile CRM, Zonka Feedback, Fulcrum, Dub Interviewer, Forms on Fire, and so on.
Nonetheless, psychology plays a huge role in determining what your end users need, and how to convince them to buy. As a Market Analyst, you must be able to identify with consumers’ emotions, if you truly want to understand their needs.
Other roles of a Market Research Analyst include:
- Examining the outcome of a marketing campaign.
- Reviewing and restructuring data collection styles.
- Creating simple graphs and tables out of pieces of information that seem too complex for business owners.
- Discussing the results of researches with your clients or employers.
What skills and attributes do you need to succeed as a Market Research Analyst?
Good Market Researchers usually have a unique set of personal attributes that boosts their performances. Considering your duties, you need to be a curious individual, willing to dig deep into a situation or environment. Your confidence level has to be high always. Some of your tasks will demand that you meditate, reflect and make a series of inquiries before you make conclusions or draw up your reports. Your analysis of a market will only become acceptable when you present them logically, with a good measure of energy and enthusiasm.
Other soft skills that will quickly attract employers to you are:
Ability to multitask: On many occasions, you may have to handle different tasks at the same time. This is partly because there are different activities involved in carrying out research and sometimes, these activities overlap.
Interpersonal skills: As you discharge your duties, you will constantly have to interact with colleagues, the management team, and total strangers. How you handle your interactions and relationship with these set of people is key to your productivity as an analyst.
Coping with pressure: Multiple tasks or not, you always have to provide the right reports in the end. Being under pressure is not uncommon when carrying out market research and doing just fine in such situations adds to your professionalism.
Ability to use software solutions: Applications such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, SPSS, Market Sight, WinCross will help you get your work done faster. You can only be classified as a professional Market Research Analyst when you can use these tools efficiently.
Flexibility, cooperation, and teamwork: Your duties will usually require that you work with other experts such as marketing managers and brand managers. Being able to cooperate, and collaborate with them will increase your productivity. Learn these skills.
Where can a Market Research Analyst work?
Marketing teams in organizations can only thrive and fulfill their objectives with the assistance of a Market Research Analyst. This implies that as an expert in Market Research Analysis, your workplace can be in any sector.
In an entry-level position, you will work as a member of a marketing team. But as you grow and gain more experience in your career, you can decide to be a consultant, or take up marketing manager roles.
As of 2016, Market Research Analysts held about 600,000 jobs. Some of the industries that have actively sought the services of research analysts are:
- Wholesale traders
- Consulting firms
- Finance and Insurance
How to Become a Market Research Analyst
As expected, getting a proper formal education is the best route towards having a career in Market Research. While most experts in the field are B.Sc holders, a quarter of them has master’s degrees while about 4 percent are either professionally certified or possess a doctoral degree.
In your secondary school classes, pay attention to subjects such as Statistics, Economics, Business Studies, Commerce, Mathematics, and English Language. These subject areas, if taught properly, will help you learn quickly in your years at college or the university. Many tertiary institutions consider them as a prerequisite for studying business-related courses. If you are not convinced about your interests in these subjects, you may want to reconsider your decision to become a Market Research Analyst. Your duties require that you have good knowledge of the subjects.
University education comes next on your career development path. You can apply for either Marketing, Computer science, Statistics, or Business administration. This will give you room to switch into other related specializations if needed. However, you can narrow down your options to study Market Research and Marketing.
If you plan on pursuing a Master’s degree in the field, popular courses at this level include Market Research, Predictive Analytics, Survey Research, Data Analysis, Survey Design, Survey Statistics, Qualitative Methods, and Survey Methodology. The scope of these courses are narrow, however, you will be able to learn in detail. Your preferred postgraduate course will also help you learn how to apply a specific research method when you get to the field.
Furthermore, accredited schools that offer degree programs in Market Research or Marketing usually have fundamental courses in areas such as:
Research Design, Sampling, Research Management, Marketing Basics, Data Analysis, Data Collection processes, Web Survey Research, and Data Presentation Methods. Source – the Marketing Research Association (MRA).
You should note that Institutions may not name these fundamental courses exactly as it is above. Still, your course content will revolve around them.
Certification in Market Research Analysis
Academic qualification is usually good enough to get anyone started as a Market Research Analyst. In your training, you get to practice constantly using case studies. Also, your internship months will involve field works that will help you get familiar with your roles and relevance in the business world. However, just as applicable in many other careers, earning a professional certificate in the field is always a plus. Potential employers believe you are more competent than those with a Bachelor’s degree only.
Marketing Research Organization is one of the recognised bodies in the field. Usually, you need some years of working experience (sometimes up to 3 years). You also need to take lessons and pass professional exams to be a certified Market Research Analyst.
Online Master’s Degree in Market Research Analysis
Online M.A and MBA programs in Market Research Analysis are on the increase. Many of these courses are facilitated by renowned universities under their Education Extension services. And since Data has become the new gold, you should consider taking courses related to Analytics and Data. This will not only broaden your knowledge, but you will also discover new ways to collect complex data, process, analyze and translate them for your employer or client.
Employment Opportunities for Market Research Analysts
Many businesses have begun to understand the importance of having analysts in their marketing unit. Hence, the rate of job growth in the field has been estimated to be up to 20 percent within the next ten years.
Industries now place importance on data and research. It has proven effective in terms of understanding consumers’ needs, market trends, the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, opinion about products, and how high the demand for products is.
As a research expert, organizations will use your analysis to drive up sales, reduce business risks, learn about the behavior of customers and sell directly to a population that wants their products or services.
Your relevance now, as well as in the future also extends to gathering feedback. Sometimes, your activities will be solely to get feedback from customers. Organizations need these to improve whatever they sell, and to stay ahead of competitors.
The increased use of social media in recent times is also a major contributor to the rise in demand for Market Research Analysts. Reviews, comments, and opinions on products can reach a hundred thousand within hours. Organizations now need research analysts to funnel these pieces of information and turn them into useful data.
Careers that are similar to a Market Research Analyst
Cost Estimator: This is a business expert that is trained to gather, then analyse the time, money, resources and quantity of workers that are needed to manufacture a product or provide a service. A cost estimator usually plies their trade within a sector. This helps them become very knowledgeable in that sector. They are usually accurate in their analysis.
Public relations Expert: Individuals responsible for developing and maintaining positive public standing of an organization are known as Public Relations Expert. They are usually good communicators who write to, speak, and relate with consumers as well as the general public on the progress made by organizations they work with. They take care of negative criticisms by publishing media releases and increase awareness of brands.
Marketing and Promotions Manager: This is a growth specialist who organizes programs that help in selling the services and/or products of an organization. He or she is also usually responsible for managing the marketing and promotions team, ensuring that each team member contributes their quota towards the increment in sales and progression towards an organization’s goal.
Top Universities to Study Marketing and Market Research
- Northwood University, Midland, United States of America – Offers multiple undergraduate programs in Marketing.
- University of Minnesota, Duluth Campus, United States – Offers about four different Marketing degree programs. Marketing Analytics is one.
- Aston University, United Kingdom – Offers a Bachelor’s degree program in Marketing. It is considered as the 11th best school for Marketing in the country.
- The University of Wisconsin, Madison – Offers an MBA program with a specialization in Marketing Research. Courses you will study include Branding, Research Methods, Consumer Behaviour, Experimental Design, and so on.
- The University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom – Offers an MSc degree in Marketing Management and holds accreditation from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), London.
- Griffith University, Australia – Offers an MSc degree in Marketing, with specializations in Market Research, Research Design, Measurement, Data Collection, and Data Analysis.
- Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo– Offers a 4-year Marketing degree.
- Covenant University, Canaan Land, Ota – Offers a 4-year Marketing degree.
- Gregory University, Uturu, Abia State – Offers a 4-year Marketing degree.
- Redeemers University, Ogun State – Offers a 4-year Marketing degree.
- Usmanu Danfodiyo University ( Elearning), Sokoto – Offers a self-paced Marketing degree.
Still unclear about how you can become a Market Research? Reach me through an email or the chat box below this page. I will be glad to assist.