Market research is a process of scientifically accumulating data or information about customer and market conditions in order to devise strategies to market a product or service in an appropriate and profitable manner.
A career in market research is a highly sought after one and people from Math or statistics background usually score well in this field. As per US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the profession of Market Research Analyst or Operation Research Analyst falls under the pool of fastest growing occupation and it is forecasted to rise from 2014 to 2024 by 30.2%.
Career Prospect of a Market Research Analyst
- Competition in this field is low, because mostly students from science background do not chose this field compared to Engineering or other technical fields. And people from arts or commerce background have less understanding about the vibe in this field. This makes it a virgin area yet to be explored much as a career goal, but the stakes are high compared to other jobs.
- The job stress for a market research analyst is much less compared to his peers in other fields because the job is project oriented and that’s why very methodical. It is a highly respectable job and the career opportunities are very high, because one can work as a consultant also. It is not a stereotyped job but a creative one and it gives you job satisfaction. Another positive aspect is that it is still a burgeoning field.
In order to become a professional Market research analyst, you must have a bachelor’s degree in the same field or an MBA from a reputed institute . The course you have undergone or studied must have Mathematics or Statistics, Marketing, Business studies and Market Survey.
A market research analyst must possess some personal skills which are usually groomed or sharpened during MBA. A market research analyst should be an avid listener, and must possess excellent written and verbal communication skills. Analytical thinking, problem solving acumen and report reading are also mandatory prerequisite skills for a Market Research Analyst.
- Basically, as a fresh professional market research analyst you can join either a Market Research Firm or a Manufacturing / Service Provider industry. In a Market Research firm, you can have diversified experience on different types of markets, products and customer category. Here the job pressure will be more but the experience will be manifold and it will make you a seasoned as well as an experienced market researcher. A Market Research firm will work for Brand-owning clients and provide them with market survey report for a specific market segment and specific set of customers. The survey report will be based on various tools, like door-to-door survey, existing market reports, socio-economic base & socio-geographic base of customer and market etc. Based on survey reports, strategies will be formed to penetrate the market. This will be done using other tools like product promotions, advertisements etc. The only disadvantage in this job is that you shall not get the feedback of the success story of the product.
- In case you decide to join a Manufacturing firm or a brand owner, your job will be much less compared to the above. Since, you shall work for a particular brand. But you shall receive the market feedback and know the scale of your performance.
- Another lucrative job type will be to work for an advertisement house or Ad-agency. Here your career exposure will be much more than the former two types. Because, here you shall come across the media and shall be constantly in touch with them. This will enhance your career growth manifold.
- A market research analyst can also have a scope to join as marketing personnel in any brand management organization, where the knowledge of market research will come into play and have an opportunity to work with the market research team. Here you can have scope to view the tangible effect of market research on sales and marketing of a product or brand or service.
Profile of Work
The activity of a market researcher is based on two types of market research tools, namely Primary Market Research Tool and Secondary Market Research Tool.
- The Primary Market Research Tool is based on Surveys, interviews with customers, observations and discussion with Focus Groups. Here the work is quite laborious, time consuming and expensive. Surveys include preparing a questionnaire for the prospective customers and then going Door-to-Door and getting answers from them. Interviews with customers include in-depth discussion. Observations are based on comparing the brand preferences by customers or a group of customers for the same type of product. Focus group is formed by gathering a specific set of customers depending on their age, socio-economic background, gender based, and so on. The market research team discusses with them at length to identify their preferences and choice.
- The Secondary Market Research Tool is based on previous survey reports, information from internet, Government census, journals, magazines, research papers, competitor’s annual report etc. Here, the job load is much less, less expensive and less time consuming. Job responsibility also includes interactions with other departments and cross-functional teams of the client. To interact with the production and marketing team for evaluating product cost and marketing cost and then arrive at the product launching strategies. One most important job traits of a market research analyst is to present report to the client in a summarized, quantitative, comprehensible, and easy to reckon manner. Understanding human emotions, behavior of target audience, understanding of market culture in socio-economic angle, demographic data, object defined analysis, ability to work in a team, data interpretation, keen understanding of customer preference is a precondition for a market research job.
The employment opportunities for a Market Research analyst is quite large and the benefits too. As a market research analyst you can find job opportunities in a Market research firm, Advertising agencies, manufacturing industries, consultancy firms, Government organizations, NGO, etc.