You just finished making an online purchase. Suddenly, a window appears inviting you to complete a brief survey to review your overall experience. You quickly answer the short questions and carry on with your day because completing the survey will give you a coupon for 10% off your subsequent purchase.
Market research analysts collect and examine consumer and competitor data. They employ their expertise to analyze and understand data to generate suggestions and solutions based on the research findings. To determine if a product or service will be sold, market research experts look at current market conditions.
By discovering and presenting data-backed insights on future markets, competitors, and even customer behaviour, market research analysts—also known as market researchers—assist companies in gaining or maintaining a competitive edge.
In this post, we go over various details regarding careers as market research analysts, as well as the roles and responsibilities.
What does a Market research analyst do?
A Market Researcher studies consumer preferences and then consults an organisation on various aspects of the business – like how they should advertise, market, launch or withdraw. However, let’s understand what market research does by helping out a friend Willy understand whether he should introduce new flavours of chocolate or not.
Step 1: Define the problem with a Kick-off Meeting
The first step of Market Research is to know “What exactly is the problem?”. This problem statement is the reason why the research is being conducted in the first place. Therefore it needs to be clear and crisp such that everyone on the team as well as other members of the organisation define it in the same way.
In our case, we want to check whether Willy should introduce a new flavour of chocolate in the area he is selling. Some of the additional information that he should look out for include:
- Who are his major customers?
- Where is he planning to sell? Does he want to open his shop or does he want to sell it to other supermarket stores?
- How are the consumers perceiving his existing flavours?
- What made the consumers buy the chocolates?
- Is the packaging attracting them?
- Are they satisfied with the price they are getting these chocolates for?
Step 2: Develop the Research Plan
This is the stage where all the details regarding data collection are decided. This includes but is not limited to the following:
The Market Researcher has anticipated that the Data collection procedure will take about 3-4 months, followed by a month to analyse the data. The client will be promised the results in 6 months with a buffer period of a month kept for dealing with some unanticipated challenges. For Willy, it should take around 10-15 days to decide since he is doing a mini-research.
- Sample Characteristics:
A sample is nothing but the people you will be contacting to collect the data who are a part of a larger population. These people need to be of a very specific demographic depending on the potential consumers of your product.
For our friend Willy, imagine that you collect information from people between the ages of 65-70 years who don’t really like chocolates. This information will be of no use to you since they are not consuming your product. Therefore you as a market researcher will have to determine the characteristics of the sample for Willy. It will most likely be children and young adults i.e. from 10-40 years of age.
- Method for Data Collection:
Here, you determine “How you are going to collect the data”. There are various ways you can decide, based on the amount of time and money you have. One can also collect a group of consumers who diligently buy your product and ask them open-ended questions as to why they choose your product (Focus Group Discussions). Interviewing your consumers is also one way to go about it. And the most common one is surveys – online (the one you find in your inbox) or could be offline (feedback forms asked at the end of your purchase experience).
For Willy, surveys and interviews are the best methods since he does not have an adequate customer base yet. He is popular only among his peers and relatives. These are the people who will always motivate him and should therefore not interview them. He needs brutal honesty from someone who really understands the market and can offer him objective advice. Where will he find them? Let’s find out in the next step.
- Contact Method:
Where will you meet these consumers? The Contact method as the name suggests is the method by which one can get in touch with their consumers. This could happen via mail, telephone, in-person or even by online websites. For Willy, do you think these methods would be possible? Nope. How will he get these contact details since he is selling only to his family and friends? For him, the best place is in-person conversations. To have access to such conversations, he can set up a stall at a local exhibition with the new flavour and have a chance to observe his customer’s responses to it.
- A list of Questions to be chosen:
A question list or technically called a Questionnaire is the most significant aspect of a Research plan. Depending on the purpose of the research new questions are developed such that they are easy to understand and at the same time provide honest answers.
Step 3: Data Collection
Data Collection is the most tedious, expensive and time-consuming part of the entire market research process.
Consumers who are always short on time, need to be convinced to give bias-free answers. Here is where skilled Market researcher will apply their magic to get honest and detailed answers from their consumers. This is called Primary Research which is defined as the data that is collected by you/company for the first time. When Willy is talking to his consumers during the exhibition he is conducting primary research.
Willy also has the option to conduct Secondary Research i.e he can use the data that already exists. These are the resources that are usually available freely. Internet articles, research reports by big consulting firms, E-books, newspapers etc. are some of the sources that Willy can use. These resources will provide him with information about the Chocolate industry in general, his competitors, prices of similar products around the world, what kind of growth he can expect if he decides to go all in, etc.
Step 4: Analyse
Once the data is collected, it needs to be studied and analysed so as to know the meaning of the data. What does the number 57% of consumers mean? This data analysis could be of two types: Quantitative and Qualitative. For analysing quantitative data (i.e the one with numerical figures), a lot of statistical tests are used while analysing Qualitative data (i.e the one with words) requires objective identification of the themes in the conversation with the consumers.
Since Willy talked with the consumers he would have to analyse this data qualitatively. He picks up on two trends which were repeatedly said by his consumers. One was that Willy’s consumers really liked his proportion of mint and chocolate. Other chocolates which already existed in the market really messed up this combination, approving his recipe.
Step 5: Present the findings
Normally, a Market Researcher won’t be conducting market research for himself like Willy is doing (unless he is working on a real idea for a start-up). A Market Researcher is usually hired by either internal or external clients and therefore is required to present the findings of the research to them. This step involves a lot of data interpretation and communication with the client. PowerPoint presentations and visualisation tools are the best friends of the Market Researcher.
As a market researcher, your job here will be to simplify your findings and convey them in the most non-technical way possible. This is because the client is only concerned with whether they should do what they were planning to do or work on something new.
Step 6: Make the decision
The last stage will be where the final verdict of this entire procedure will be announced. Business owners want to save their time, money and efforts in any way possible in order to maximise their profits. Therefore as a Market Researcher, your job is to advise them to achieve the same.
Being honest here is a difficult task as you would sometimes have to tell your client the results that were contradictory to their expectations. But this will help them save billions later on. But if the results are promising then it is the time to close the deal and celebrate.
Coming back to our friend Willy, he should definitely decide to introduce his flavour but at the same time work on packaging. 10 years have passed since Willy decided to expand his business and is now the owner of a chocolate factory. He is none other than “the Willy Wonka”.
Career Roles for a Market Research Analyst
- Research Director
A company’s market research initiatives are managed and directed by the director of market research. In accordance with the aims and standards of the organization, they create market research programs.
- Market Research Manager
The task of supervising the production of market research reports falls to market research managers. They collaborate with teams of statisticians, researchers, and other experts to compile data.
- Business Analyst
Working collaboratively with the financial reporting and IT departments to design projects and plans to enhance import and optimize costs, Business Analysts are in charge of developing new models that support business decisions.
- Research Executive
Finding out customer needs is a market research executive’s primary objective, after which marketing campaigns are created based on the research’s findings. Middle management frequently refers to the market research executive.
- Research Analyst
A research analyst is a person with the expertise and abilities to transform raw data into information and insight that can be used for business choices.
- Marketing Consultant
A consultant aids in the development of a thorough marketing strategy, selection of the right marketing mix, and choice of the company’s marketing message. The majority of consultants take part in the marketing strategy’s implementation as well.
- Marketing Forecasters
Getting a marketing forecast is one approach if you need to predict how much money your business will make in the future. An analysis that predicts future trends, traits and data for your target market is known as a marketing forecast.
- Financial Analyst
A financial analyst is in charge of a company’s financial planning and analysis. They are expected to use financial data to create regular reports and collaborate with the rest of the finance team to analyze business performance and strategy.
- Research Coordinator
Under the direction of a lead researcher or a research supervisor, a research coordinator is in charge of assisting in the development of research data from clinical trials and laboratory experiments.
Salaries of Market Research Analysts as per experience
The average market research analyst salary in India is 3.5 lakhs per year, with average salaries ranging from 1.8 lakhs to 8.0 lakhs annually.
The location of the employment and the total amount of professional experience are two factors that affect exact wage ranges. Moreover, between 2019 and 2029, the BLS predicts that jobs will rise by 18%. During the same 10-year period, this pace is much higher than the 4 per cent average job increase for all other occupations.
This substantial increase in the number of market research analysts is the result of various reasons. Businesses are increasingly relying on data and research to successfully target consumers. Profits for businesses rise as a result of being able to contact the correct customers through more successful marketing and advertising methods.
Skills required to become a Market Research Analyst
- Project Management:
One of the top required skills to become a Market Researcher is to be able to manage various projects at the same time. Unlike Willy, you will be working on multiple client projects at different stages. Therefore an ability to manage, organise and be attentive to details of every project will take about 60% of your time, requiring a superior cognitive effort as well.
- Presentations Skills:
Being able to convey your findings in a simple and effective manner is what makes or breaks the market researcher. Providing engaging and meaningful presentations in less time possible is the game changer for a Market Researcher. Often, your clients would be running short of time and would want to participate in a very worthwhile meeting. Thus the way you present your data is of utmost importance. Various data Visualisation tools help in achieving this.
- Interpersonal Skills :
The job profile of a Market Researcher involves meeting people for the most part of the day. The people could be team members, clients, superiors and even total strangers (as in your consumers). To be able to effectively interact with them, the way you talk is of significant importance. Being able to show empathy while talking to consumers about how a product was their father’s favourite during an interview to dealing with a client complaining about the findings of the study, the job requires a lot of interpersonal skills.
- Analytical Skills:
At its core, market research is gathering a lot of data, which you can then mine for insightful information about a certain product or industry. Thus, the most crucial component of a market research analyst’s work is data analysis. Additionally, being able to detect patterns among the scores is also required. No doubt, statistics and Mathematics have to make the top 5 of your favourite subject lists.
- Interest in Marketing and Human Psychology:
At the end of the day, Market Research is about consumers who are humans. Therefore an interest in how humans think, act and feel is super important. Various psychological theories overlap with that of Marketing. This is because the knowledge of how consumers make purchase decisions can be leveraged via Marketing the product in the same way.
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Is market research analysis a good career option?
Indeed, being a market research analyst is a rewarding career.
Market research analysts can determine the most effective strategy to optimize output given the number of inputs. A company’s operations, finances, or marketing can then be improved by research analysts using sophisticated mathematical and analytical techniques.
They are in high demand across numerous industries and are an essential component of a business’s entire marketing plan. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that over the next ten years, job growth for market research analysts would increase by 22%.
Type of industries market research analyst can work
The majority of market research analysts work for marketing firms, which handle several projects for various businesses and sectors. Market researchers may occasionally work for a firm directly, where they gather data about consumer preferences, financial trends, and marketing fads.
Some of the industries that hire market research analysts are –
- Finance industry
- Investment firms
- Data Management firms
- IT industry
- Education industry
Top recruiters for market research analysts in India
- Majestic MRSS
The largest independent market research company in India, MRSS INDIA, heavily relies on technology to acquire data, ensuring reliability, validity checks, and a quicker return time. Both domestically and abroad, it provides a broad range of qualitative and quantitative research services.
- Nielson India
Global measurement and data analytics services are provided by Nielsen, an S&P 500 firm. The most comprehensive understanding of what customers watch and buy is what Nielsen offers clients. More than 90% of the global GDP and population are covered.
A WPP subsidiary, Kantar is a provider of data, analytics, and consulting services. Some of the core services that are offered by Kantar include consumer panels, data solutions, managed services including survey design and fielding, audiences and panels, DIY solutions, and virtual reality.
IPSOS is a market research firm that provides services in social, media, public opinion, marketing, and advertising. Some of the core services offered by IPSOS include Creative excellence, brand health, Innovation, Clinics, and Mobility Labs, Social Intelligence Analytics.
MarketXcel excels at providing specialized solutions in the area of customized research because of its strong leadership team and workforce. The business provides clients with a range of market study techniques, listens to their needs, and produces results that live up to their expectations.
Some of the other recruiters include:
- Cognizant Technology Solutions
Certificate Courses to Up-skill yourself
You may try out a variety of online courses to learn more about the field of work. You can use these credentials to assess your interest in the field or as a way to upskill yourself. Some of the certificate programs that will make you stand out and advance your knowledge in the industry are:
|Market Research and Consumer Behavior||1-4 Weeks|
|Market Research||3-6 months|
|An introduction to Consumer Neuroscience and Neuromarketing||1-3 Weeks|
|Market Research: Qualitative||1 Hour 29 mins|
|ExceL: Market Research Strategies||2 hours 10 mins|
|Market Research Foundations||52 mins|
Qualifications to become a Market Research Analyst
Degrees in India
A bachelor’s degree in market research or a closely related business, communications, or social science subject is often required for market research analysts. Most hold degrees in business management or business administration. These professionals must take statistics, research methodology, and marketing courses.
A) UG Courses
|Bachelor in Business Management, Marketing||3 years|
|Bachelor in Business Administration, Marketing||3 years|
|BBA, Digital Marketing||3 years|
|Bachelor in Commerce||3 years|
|BA Economics||3 years|
|BBA Human Resource||3 years|
B) Master/PG courses
|MS Advertising & Marketing||2 years|
|MA Economics||2 years|
|MBA Capital Markets||2 years|
|MA Development & Communication||2 years|
|MBA Marketing||2 years|
|Master in Management Studies||2 years|
|PGD Marketing Management||1 year|
|MBA in Digital Marketing & E-Commerce||2 years|
Some of the degrees abroad to become a market research analyst include BBA, Marketing, Bachelor in Data Science, Bachelor in Digital Marketing, BA Hons Business Marketing, BSc Marketing, and Degree in Marketing & Market Research. These degrees usually take 2-4 years to complete depending on the country you apply to.
Post your undergraduate degree, you can either choose to work or pursue higher education. Some of the higher education options include MBA Marketing, MSc Marketing, M.S in Marketing, Analytics, Master of Business Major, and Advertising. These courses are 1-2 years long and differ depending on the country you apply to.
Entry into these courses will require you to give language proficiency test scores of IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, SATs, etc along with an SOP (Statement of Purpose) and LORs (Letter of Recommendation). Want some help with SATs? We have got you covered. Read this blog to know more!
Want to know more? Check these out
Some of the books that you can read to gain more knowledge about market research include:
- The Disruption Mindset
- Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior
- The Power of Moments
- Marketing to Mindstates: The Practical Guide to Applying Behavior Design to Research and Marketing
- Storytelling with data
Consider a career as a market research analyst if you have an interest in consumer behaviour, data analysis, or marketing methods. They assist businesses in determining who will buy certain things and at what price. The creation of a design, its delivery, and its promotion is significantly influenced by the suggestions offered to businesses by market research experts.
FAQs- Frequently Asked Questions about the Career as a Market Research Analyst
Is business analyst and market research analyst same?
The market analyst sometimes referred to as the business analyst, provides operational information for the creation of corporate strategy.
What do market research analyst do?
To forecast a product’s or service’s success, track sales patterns, and evaluate the efficacy of marketing efforts, market research analysts employ a variety of tests, analytics, data collection, and statistical tools.
Are market research analyst in demand?
Market research analyst employment is expected to increase by 22% between 2020 and 2030, which is substantially faster than the average for all occupations. Over the next ten years, there are expected to be, on average, 96,000 new jobs for market research analysts.
What is the future of marketing analytics?
The best marketing analytics solutions are delivered by prescriptive analytics tools, which combine automation and AI. They can help you make the best decisions and accelerate time to market. The future of marketing analytics appears to lie with AI-powered prescriptive analytics tools.
How much does a market research analyst make in India?
The average market research analyst pay in India is 3.5 lakhs per year, with salaries ranging from 1.7 lakhs to 8.0 lakhs. Salary projections are based on the 1.7k salaries Market Research Analysts have provided.