Market research analysts typically do the following:
Market research analysts research and gather data to help a company market its products or services. They gather data on consumer demographics, preferences, needs, and buying habits. They collect data and information using a variety of methods, such as interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, market analysis surveys, public opinion polls, and literature reviews.
Analysts help determine a company’s position in the marketplace by researching their competitors and analyzing their prices, sales, and marketing methods. Using this information, they may determine potential markets, product demand, and pricing. Their knowledge of the targeted consumer enables them to develop advertising brochures and commercials, sales plans, and product promotions.
Market research analysts evaluate data using statistical techniques and software. They must interpret what the data mean for their client, and they may forecast future trends. They often make charts, graphs, infographics, and other visual aids to present the results of their research.
Workers who design and conduct surveys are known as survey researchers.
Market research analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree in market research or a related field. Many have degrees in fields such as statistics, math, or computer science. Others have backgrounds in business administration, the social sciences, or communications.
Courses in statistics, research methods, and marketing are essential for these workers. Courses in communications and social sciences, such as economics or consumer behavior, are also important.
Some market research analyst jobs require a master’s degree. Several schools offer graduate programs in marketing research, but many analysts complete degrees in other fields, such as statistics and marketing, and/or earn a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). A master’s degree is often required for leadership positions or positions that perform more technical research.
Certification is voluntary, but analysts may pursue certification to demonstrate a level of professional competency. The Marketing Research Association offers the Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) for market research analysts. Candidates qualify on the basis of experience and knowledge; they must pass an exam, have at least 3 years working in opinion and marketing research, and complete 12 hours of industry-related education courses. Individuals must complete 20 hours of industry-related continuing education courses every 2 years to renew their certification.