Job description: What does a market research analyst do?
Will the new car model be popular with the target group? How does the new fruit yogurt taste? Will the new energy drink find buyers? Market researchers are trying to find answers to this.
In more general terms, it is primarily about clarifying questions such as these for the employer or client:
- What is the opinion of a product?
- In which areas is there a need for new products?
- Or: how well is a product being received by consumers?
- Does it have the potential to be a box office hit or will it be like lead on the shelves?
The collected findings flow into statistics, diagrams, analyzes, and forecasts, based on which the market researcher makes a recommendation regarding the development or improvement of a product.
That doesn’t just sound like a plentiful mathematical undertaking – it is also one thing: Budding market researchers cannot ignore mathematics. But that doesn’t mean that you have to be a mathematician to work in market research. Although these have good chances, psychologists, sociologists, or educators are just as often found in market research.
But not all surveys deal with numbers and data. In qualitative opinion research, for example, market researchers question the background of a certain opinion – for example on political developments, elections, or social events.
The prospects in the labor market are consistently positive. Graduates are often poached directly from the classroom. As far as the organization of working hours and work-life balance is concerned, this varies depending on the employer and area of work. Anyone who hires at an opinion research institute with a political background can count on an hour or two more, especially during times of political turbulence or during election periods.
Education: How do you become a market researcher analyst?
There is no fixed training for the job profile of the market researcher, with the University offering a first relevant master’s or bachelor’s degree.
Here prospective market researchers get to know the essential basics of marketing and consumer psychology. You will learn how to carry out and evaluate online surveys and market media studies and get to know the essential methods of psychological, qualitative, and quantitative market research.
Practical experience is particularly important in the bachelor’s degree at University. In a practical semester in a market research institute or the market research department of a large company, the job candidates get to know the job of market research from the practical side.
Most market researchers, however, are lateral entrants who have acquired suitable qualifications in one of the following courses:
- Business administration
After completing their studies, they usually learn “on the job” which methods market researchers use to get an opinion of the population or certain consumer groups to be able to derive a validated forecast from this. However, many of them have already gained initial experience in market research through internships or student part-time jobs and already know which know-how is important in this area.
In political research, for example, population surveys on the phone are still very popular: People from all social classes over the age of 18 are interviewed to obtain the broadest possible cross-section of opinion.
In the meantime, consumer goods market research relies on targeted surveys of a specific target group – this is usually done directly. After all, it is difficult to convey the color or taste of a test product on the phone. As a rule, companies write to the target group directly and invite them to a test event.
The qualitative opinion polls also include group discussions with several participants. These discussions can be about slogans or the appearance of advertising materials, a particular advertising strategy, or the reputation of a party. And last but not least: Online surveys are also booming – by e-mail or directly on online portals.
Employer: Who is looking for market researcher analysts
Market researchers are wanted in many industries and areas. The following employers offer you employment opportunities:
- Market research institutes
- Marketing departments of large companies
Salary: How much does a market research analyst make?
The salary of market researchers is difficult to quantify. On the one hand, because it depends heavily on the industry, region, and size of the employer. On the other hand, because the respective field of study that a market researcher has completed has a noticeable effect on income. The average salary for a market researcher analyst $63,120 per year in the United States.
Map of market research analyst salaries
The darker areas on the map show where Market Research Analysts earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.
- Median Annual Salary: $63,120 ($30.35/hour)
- Top 10% Annual Salary: More than $121,080 ($58.21/hour)
- Bottom 10% Annual Salary: Less than $34,310 ($16.49/hour)
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Entry opportunities: the prospects for market researcher analysts
While the job opportunities for market researchers were rather moderate a few years ago, the industry is currently on the upswing. Online research in particular is booming. Many market research institutes have now even explicitly specialized in this.
Application: How do market researchers score
Market researchers have particularly good chances on the job market if their resume (for example, you can use a ready-made resume template here), references, and cover letter show the following skills:
- Knowledge in IT
- Knowledge of IT application software
- Knowledge of empirical market research methodology
- customer focus
- Enjoyment of the acquisition
- Analytical skills
- Strategic thinking
- An open, friendly demeanor
- Curiosity about new topics
- Interest in economy and society
- Interest in the psychology of buyer behavior
- Understanding math
- Solution orientation
Career: The development opportunities as a market researcher analyst
As in any other profession, the continuous acquisition of knowledge lays the foundation for a further career. Content- related training courses on a whole range of topics are usually offered by professional associations. The professional association of market and social researchers is a good place to go to find out about the latest offers.