How To Become a Market Researcher

Updated 22 May 2023

The primary responsibility of market research analysts is to help businesses communicate as effectively as possible with their target consumers. Market research analysts use data-driven strategies to determine a company's customer base and how to most effectively sell them their products or services. If you are interested in marketing strategies, data analysis or consumer behaviour, you might consider a future as a market research analyst. In this article, we discuss how to become a market research analyst, including the work experience, education and skills most sought-after by hiring managers for these positions.

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What is a market researcher?

A market researcher, or market research analyst, is a professional who analyses performance data to determine target consumers for the company's goods or service. Analysts may examine market trends or consumer questionnaires to help them identify overall market trends in relation to their target audience's shopping patterns. Analysts also use demographic information to create valuable advice for companies that helps them optimise products, choose advertisement channels and determine product or service price points. Some additional duties analysts perform include:

  • Monitoring and predicting marketing trends

  • Reviewing and analysing sales performance

  • Measuring marketing strategy and program performance

  • Developing and distributing data collection methods

  • Creating consumer opinion polls, questionnaires and surveys

  • Collecting data on competitors, consumers and market conditions

  • Utilising statistical software to analyse data

  • Converting data into comprehensive tables and reports

  • Creating reports for management, clients or consumers

Related: What Is a Business Development Manager? (With Skills)

How to become a market researcher

Although the particular method you use to become a market researcher might vary, there are several common steps that many analysts take to become a successful researcher. Here are a few steps you can follow to start your career as a market researcher:

1. Pursue higher education

Many research analysts obtain undergraduate quantifications prior to pursuing market research. Several potential employers might prefer those candidates that have at least a bachelor's degree in an applicable area, such as a marketing degree. This can help expand on key marketing concepts such as marketing principles, consumer behaviour patterns, macroeconomics and business communications. There are also several other degrees that potential analysts can pursue that can teach foundational marketing concepts. Those degrees include:

  • Business

  • Management

  • Economics

  • Commerce

  • Statistics

  • Psychology

  • Sociology

  • Behavioural science

  • Computer science

Those interested in higher-level or managerial market research analyst positions might be interested in pursuing a master's degree. Some universities offer graduate programs specifically in marketing research and analysis. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) might also be a useful degree in obtaining a leadership role as a market research analyst.

Related: What Is a Business Analyst? (With Skills and Qualifications)

2. Gain experience

Many market research analyst jobs are not entry-level positions. Companies generally prefer to hire market research analysts with experience in the marketing industry. Consider working first as a marketing research intern, marketing assistant, account representative or another related position that can provide you with knowledge of the industry and become a more competitive applicant for market research analyst jobs. Some helpful entry-level positions that can help you gain experience include:

  • Communications specialist

  • Media assistant

  • Marketing assistant

  • Social media coordinator

  • Account coordinator

  • Public relations coordinator

  • SEO specialist

  • Marketing coordinator

  • Sales representative

Related: 48 Examples of Research Assistant Interview Questions

3. Obtain certifications

Certifications can help prove your competency in market research analysis to prospective employers. However, as with the majority of market research analysis jobs, most of these certifications require previous experience in the marketing industry. Many of these courses can teach research fundamentals that can help you start your market research career, or expand on your current experience. Some certifications you might consider pursuing include:

  • Insights professional certification (IPC)

  • Certified analytics and insights professionals of Canada (CAIP Canada)

  • Qualified professional researcher (QPR)

  • Market research analytics

4. Upskill with courses

Another way to expand your skill set and help make you a valuable asset to a company is by pursuing upskill opportunities. You can do this by attending online courses, in-person seminars or virtual learning events. Attending upskill courses can help you learn or develop new technical abilities and soft skills that can make you a valuable asset to a company. Some upskill courses you might consider include:

  • Commercial acumen

  • Report writing

  • Resilience

  • Customer service

  • Computer literacy

  • Infographics

  • Data visualisation

Read More: Upskilling for Career Development and Progression

FAQs about market researcher careers

Here are some frequently asked questions about becoming a market research analyst:

Who can be a market researcher?

Many individuals can pursue a successful marketing research career. Those who are familiar with sales, marketing, customer service, computers and clerical skills might find a meaningful career as a market research analyst. Before considering a career as a market researcher, it is important to identify any education or certification requirements for a particular position.

What are the employment opportunities for a market researcher?

Researchers mostly working in industries that make and market products or services for consumers. Many recent university graduates seek research interviewer positions within a company to enter the market research profession. There are also research organisations that offer their services or advice on an individual consulting basis to help companies with their own marketing strategies.

Related: How to Become a Research Analyst (With Steps)

Is market research a good career?

The average salary for market researchers is $107,547 per year according to the latest salary information. These figures are higher than the national average salary. Many researchers work in professional, scientific and technical service industries. Other industries that researchers work in include financial services, insurance services, information media, telecommunications and retail trades.

Related: What Jobs Are in Demand in Australia? (With Examples)

What skills do you need for market research?

There are several skills that market research analysts use on a daily basis to help them create accurate market predictions. Although the particular industry you analyse might use additional skills, there are several common skills that each analyst incorporates into their work. Some of those skills include:

  • Verbal communication: Market research analysts often interact with both coworkers and clients in a coherent, amiable and professional manner.

  • Critical thinking: Prospective market research analysts may aim to become proficient at collecting data on and evaluating market trends, customer behaviours, sales records and other information that can help them advise companies on engaging with target consumers.

  • Computer skills: If you want to increase your chances of getting a job as a market research analyst, consider gaining experience with commonly used workplace programs such as Microsoft Office.

  • Organisation: Market research analysts generally work on multiple tasks for various projects at the same time.

  • Attention to detail: Research analysts review and analyse data information regularly which may need a high attention to detail to accurately identify market trends.

  • Written communication: Analysts may also need to communicate in a written format, such as email or memorandums, in a professional manner.

  • Team player: Researchers are also likely to work with clients, management and other researchers to identify market strategies that require effective communication and team collaboration.

Related: How to Become a Social Researcher (With Duties and Salary)

What specialisations are in the market research field?

There are a few different specialities within the market research field that have different responsibilities and expectations. These specialities might assist other researchers or analyse different market aspects. Some specialities you might consider include:

  • Market research analyst: These professionals can analyse the current market to help identify the viability of new product launches. They can also develop advertisement strategies and evaluate business sites.

  • Market research interviewer: Interviewers might assists researchers in collecting data information from surveys or individuals. They may conduct in-person or virtual interviews of target market individuals to help researchers understand current trends.

  • Market researcher: Researchers collect and analyse market information to assist with current marketing strategies. They can also analyse the demand for particular products or services and help companies connect with target markets.

Related: How to Become a Market Analyst: With Step-Guide and Salary

What is the work environment for market researchers?

Although the specific environment for researchers can vary among industries, many researchers work inside in an office environment. Many use electronic mail and telephones on a regular basis to communicate with management, clients or other business professionals. The daily tasks for research can vary because of different tasks, priorities and goals they might have in relation to marketing strategies.

What are other similar professions?

There are several professions that utilise many skills and traits of market researchers. Some of those professions include:

  • Visual merchandising

  • Real estate agent

  • State representative

  • Graphic and web designers

  • Illustrators

  • Office administrators

  • Public relations

  • Advertising specialists

  • Sales specialists

  • Advertising account executive

  • Statistician

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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