Market research analysts study market conditions to examine potential sales of a product or service.
What they do
Market research analysts help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price.
They typically do the following:
- Monitor and forecast marketing and sales trends
- Measure the effectiveness of marketing programs and strategies
- Devise and evaluate methods for collecting data, such as surveys, questionnaires, and opinion polls
- Gather data on consumers, competitors, and market conditions
- Analyze data using statistical software
- Convert complex data and findings into understandable tables, graphs, and written reports
- Prepare reports and present results to clients and management
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.
Because most industries use market research, these analysts are employed throughout the economy.
Market research analysts can work individually or as part of a team, collecting, analyzing, and presenting data. For example, some analysts may work with graphic designers and artists to create charts, graphs, and infographics summarizing the research and findings.
How to become a Market Research Analyst
Most market research analysts need at least a bachelor’s degree. Some research positions may require a master’s degree. Strong math and analytical skills are essential.
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.
The median annual wage for market research analysts was $63,790 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $34,350, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $122,630.
Employment of market research analysts is projected to grow 18 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Employment growth will be driven by an increasing use of data and market research across many industries. They will be needed to help understand the needs and wants of customers, measure the effectiveness of marketing and business strategies, and identify the factors affecting product demand.
The increase in the collection and analyses of “big data”—extremely large sets of information, such as social media comments or online product reviews—can provide insight on consumer behaviors and preferences. Businesses will need market research analysts to conduct analyses of the data and information.
Similar Job Titles
Business Development Specialist, Client Service and Consulting Manager, Communications Specialist, Demographic Analyst, Market Analyst, Market Research Analyst, Market Research Consultant, Market Research Specialist, Market Researcher, Marketing Research Coordinator
Marketing Manager, Compensation/Benefits/Job Analysis Specialist, Financial Analyst, Risk Management Specialist, Survey Researcher
The trade associations listed below represent organizations made up of people (members) who work and promote advancement in the field. Members are very interested in telling others about their work and about careers in those areas. As well, trade associations provide opportunities for organizational networking and learning more about the field’s trends and directions.
- American Association for Public Opinion Research
- American Bankers Association
- American Marketing Association
- Association of Independent Information Professionals
- Insights Association
- News Media Alliance
- Qualitative Research Consultants Association
- Special Libraries Association
- Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals
Magazines and Publications
- Research America
- Insights Association Alert Magazine
- Branding Magazine
- Packaging Strategies Magazine
- Transform Magazine
What do Super Bowl commercials, food packaging, and book jackets all have in common? None of them would be possible without market research analysts and specialists. Through the careful design of surveys, opinion polls, and questionnaires, market research analysts and specialists help determine potential sales of a product or service, or create a marketing campaign to appeal to consumers. Clients range from superstores, to nonprofits, to television networks. Market research analysts gather data on competitors, customer demographics, consumer habits and preferences, and analyze the factors that affect product or service demand. These marketing professionals monitor and forecast sales trends, measure the effectiveness of marketing programs, and report on the results. They use photo imaging and statistical software to help convert complex data into understandable tables, graphs, and written reports. Most have a Bachelor’s Degree in market research. People in this field are often results-oriented and enjoy working independently. Market specialists and analysts assess and ultimately determine the success of our favorite TV shows, packaged food, and other products as they continue to adapt with our feedback.
Content retrieved from: US Bureau of Labor Statistics-OOH www.bls.gov/ooh,
CareerOneStop www.careeronestop.org, O*Net Online www.onetonline.org