U.S. Department of Education-sponsored programs in Career and Technical Education prepare students for a wide variety of occupations, including business careers. In support of their efforts, this week we’re profiling the growing field of market research analysts and marketing specialists.
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.
Marketers use a variety of methods to learn what customers’ preferences, needs and buying habits are, and how satisfied they are with products and services they consume. Through the careful design of surveys, opinion polls, and questionnaires, marketers help determine potential sales of a product or service, or create a marketing campaign to appeal to consumers. They might focus on a local market, or have a regional, national or even international scope for their work.
Marketing professionals monitor and forecast sales trends, measure the effectiveness of marketing programs, and report on the results. They gather data on competitors, customer demographics, consumer habits and preferences, and analyze the factors that affect product or service demand. Their clients may range from superstores, to nonprofits, to television networks.
Marketing professionals spend a great deal of time at their desks, communicating via email and phone or in meetings. Combining strong analysis and communication strengths, key skills for marketers include critical thinking, reading comprehension, effective writing, active listening, and complex problem solving.
They also use photo imaging and statistical software to help convert complex data into understandable tables, graphs, and written reports. In terms of personal qualities, marketers are often results-oriented and enjoy working independently.
Positions for market analysts and marketing specialists are growing nationwide much faster than average. Typical salaries range from $34,000 for entry level workers and smaller organizations to $123,000 for more experienced workers, and larger companies.
Most positions require a bachelor’s degree in market research, and master’s degrees are not uncommon for people in the field.
It can be an exciting profession with the potential for having a great deal of influence; marketing 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.
Students who participate in Career and Technical Education marketing programs can expect to gain competencies in areas such as these:
- Interpersonal communications and leadership skills
- Marketing techniques
- Marketing information management
- Business ethics
- Public speaking