Have you ever thought you knew what would sell a product better than the people in charge? A career as a market research analyst will put you in touch with consumers to learn what they really think about and want in the products and services they purchase.
What they do
Market researchers ask questions like: How is the target market going to see this product? and Which features are most important to consumers? For example, for a new breakfast cereal, market researchers might determine that parents are most interested in the nutritional qualities, while children will respond to colorful packaging and a free item in the box.
This is a field that uses surveys, polls, observational studies, and data analysis to help determine the potential for selling a product or service, or to create a marketing approach that will appeal to customers. Technology provides impressive immediacy in the market research field; social media can be used to conduct research faster, reach more people, and gather more comprehensive data, with more accuracy, than previously possible.
Market research is conducted at local, regional, national, and even international levels. It’s enormously important to business strategy, as researchers study competitors, customer demographics, consumer habits, and product pricing, and analyze the factors that affect product or service demand.
Virtually every industry uses market research to target its products and services; high-profile industry users include healthcare, manufacturing, construction, natural resources, retail, hospitality, media, finance, higher education, food and beverage, agriculture, entertainment, and more. Sharpening messaging about a product, or shaping a product based on what consumers like, gives this field an almost limitless platform.
Movie makers sometimes select a movie ending based on market research about which ending creates more buzz in the audience. Political candidates want to know the most important messages to emphasize to engage their target constituents. Businesses want to know whether an audience is more likely to buy version A or version B of a new product.
If the combination of creativity, understanding the market, and data analysis hits your sweet spot, this may be a great career fit for you.
Learn more about a career in market research
- Check out CareerOneStop’s video on Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists.
- New job opportunities are very likely in the future; this is considered a career with a bright outlook.
- Most people entering this field have a bachelor’s degree in market research. Check out CareerOneStop’s Local Training Finder to explore programs in your area.
- You can find low, median and high salaries for market research analysts and specialists in your state by searching your location in the Salary Finder. The current US salary figures are: low: $33, 530, median: $62,150, and high: $120, 460.
- Consider joining a market research-related professional association to explore professional development and connections in the field.
- And if you’re ready to jump directly into a position, you can start a job search right now for Market Research Analyst positions in your area.
- Learn more about market research analysts and specialists on CareerOnestop’s Target Occupations tool – with details on job duties, and the kinds of tools and technology used by people in the field.