Market research analysts help companies figure out what to sell, who will buy their products and services, and how to promote them. They design surveys that are used to help discover potential customers’ preferences. These marketing professionals then train and supervise interviewers who conduct these surveys online, by telephone, or through interviews with individuals or focus groups.
In addition to taking surveys, market research analysts are responsible for keeping track of client industry trends and general marketing trends, as well as forecasting these markets to provide companies with proposals and information of the products, services, promotions, and all relevant data to help management in their marketing decisions.
There are now new tools that analysts can use, such as geofencing, which uses GPS or similar technology to build a virtual fence around a business and offer targeted advertisements to a customer’s phone as he or she walks through a store. Eye-tracking, which monitors how your eye travels around a website, is another technology market research analysts use.
The process of collecting and analyzing data is logical and quantifiable; figuring out why target audiences might be attracted to a particular product is not. This is why some of the most successful market analysts seem to understand human emotions and psychology as much as they understand the logic.
Typical responsibilities include:
- Designing questionnaires and advising on the methodology of collection of data
- Collecting data and assimilating statistics, using statistical software
- Monitoring the progress of data collection
- Collating information and interpreting data for clients
- Making recommendations based on the data collected
- Presenting findings to clients in an easy-to-understand way
- Managing a team of data collectors and data input assistants
- Negotiate contracts for research projects
- Managing focus groups, carrying out interviews and conducting surveys
- Managing budgets
Marketing research analysts gather together and analyze data from diverse sources to produce results, which are then presented back to a client. They may also be asked to make recommendations based on the findings. Market research analysts are hired by public and private sector organizations, as well as by charities and not-for-profit organizations. Analysts can also work on a freelance or consultancy basis.