To build a successful business, you must understand people’s perceptions of your products or services. It is the people interested in a product who make up a market. Without these people, there is no market to sell to.
Hence, understanding people’s needs and buying behavior is essential for you to sell a product as a solution to them. This is where a market research analyst comes in. This article will guide you on your journey to becoming a market research analyst by showing you the steps to get started.
What Is Market Research Analysis?
Market research analysis is the process of conducting an extensive study of your target market and customers. It allows you to understand users’ needs and why they buy a product. Then, you can use that information to create a valuable product that appeals to your customers and solves their problems.
The process also includes analyzing your competitors. This step enables you to devise effective strategies to beat them, gain more market share, and ideally dominate the market. Effective market research may take weeks and sometimes months to provide accurate data about the dynamics of a target market. But it is essential to clear gray areas about the happenings in the industry.
Companies looking to grow always rely on data from market research to gain insight into the market and determine the next best steps for the business. The information you provide to these companies as a market research analyst is often crucial to determining company policies and products. Consequently, they can design and implement more effective marketing campaigns and pricing strategies.
How Important Is Market Research in Today’s Business Landscape?
Market research is essential for companies to know their target market, providing a compass to choose the best location to situate their business and sell to customers. It also helps to lower business risks. Companies that do not employ market research in their operations are more likely to lose customers.
Thus, they may go out of business within a few years because they do not keep abreast with the ever-changing demands and trends of the market. This is why market research analysts are vital in today’s business landscape.
Consequently, the demand for market research analysts is very high and poised to grow even faster over the next decade. Figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics put the job outlook for the industry at 22 percent, and the median annual wage is around $64,000.
How to Become a Market Research Analyst
To kick-start your career as a market research analyst, you must be familiar with target markets while possessing the professional skills to use that knowledge in ways beneficial to your clients or employers. Here is what you should do to become a market research analyst.
1. Get a Degree in Marketing or Its Equivalent
For you to become a market research analyst, you certainly need to obtain an education with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a subject related to marketing or business administration. A degree in marketing is recommended because it exposes you to market concepts like pricing, location, product, and consumer relations.
However, a degree in business administration is also valuable because it arms you with the foundational knowledge of economics, financial accounting, and statistics. Additionally, you can become a market research analyst with a psychology degree, as it provides valuable insights into consumer buying behavior.
Obtaining a degree sets the pace for you to fully understand some of the most important concepts that drive human motivation, consumer spending, and potential customer segments. These are crucial in market research analysis.
2. Learn How to Organize Research Data
As a market research analyst, you will work with a lot of data from research and market surveys. This data is the lifeblood of your work, and how you handle it determines the success or failure of your campaign. Hence, learning how to sort and store data is an invaluable skill you must possess. Utilizing tips to learn Microsoft Excel quickly, Google Sheets, and Tableau can be very useful to you this way.
When organizing research data, there is no room for mistakes or miscalculations. One mistake on your end and your competitors will be ready to capitalize on it to have an edge in the market. To prevent this from occurring, practice with smaller amounts of data that you can easily organize accurately. Then, gradually take on bulk data and pay attention to detail.
3. Develop Other Necessary Technical and Soft Skills
You must have a wide range of skills to succeed as a market research analyst. For example, you should have strong analytical skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, data analysis, and logical reasoning. These skills enable you to work efficiently, as paying attention to detail and correctly interpreting data are vital parts of your work.
Also, excellent verbal and written communication skills are necessary as the job requires you to present your findings and submit reports. These can be with team members, clients, and other stakeholders. The job can be high-pressure, too, so you must be able to conduct in-depth, relevant research within short timeframes.
You can learn technical skills like how to use Power BI or Tableau for data analysis. Furthermore, taking online courses and attending certification programs, workshops, or training can take your career far.
4. Get Relevant Work Experience
You must have experience working with real-time data to be fully recognized as a market research analyst. You can start with conducting personal market research projects or applying for internship positions to gain experience as a newbie market research analyst. These will help you build your portfolio.
You may also apply for entry-level market research analyst roles to start working up the ladder. Applying for opportunities at advertising or marketing agencies is a great start, although you may want to look at other industries. However, we recommend getting an advanced degree like a master’s to increase your chances of landing a job quickly.
5. Build a Strong Professional Network of Contacts
Building a career in market research analysis is easier when you have extensive contacts within and outside your industry. Thus, you must develop those contacts as carefully as you can. Although people debate the merits of paying for LinkedIn Premium, tools like it can help you build your network and increase your engagement with peers and potential employers.
You can also attend professional networking events and participate in seminars and conferences to improve your communication and presentation skills. These will increase your visibility and inform you of current market trends and opportunities.
6. Take Online Courses
Online courses are an excellent starting point if you want a fast track into the world of market research analysis without going through the formal education route. There are several fantastic options, including:
Start Your Market Research Analyst Journey Now
The demand for market research analysts means that individuals who get into the industry now have the opportunity to make a difference in businesses and their operations, moving into the new digital age. Get the education and skills needed to build a solid career in this field.
Make connections with fellow professionals and start working towards meeting the needs of clients and employers. The opportunities are endless, and following the steps outlined in this article will help you succeed as a market research analyst in the labor market.