How to Become a Market Research Analyst: The Ultimate Guide
To build a successful business, you need to understand how people perceive your products or services. It is the people interested in a product that constitute a market. Without these people, there is no market to sell to.
Therefore, understanding people’s needs and buying behavior is key to selling them a product as a solution. This is where a market research analyst comes in. This article will walk you through your journey to becoming a market research analyst by showing you the steps you need to take to get started.
What is market research analysis?
Market research analysis involves conducting an in-depth study of your target market and customers. It allows you to understand user needs and why they buy a product. Then you can use that information to create a valuable product that pleases your customers and solves their problems.
The process also includes analyzing your competitors. This step allows you to design effective strategies to beat them, gain more market share and ideally dominate the market. Effective market research can take weeks or even months to provide accurate data on the dynamics of a target market. But it is essential to clarify the gray areas on industry events.
Businesses looking to grow always rely on market research data to better understand the market and determine the best next steps for the business. The information you provide to these companies as a market research analyst is often crucial in determining company policies and products. Therefore, 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 businesses to know their target market, providing a compass for choosing the best location to locate their business and sell to customers. It also helps reduce business risks. Businesses that don’t use 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 up with ever-changing market demands and trends. This is why market research analysts are essential in today’s business landscape.
Therefore, the demand for market research analysts is very high and is expected to grow even faster over the next decade. Figures from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics put the employment outlook for the industry at 22%, and the median annual salary is around $64,000.
How to Become a Market Research Analyst
To start your career as a market research analyst, you need to know the target markets while also having the professional skills to use this knowledge in a beneficial way for your clients or employers. Here’s what you need to do to become a market research analyst.
1. Get a degree in marketing or its equivalent
To become a market research analyst, you definitely need to get an education with at least a bachelor’s degree in a marketing or business administration related subject. A marketing degree is recommended as it exposes you to market concepts such as pricing, location, product, and consumer relations.
However, a business administration degree is also valuable as it gives you the basic knowledge of economics, financial accounting, and statistics. Additionally, you can become a market research analyst with a degree in psychology, as this provides valuable insights into consumer buying behavior.
Earning a degree allows 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 market research and studies. This data is the lifeblood of your work, and how you manage it determines the success or failure of your campaign. Therefore, learning how to sort and store data is an invaluable skill that you must possess. Using tips to quickly learn Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and Tableau can be very helpful to you in this way.
When organizing research data, there is no room for mistakes or miscalculations. One mistake on your part and your competitors will be ready to take advantage of it to gain an advantage in the market. To prevent this from happening, practice with small amounts of data that you can easily organize with precision. Then, gradually embrace big data and pay attention to detail.
3. Develop other necessary technical and soft skills
You need to have a wide range of skills to be successful as a market research analyst. For example, you must have strong analytical skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, data analysis, and logical reasoning. These skills allow you to work efficiently, as paying attention to detail and correctly interpreting data are essential parts of your job.
Additionally, excellent verbal and written communication skills are required as the job requires you to present your findings and submit reports. These can be team members, customers, and other stakeholders. The work can also be demanding, so you need to be able to conduct in-depth and relevant research under tight deadlines.
You can learn technical skills such as using Power BI or Tableau for data analysis. Additionally, taking online courses and participating in certification programs, workshops, or trainings can take your career a long way.
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 by conducting personal market research projects or apply for internship positions to gain experience as an entry-level market research analyst. These will help you build your portfolio.
You can also apply for entry-level market research analyst positions to start moving up the ranks. Applying for opportunities in advertising or marketing agencies is a good start, although you may want to look into other industries. However, we recommend getting an advanced degree like a master’s degree 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 many contacts inside and outside your industry. Thus, you should develop these contacts as carefully as possible. Although people debate the merits of paying for LinkedIn Premium, tools like this can help you grow 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 Classes
Online courses are a great place to start if you want to quickly enter 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 people entering the industry now have the opportunity to make a difference in businesses and their operations, entering the new digital era. Get the education and skills to build a strong career in this field.
Connect with other professionals and start working to meet 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 job market.