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How to Become a Market Research Analyst [2024 Career Guide]

How to Become a Market Research Analyst [2024 Career Guide]

Businesses rely on data and insights to make strategic decisions. As a market research analyst, you uncover these valuable insights by studying markets, competition, and consumer behavior. This article will walk you through how to become a market research analyst in 2024.

Market research analyst

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A market research analyst supports business growth by delivering data-driven insights into target markets, consumers, buying patterns, preferences, and competition. Using research methodologies and analytical tools, they gather, process, interpret, and present essential information to guide strategic marketing and business decisions.

Market research analysts are inquisitive, insightful, meticulous, and skilled at analyzing data to spotlight trends & opportunities and recommend strategies. They produce actionable reports and presentations and work closely with business heads and stakeholders.

With businesses relying increasingly on analytics, these roles provide immense value and enjoy strong demand.

What Type of Research a Market Analyst Conducts?

A market researcher conducts mainly qualitative and quantitative research. They gather statistical data from different areas and analyze them to derive insights.

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Some of the researchers conduct research in the following areas:

Customers

Market research analysts evaluate every aspect, from demographics to customer opinions. This guides them to develop better marketing strategies that align well with customer’s products and services. It also identifies ways in which companies find, acquire, and retain customers.

Markets

When a new product is launched, the company often asks market research about competitors and market trends. Market researchers are responsible for making executives aware of certain factors like sales, product demand, market patterns, competitors’ framework, etc. They research the market, find new and existing potential positions, and then deliver insights with precise suggestions.

Brands

Brand research is what every company needs. Researchers conduct test drives on brands to know their position’s strength in the market. When compared with competitors and customers’ brand awareness, your strategy can help you gain loyalty to your audience.

Campaigns

Advertising and campaigning have become essential for marketing. To spread a specific message about your product or services, you need to create a better campaign with knowledge of customers’ buying behavior and market trends. To know this, market researchers conduct campaign surveys and use different tools to gain valuable insights

The typical tools and technologies market research analysts apply include:

  • Data mining tools: Python, R, SQL
  • Survey design: Qualtrics, SurveyMonkey
  • Statistical analysis software: SPSS, SAS
  • Data visualization: Tableau, Qlik, Microsoft Power BI
  • Web analytics: Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics
  • Social listening tools and CRM systems: Hootsuite, BuzzSumo, Meltwater, Zoho

Market Research Analyst Job Duties

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The typical responsibilities of a market research analyst encompass:

Consumer Behavior Analysis

  • Track and quantify consumer demographics, buying criteria, switching behavior, price sensitivity, brand loyalty, and product feedback across existing and potential customer groups through surveys.
  • Identify consumer personas using psychographic segmentation to target products and positioning.

Market Evaluation

  • Gauge market size, penetration potential, saturation levels, growth rate projections, seasonality patterns and demand drivers within assigned territory through statistical modeling.
  • Assess geographic expansion opportunities in domestic or export markets using economic indicators research.

Competitor Benchmarking

  • Track rival product features, promotional strategies, channel presence, pricing, market share projections, and brand equity scores using subscription data aggregators.
  • Reverse engineer competitors’ products to compare components, claims, and proprietary technology advantages against own offerings.

Marketing Analytics

Evaluate the efficacy of marketing campaigns, promos, and activities in delivering conversions, engagement rates, attribution, and ROI using web analytics and customized dashboards.

Strategy Building

  • Perform SWOT analysis on own and competitor product portfolios and promos to identify stagnation, pivots required or areas of innovation.
  • Guide pricing, positioning and customer experience enhancement decisions using demand-based statistical pricing modeling and willingness-to-pay analysis.

Market Research Analyst Skills and Qualifications

Market research analysts need a specific set of hard and soft skills to succeed in their roles. These include strong analytical abilities, business knowledge, communication skills and intellectual curiosity.

Education Requirements

A bachelor’s degree forms the typical entry point for market research analyst roles. Relevant major options that build solid foundations include:

  • Marketing
  • Business Administration
  • Statistics
  • Economics
  • Data Science

These are equipped with concepts spanning branding, consumer behavior, pricing models, statistical tools, and presentation formats to apply in workplace needs.

Certain firms may substitute formal education needs with specialist experience for niche hires. But broadly campus degrees prepare the concepts, structured thinking, and research project foundations to then specialize.

Technical Skills Needed

Market research is fundamentally a specialist role relying on processing volumes of data to uncover actionable insights. This demands sharp technical prowess:

  • Statistical Analysis Ability: Analysts should be adept in statistical methods like hypothesis testing, regression modeling, predictive analysis, and experimental design. Using tools like R, Python or SPSS to analyze, interpret, and summarize data patterns.
  • Research Methodology Expertise: Knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research techniques helps design surveys, run focus groups, collect insights through interviews, website content analysis, and more. Identifying the right sampling and analytics methods aligns with reliable insights.
  • Data Management: Sharp data handling skills encompass systematically collecting, cleaning, organizing, and consolidating volumes of data from disparate sources into formats lending to systematic analysis using SQL or Excel.
  • Analytics and Visualization: Platforms like Tableau, Microsoft Power BI, Qlik, and Looker help analyze large datasets and present insights through interactive dashboards, graphs, and reports tuned to technical and business audiences.

Business Knowledge Prerequisites

While number crunching is vital, translating analysis into strategic meaning requires sound business sense:

  • Marketing Principles Application: Analysts should know concepts like segmentation, targeting, positioning analysis, and marketing mix optimization theory to contextualize research data.
  • Consumer Behavior Insights: A sharp perspective into how target groups make purchase decisions, switch brands, respond to pricing factors, exhibit loyalty, and more based on psychographic profiling provides actionable context.
  • Financial Modeling Skills: Analyzing sales and marketing spend data using ROI, attribution and forecasting models guides optimal resource allocation and budgets.

Communication Skills Imperative

For insights to be actionable, analysts need to compellingly present analysis supported recommendations to both technical and business teams:

  • Impactful Presentation: Use compelling visualizations, executive summaries, and clear logic flow tuned to audiences ranging from subject matter experts to business heads.
  • Incisive Reporting: Contextualize research data observations, patterns, and trends in crisp yet comprehensive reports outlining methodology, statistics significance, and strategic interpretations.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Proactively collaborate with business heads to gather specific research needs and appropriately share implications through a consultative communication approach.

Intellectual Curiosity

Given the fast-changing consumer and competitive landscapes, the innate drive to explore data patterns, probe underlying reasons and identify non-intuitive insights separate leading analysts.

Sharpening such analytical and business skill sets prepares for high-impact market research careers that fuel data-backed decisions.

How to Gain Market Research Experience

Here is how to gain experience:

Internships

Opt for summer research internships during undergrad years across corporate strategy teams, analytics divisions or market research firms. Gain exposure into end-to-end discovery processes.

Market Research Associate Role

Take up an associate or junior analyst position under the guidance of experienced managers. Learn research project execution including methodology design, sampling, analysis, reporting and recommendations stages within structured frameworks.

In-role Specialization

Transition into a dedicated market research role within marketing teams of FMCG companies, media analytics divisions, or management consultancies. Get specialized training in advanced statistical tools.

Higher Studies

Pursue a postgraduate business management or analytics master’s program with an elective or capstone focused on market research. Apply conceptual knowledge to case-based simulations.

These roles provide extensive hands-on training in systematic research approaches spanning context discovery, data gathering, analysis, strategic alignment, and executive presentation.

Gaining such specialized experience early in marketing careers allows smooth progression into independent market research analyst positions.

How to Become a Market Research Analyst: Step-by-Step

For aspiring business analytics professionals, here is a step-by-step skilling guide on how to become an impactful market research analyst:

Step 1: Complete Relevant Undergraduate Major

Pursue a university bachelor’s degree in a field aligned to a prospective market research career such as:

  • BBA/BS in Marketing
  • BBA/B.Com in Business Administration
  • BA in Consumer Behavior
  • B.Sc. in Statistics
  • BASc in Economics
  • Computer Applications Degree

Such majors build strong foundations across areas like account management, branding, consumer insights, category dynamics, pricing models, promotion channels, statistical tools, and presentation formats.

Step 2: Develop Analytical and Business Skills

While completing campus academics, parallelly equipped with the essential skill sets vital for research analysis roles through online learning platforms:

Analytical Skills

a) Statistical Analysis

Brush up core statistics concepts around hypothesis testing, regression analysis, predictive modeling, experimental design principles and R/Python/SPSS tools application through courses like:

  • Statistics with R Specialization
  • Statistical Thinking for Data Science and Analytics

b) Business Analytics:

Learn techniques like optimization, simulation, experimental design and data mining to solve business problems via programs like:

  • How to Build High-Impact Data Analytics Teams
  • Machine Learning for Business Professionals

c) Data Visualization:

Master presenting insights effectively through visual charts, dashboards and presentations using platforms like Tableau, Microsoft Power BI and Looker via hands-on learning on:

  • Data Visualization in Tableau Specialization
  • Data Analysis and Presentation Skills: Dashboards

Business Acumen

Sharpen business thinking abilities around target market evaluation, positioning, and consumer insights application via online classes on:

  • Marketing Analytics Specialization
  • Digital Marketing Revolution

Research Proficiency

Understand various research methodologies spanning qualitative and quantitative approaches via programs like:

  • Market Research Specialization
  • Principles of Marketing Analytics

Step 4: Perform Market Research Internships

Actively apply for summer research internships across:

a) Management consulting firms: Perform region-specific opportunity analysis, landscape scans, and benchmarking studies

b) Media analytics companies: Work on consumer segmentation and campaign performance tracking

c) Public policy research bodies: Participate in policy evaluation through surveys and opinion mining

d) FMCG/retail firms: Assist in shopper research, customer journey analysis and brand equity evaluation

These exposures provide hands-on learning into systematic research approaches under supervisor guidance

Step 5: Land Full-time Market Research Roles

Research Associate/Junior Analyst

  • Leverage internship experiences to apply for full-time junior research positions across:
  • Marketing departments: Competitor campaign analysis, promotion tests framework design  
  • Strategy consulting teams: Pre-acquisition due diligence support, demand forecasting studies
  • Analytics centers of excellence: Primary research project execution, results analysis, and reporting

Senior Research Analyst

With 2-3 years experience, transition into mid-level roles independently managing end-to-end projects across:

  • Media groups/entertainment firms – audience research, content performance tracking
  • Public policy think tanks – policy efficacy evaluation through public surveys
  • FMCG product teams – shopper research, sensory analysis, test market pilots

Domain Expertise

Develop specialized expertise through 5+ years’ experience across spheres like:

  • User research: Human-centered design research into customer pain points, product ideation testing
  • Emerging markets evaluation: Opportunity analysis for global expansion roadmaps
  • Brand tracking studies: Brand health and equity evaluation through syndicated data analysis  
  • Pricing research: Conjoint analysis, willingness-to-pay measurement, price elasticity modeling inputs for optimized price strategy  

Step 6: Explore Cross-functional Transitions

Leverage deep consumer and market understanding to explore lateral moves into diverse commercial roles like:

  • Marketing Manager: Translating research insights into strategic campaigns
  • Category Manager: Managing product portfolio P&Ls using market analytics  
  • Shopper/CX Insights Lead: Influencing customer engagement strategy

The multi-industry applicability of core market research and analytical abilities allows versatile career pivots aligned to individual interests.

How to Advance as a Market Research Leader

With specialized skills and research excellence demonstrated across categories and geographies, seasoned market research analysts can progress to advisory positions like:

Principal/Lead Analyst

  • Strategically guide high-impact research initiatives delivering 7-8 figure P&L impact from insights unlocked
  • Lead methodology design aligned to business issues, reliable sampling and effective analysis principles application  
  • Play cross-functional integrator role ensuring analytics adoption in strategic plans

Head of Consumer/Market Insights

  • Manage the entire lifecycle from research procurement to insights application as a business growth catalyst
  • Play a trusted advisor role, presenting impactful recommendations to the C-suite for accelerated decisions  
  • Continuously enrich organizational intelligence assets through both primary research and external syndicated sources partnerships  
  • Take up enterprise analytics strategy ownership, ensuring optimal research investment allocation and capability development

The domain diversity, business criticality, and profit-leveraging abilities make this niche function primed for directorship opportunities.

Average Salary of a Market Research Analyst

According to salary data on Glassdoor, the average base pay for a Market Research Analyst in the United States is $72,616 per year. This means an analyst would earn about $6,051 per month or around $32 per hour.

However, top performers can expect to earn higher salaries in the range of $90,119 annually. This includes both base pay and additional compensation.

The estimated breakdown is:

Base Salary: $72,616 per year

This covers the guaranteed annual pay market research analysts take home excluding benefits or performance-linked bonus. It translates to around $6,000 per month.

Additional Pay: $17,503 per year

This includes bonuses, profit-sharing, commissions, and other forms of variable incentive pay tied to performance. This figure can be substantial for market research roles contributing directly to revenue or profits.

Thus, while the average base salary is just over $72,000 yearly, by demonstrating research excellence and strategic business impact, analysts can amplify total compensation to over $90,000 annually.

Factors Impacting Market Research Analyst Salary

The exact salary offered would vary across companies, geographies and experience levels. Various factors impacting pay scale include:

  • Industry: Consumer goods, pharmaceutical, and finance sectors tend to pay higher
  • Company Size: Big corporates offer better compensation than smaller firms  
  • Location: Metro cities provide better prospects than non-urban towns
  • Experience: Mid-senior level above 5 years fetch premium 20-30% pay

Thus, while early career earnings start in the range of $55,000 – $65,000, developing high-impact specialized expertise as a market research analyst can double income levels and boost total compensation to above $100,000 per year over time.

Total Pay Estimates for Market Research Analysts at Different Companies

CompanyTotal Pay Range (Yearly)
Apple$121K – $197K
Wismettac Asian Foods$55K – $90K
Ipsos$53K – $80K
Frost & Sullivan$50K – $81K
Diverse Lynx$60K – $93K
Oracle$97K – $150K
PSB Insights$63K – $98K
Brand Institute$54K – $83K
EY$83K – $134K
Accurate Softwares International$60K – $99K
SKIM$72K – $112K
Eastland Food Corp$25/hr – $43/hr
Shipco Transport$57K – $98K
The NPD Group$55K – $80K
Bankcard Servcies$28/hr – $44/hr
Collabera$58K – $88K
MA Laboratories$26/hr – $44/hr
JFC International$59K – $95K
Nielsen$64K – $102K
MaxisIT$66K – $107K

Future Outlook for Market Research Analysts

The market and consumer intelligence minimizes business risks and unlocks new opportunities. This fuels bullish projections for competent analytics talent.

As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for market research analysts and marketing specialists roles will witness 13% growth from 2022 to 2032 – much faster than the average across other occupations.

Globally, expansions across FMCG, retail, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, digital services, and entertainment industries will power the need for deeper consumer and market understanding.

This creates profitable prospects for skilled market research analysts to fuel fact-based strategies and claim senior leadership roles.

Conclusion

Businesses run on decisions enabled by market and consumer insights. As an analytical explorer uncovering such intelligence, market research analysts fill a critical organizational capability gap.

With the right mix of business analytics skills, intellectual curiosity, and communication edge, professionals in these roles impact strategic choices on what markets to target, which products to launch, and how to optimally reach and win consumers.

If guiding these choices excites you, equip yourself with the prerequisites, gain specialized experience, and rapidly grow into an insightful market research expert and trusted advisor role.

CCS Learning Academy’s Data Analytics & Engineering Bootcamp, with its live instructor-led training, flexible schedule, cutting-edge curriculum, job placement assistance, and 1-1 mentorship, is an excellent way to build data analytics skills needed to excel as a market research analyst.

Help shape business futures backed by data and sharply tune instincts with analytics – the calling for high-impact market research analysis careers beckons!

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