Marketing Research can be defined as an organizational function that links the consumer, customer and public to the markets through information. The purpose of marketing research is to help managers make better decisions. In today’s “information economy,” organizations are constantly looking for better and more timely information to get ahead of their competition. Marketing researchers provide them with that insight.
After evaluating hundreds of jobs using growth, pay, stress levels and other variables, Money Magazine rated a career as a marketing research analyst as one of the ten top choices. This is supported by similar reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicating marketing and survey researcher positions are projected to grow 28 percent from 2008 to 2018, which far exceeds the average for all occupations (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010). The median income of research analysts is now $61,070 annually, although in certain industries, marketing analysts can make much more (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010).
Marketing research is a high-growth field with significant job opportunities. Market researchers will also see opportunities in management as they gain experience. Students who make the best market researchers like to solve puzzles. They enjoy analyzing consumer databases to not only see what consumers are buying, but even more importantly to understand why they are buying certain products and services. Good market researchers like to explain the past and to predict the future behavior of consumers.
After completing an undergraduate degree in marketing, with the research option, many students are accepted into even more specialized Master of Marketing research programs. Research students from Missouri State University have been readily accepted into these specialized programs.
Key skills for a marketing research student
- Desire to understand consumers in depth
- Ability to understand managers’ problems, opportunities and information requirements
- Understanding of how to develop and test hypotheses
- Ability to work well with managers to satisfy their information needs
- Ability to interpret and explain data analysis results