They collect and analyse information that indicates what people think about consumer products or particular societal issues.
Market research helps to identify what people do, think, buy or believe and why. It is used for new product testing, assessing customer preferences, evaluating competition and monitoring staff or customer satisfaction.
Market research executives are responsible for:
- consulting clients about project requirements and objectives
- designing research methods such as interviews and questionnaires
- carrying out qualitative or quantitative research
- agreeing timescales and budgets
- supervising staff
- monitoring work progress
- writing reports, including client recommendations
- analysing, translating and presenting results
- advising clients on how they can best make use of results
The work offers high levels of responsibility and excellent opportunities for promotion into senior managerial positions.
- Market research agencies
- Management consultants
- Government departments
- Advertising agencies
- Commercial organisations
Candidates are advised to apply for positions early, especially for structured graduate training schemes with larger employers. Vacancies are advertised online on TARGETjobs, on the Market Research Society’s job finder page, by careers services and in national newspapers and relevant publications including Campaign, Marketing, Marketing Week and their respective websites. Many jobs receive little advertising, so networking, job-shadowing and speculative applications are essential.
There are routes into this profession for university graduates and school leavers.
Any degree discipline is acceptable for entry into the profession, although some employers prefer subjects that include the study of statistics. A number of institutions offer specialist postgraduate marketing qualifications, which can be advantageous. Some jobs, particularly those in industrial market research, necessitate a scientific or technical background.
Relevant work experience gained in any commercial area that requires contact with customers or the general public including retailing, sales and marketing can be beneficial. Experience of canvassing or market research interviewing is particularly useful.
To find out how to get into a career in this area via a school leaver route, visit the business section of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.
- Commercial awareness
- Excellent analytical skills
- Organisational skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Numerical skills
- Verbal communication skills.