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The job of a market analyst involves researching, feeling out, and analyzing market conditions for a particular product or service. Generally, a company will hire a market analyst or a team of analysts who will research this information before a product is developed or launched. This position involves hours of research, but is an important part of any businesses’ marketing plan.
Research and development is a large part of what a person with this job does. The analyst must research consumer demand, take polls and surveys, and discover what products customers would like to see on the market. He also gains insight on features of current products that are not popular with consumers so that they can be removed or altered.
A market analyst does his job by communicating with the public through polls, surveys, focus groups, and other means of gaining opinions. This helps a company know where and to whom it should target its marketing efforts. By doing this, marketing dollars aren’t wasted on a section of the population with no interest in the products being offered; and more money is focused in on areas that are likely to buy.
Often, the market analyst will also help with the actual marketing of the products being sold. He will offer information about the key audience for the products and help advertisers to develop concepts that will appeal to them. This is a very important strategy since a marketing campaign is only as effective as the advertising materials which promote it.
The market analyst may also help companies develop new products that are not currently being offered. When consumers express a need or desire, many appropriate businesses quickly jump to action in creating a product to meet those needs. They get this information through dedicated market analysts who find out exactly what consumers want to buy. Companies with the strongest analysts on staff generally do the best in the marketplace because they are often the first to develop the items most demanded by the population.
To become a market analyst, obtaining a four-year degree in business, marketing, or a related field is highly recommended. Sometimes a degree is not necessary if the person works their way up within the same company, although having a solid understanding of research and development, and marketing is still necessary. There are also many self-employed market analysts who provide their services to businesses and organizations.
Oasis11 - That does sound like fun. I know that some larger international firms would like their market research analysts to have an MBA.
The market research analyst salary can go as high as $55,000 a year and the market research manager position which is the next step can earn up to six figures.
This is really a valuable background to have because companies always need help with their market research. I had a friend that created her own market research firm as a result of her experience as a senior market analyst.
I just wanted to add that market research analysts also have to have a strong background in business statistics because they have to manipulate data for their clients.
I think that this jobs is fascinating because you get to study consumer behavior in order to help your client market their product or service and the process has got to be fun.
Focus groups allow incredible insight as to what the target market for a business or service will consider.
I was called to be in a focus group once and it was really fun. The market research firm sent me a survey and then verified the answers with me over the phone to make sure
that I was accurately answering the questions.
I was then invited to participate in a focus group and the study involved a major retailer and the perception that this retailer had regarding a brand new product line that they had introduced.
They also asked us what we thought of the competitors and what could be done to improve our experience with the retailer.
The whole session only lasted two hours and we were highly compensated for our time.