Market research is a very niche industry, but those that enter tend to make a very long career of it. It is also a field that can be very welcoming to people of many different backgrounds! If you are looking for a change or for a field to start your career in, you may want to consider including market research positions in your search. There are various roles for every sort of person, from being a moderator of focus groups to positions which utilize intense data analytic software and techniques.
There are two general types of research roles: roles on the supplier side and roles in corporate research. And researchers aren’t locked in to one side or the other – many go back and forth over the course of their careers.
Supplier companies are companies whose main function and offering is performing market research. Client companies are companies whose main function and offering is something else (retail brands, restaurant brands, etc.) but which have market research, or consumer insights, teams on staff. Client companies usually outsource a lot of their projects but have been insourcing market research much more than they used to.
The Type of Person That Would Do Well in Market Research
There are many types of people that would be great in the market research industry, but here are just a few of the main traits of a person that would excel.
The whole industry is built on curiosity. Whether that centers around consumers behaviors, their reasoning or market trends, a natural curiosity will help push someone to get the best insights.
Things don’t change at lightning speed in this industry, but they do change over time. There are continuously new trends in methodologies and reporting which a good researcher must keep up with.
Empathetic for Consumers
Market research is not about selling to people, but is in fact about solving problems and fulfilling the needs of consumers. Having empathy for them can help researchers understand and get to the root of their issues.
People love stories – and they remember them. Being able to tell a good story with your results helps get your information out there and remembered by
What Professions Translate Well to Market Research
While anyone can move into market research, some professions lead themselves to an easier transition. Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology and anything that deals with people are great places to start. These professionals are already used to working with people and understanding the way they think, plus some have research experience as well. On the other side of things, data scientists and data analysts tend to do well in the market research world. Data science is very easily transferable from one place to another and something that can always be used is more intensive data analytics, especially in a world of big data.
When you’re looking to move into a client company specifically, industry experience is one of the best things to have. For example, if you have experience in the retail industry, you’ll have an easier time getting into a retail company. The same holds true for restaurant/food, financial, technology and any other industry you can think of.
Communicate Your Skills
When switching career fields, it may be helpful to work with a talent acquisition partner. They are usually highly connected in the field and may be able to help you clearly communicate your skills and desires better to potential employers.
Just like with any job, your skills may not be perfect one-to-one transfers to the new position you’re looking at. Specific stories and specific examples are great ways to show how you would be a great candidate for these positions. Problem solvers will win in this industry, so show examples of times when you solved a problem.