Over time, the introduction of technology and the development of new research methods have evolved the daily life of the market researcher. However, the essence remains the same. Market researchers gather and analyze information that helps companies make informed decisions about what consumers, clients, and users think. The information provided by market researchers is crucial for both creating strategies based on a deep understanding of the target audience and making tactical day-to-day decisions.
Discover in this post more about who they are, what functions they perform, and what skills good market researchers need to succeed and provide maximum value to the organizations they work for. Are you interested in working in market research?
Roles of a Market Researcher
Most market researchers work either in the teams of companies that use research or in market research agencies that provide specialized services to the former. To describe the roles, we will focus on the first group, knowing that most of the described functions also apply to the second.
- Collect the briefing. Various stakeholders, such as marketing team members, executives, or members of the board of directors, will present their questions to request the market researcher’s collaboration. As an expert, the researcher must not only understand the questions but also help determine if there are other, more relevant questions they haven’t considered yet and transform those needs into a research project. In other words, it’s not enough to know the answers; you must also know the questions that are most relevant to the business and help stakeholders formulate them.
- Decide how to achieve research objectives. It will be necessary to choose between qualitative, quantitative research techniques, or a mix of both. Knowing which methodology is best to apply and understanding the solutions available in the market is a key contribution of the market researcher.
- Hire the necessary resources. In some cases, research can be done internally with the necessary tools, such as a research platform. Technology now allows companies to efficiently conduct a significant portion of their needed research through automation. For example, on the We are testers platform, you can create your online market research studies, manage online focus groups or insights communities, and conduct usability tests. Alternatively, you can also subcontract other research projects to a traditional research agency.
- Create or oversee the questionnaire or moderation guide. An important part of the research process is creating the questionnaire, when using a survey to collect the necessary data. If you choose online focus groups or other qualitative research techniques like in-depth interviews, you’ll also need to create a moderation guide that naturally guides participants through the topics from which you want to gather their perspectives.
- Analyze the results. Perhaps one of the most enjoyable parts of the research process is data analysis to identify insights that are relevant for business decision-making. This is where the researcher must sift through all the data to select what is truly important, answer the questions posed by stakeholders, and create recommendations for the business.
- Present conclusions and recommendations to decision-making forums. This is the most important, yet often overlooked, part for some market researchers. The researcher must bring their expert knowledge to the forums where decisions are made, combining the data from the studies conducted with all the knowledge of the target audience gathered in previous research. They must be an authoritative voice representing consumers and clients and help the organization put the customer at the center of decision-making.
Skills of a Market Researcher
A good market researcher should possess certain qualities that will help them build a successful career.
- Business mindset. They must understand the essential questions for the business and grasp the needs of stakeholders.
- Curiosity. They must have an interest in understanding how consumers think or act, imagine questions, and obtain answers.
- Technical competence. With the development of market research SaaS, an increasing portion of research is conducted in-house by companies. Good technical competence helps make the most of a research platform like We are testers, which is extremely intuitive and has a support team to assist with any needs.
- Rigor. Research requires effective handling of both quantitative and qualitative data and must be done excellently to ensure that decisions are based on quality information.
- Communication. The best insights are supported by stories that are easy to understand and help the audience listen with interest and leave convinced of the truth and relevance of what they’ve heard. The insights discovered by the market researcher are used for decision-making, and it’s essential to ensure that all teams adopt and integrate them into their decision-making processes and daily activities.
Useful Resources for Market Researchers
If you found the roles of a market researcher interesting, there are some places where you can find more information about what it means to be a market researcher.
- Insights + Analytics España. This is the association of market research companies and professionals. They organize events, both in-person and webinars, and periodically publish a magazine featuring perspectives from prominent researchers on current topics.
- ESOMAR. This is the international market research association. They also organize events and publish their own magazine, Research World. ESOMAR has codes of good practice for research and publishes an annual study on the sector’s evolution over 12 months.
- Market Research Books. There are many research and marketing books that you may find interesting to read, which we recently listed in another post.
- LinkedIn Groups. The premier professional network has discussion groups for market researchers that you may want to join.
Need the support of expert market researchers? At We are testers, we combine technology with a team of expert market researchers. Get in contact with us so we can help you create your studies easily and efficiently.
Update date 22 December, 2023