Marketing Careers – Fabulous Market Research Jobs
Do you have an interest in marketing careers? Job Mail explores market research jobs, what the job entails and what you will need to get a foot in the door.
Marketing exists in order to convince people to either buy a particular product, subscribe to a particular service or be made aware of a brand or campaign. Marketing comes down to understanding human psychology and what is likely to make a lasting impression on a person’s mind.
As a result of the largely psychological nature of marketing jobs, marketers use different persuasion techniques to get their message out in a more effective manner to their target audience. Believe it or not, but there is an entire process designed that from start to finish, led to you picking up a product in a store or clicking ‘add to cart’ while shopping online.
What is market research?
Market research is a very dynamic process, as the specificities of your target audience change depending on market trends and the evolution of their needs.
Marketing research involves having a clear understanding of who your target audience is, what the most effective way to reach your target audience is, what tone to use to better appeal to your audience and the things that motivate your audience to spend money.
As part of market research it is especially important for marketers to be able to effectively identify who they should be marketing to depending on the newness or maturity of their service or product. In marketing lingo there is a cycle that is known as the adoption cycle that was first introduced in the much acclaimed book, ‘Crossing the Chasm’.
Although the adoption cycle was initially used to refer to technology trends, its applicability is universal. This adoption life cycle refers to the rate at which your product or service is accepted by your target market.
Within this adoption life cycle there is a distinction between five main classes under which your target audience will fall under. The market researcher, or market research analyst, would at this stage have to identify which class his or her target audience falls under. This will determine the likely characteristics their target audience will share and the most effective form of marketing to said audience will invariably depend on the class they fall under.
Anyone who has seen a Nandos advertisement and bought a Nandos meal has very likely been subject of what is known as the anchoring bias. Nandos has invested enough in marketing research to understand that people make decisions by relying on one predominant trait about the choices. In the case of Nandos, this trait is that Nandos is a fun brand that is daring and not afraid of controversy.
Market Research jobs in South Africa
There is a lot that can be said about marketing careers in South Africa. As long as there are companies and organisations that need customers, clients or supporters there will always be a need for a market researcher’s skills.
This universal industry relevance gives people wishing to pursue marketing a large choice of marketing jobs to choose from. However, before you plunge into careers in marketing, it is wise to have a clear understanding of what will be expected of you from professionals in the field.
Market research jobs will involve, amongst many other things such as drinking crazy amounts of coffee, studying competitors and client’s needs in order to be able to effectively advise your company or organization on the direction it would need to take to maximise its profitability.
This process may involve setting up questionnaires, surveys and polls to get feedback from your current and potential clients. Depending on the nature of your industry you may also find yourself working with a lot of spreadsheets to lay out your findings in a format that will facilitate the analysis process of the data you find.
After these two steps you can then expect to use presentation software such as Microsoft PowerPoint and Prezi in order to present your findings internally or to clients. Of course there are more tasks you will be expected to carry out on a day-to-day basis and it is always advisable that you either find yourself a mentor who is a marketing research analyst or you look for marketing internships to get a clearer understanding of whether or not this is the career for you.
Market Research Skills and Education
Clearly, the marketing research process is a very elaborate process as such the market research analyst is normally expected to have a research heavy educational background, which includes an understanding of human psychology, statistical thinking and an high level understanding of business processes.
As a rule of thumb people who wish to pursue marketing jobs are expected to pursue degrees in marketing, market research, economics, psychology, sociology, political science, business administration or statistics. Other studies such as Computer Science and Mathematics can also be very important backgrounds to have when attempting to pursue marketing careers.
In any organisation the market research analyst would be expected to be a great communicator as they will need to interact with other teams within the organization, such as sales, logistics and management to be able to have a more concise understanding of the information they need to discern in their market research.
Market research jobs will also require you to be highly analytical as all the research must be approached through a scientific procedure. At the end of it all the research, the researcher must ensure that their findings can be tested and measurable to ensure that it can bring real value to the firm or organisation.
Careers in marketing also require the ability to adopt a customer oriented approach to research. This means that the research must be empathetic to their target audience and their needs. A purely robotic market research that ignores the client’s’ needs would not do much to help advance the firm or organisation’s business needs.