Market Researcher

Market researchers are concerned with the scientific accumulation, analysis and interpretation of marketing information. They are responsible for planning, coordinating and administering market research projects. They assist companies to improve their products and increase sales potential.

Market researchers are concerned with the factors affecting marketing activities, which may vary widely. They collect, analyse and interpret data to determine the appeal of products or services. They study the effectiveness of company advertising and advise management on sales and distribution policies.

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 researchers conduct surveys to determine the acceptability of new products, comparing these with existing and competitive items, and make suggestions regarding packaging and product names. They also conduct detailed studies of sales records to determine peak periods and trends to help plan sales campaigns and set reasonable goals.

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 and 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 researchers work closely with marketing managers providing them with the information required for the decision-making process. At some companies one person, who is usually called the marketing manager, performs the work of both marketing manager and market researcher.

Market researchers work indoors in private offices and in the offices of other employers such as statisticians and advertising personnel. They may be required to travel to various locations for interviews or to gather information.

Skills required are commercial awareness, excellent analytical skills, organisational skills, interpersonal skills, numerical skills and verbal communication skills.

Personal Requirements

  • enjoy working with people
  • like to travel
  • able to communicate well in speech and writing
  • self-disciplined
  • able to work quickly and systematically
  • logical and analytical mind
  • physical stamina
  • emotional maturity and stability
  • sound knowledge of human beings and their behaviour

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

Pass in matric with a Bachelor's Degree pass
Compulsory Subjects: No compulsory school subjects are required

What to Study

Degree: any Marketing degree - UCT, Monash, UJ, UNISA, NMMU, NWU, UP, Business Economics or Communications degree - most universities. A course in Market Research is offered at UNISA.

UNISA, NMMU and UJ offer postgraduate courses in Market Management

Diploma: N.Dip: or BTech Marketing / Sales Management - CUT, CPUT, DUT, TUT, VUT, UNISA

Most TVET colleges offer courses in marketing, e.g. Port Elizabeth, Northlink, Vuselela, Flavius Mareka, S Boland, Umgungundlovu.

The Institute of Marketing Management (IMM), offers a three-year diploma course in Marketing


  • advertising agencies
  • firms marketing consumer goods
  • independent research organisations
  • manufacturing companies
  • stores
  • self-employment, with enough experience, can start own business in marketing, selling products, marketing research and consulting

Further Information

South African Marketing Research Association (SAMRA)
The Workspace
Maxwell Drive
Sunninghill, 2191
South Africa
Tel: (011) 052-2808

Institute of Marketing Management (IMM)
Atlas Studio
33 Frost AvenueBraamfontein Werf, 2193
Tel: (011) 628-2000

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation / part-time work with a market research company, as an interviewer, for example
  • make an appointment to speak to a market researcher about this type of career

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

What do Market Researchers do?


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