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.
Schooling & School Subjects
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.
South African Marketing Research Association (SAMRA)
Tel: (011) 052-2808