Marketing analysts (a.k.a. market research analysts) help companies and organizations decide which products and services to sell, to which customers, at what price. They come to their conclusions by studying market conditions, competitors’ activities and consumer behavior.
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Marketing Analyst Responsibilities
On any given day, a marketing analyst may be required to:
- Collect data on competitors’ tactics, market conditions and consumer demographics
- Research customers’ opinions, buying habits, preferences and wants/needs
- Study the competition’s prices, sales numbers and methods of marketing and distribution
- Create and evaluate methods for amassing data, including surveys, interviews, questionnaires and opinion polls
- Analyze data using statistics programs, predictive analytics and other data-driven tools
- Develop tactics and metrics to assess the effectiveness of existing marketing, advertising and communications programs
- Monitor and forecast marketing/sales trends; highlight opportunities for new initiatives and promotions
- Convert complex data findings into text, tables, graphs and data visualizations
- Work with internal departments to present clear reports to clients and management
- Collaborate with pollsters, data scientists, statisticians and other marketing professionals
Market research analysts are the eyes and ears of their organizations, providing valuable psychological insights into consumer behavior. Their discoveries can have a significant effect on how companies choose to design, market and distribute their products and services.
How to Become a Marketing Analyst
Everyone’s journey is different, but here are some common steps people take to become a marketing analyst.
1. Pursue a degree in statistics, computer science, economics, or business administration.
Currently, the baseline qualification for a marketing analyst is a bachelor’s degree. Statistics, math, computer science, economics and business administration are strong majors, but you’ll also find specialist degrees in communications, marketing research and consumer psychology. Whichever program you choose, be sure it includes courses that teach you strong quantitative skills.
Due to the demands of big data, employers increasingly want to see evidence of technical expertise. That means to qualify for specialist jobs or management positions you may need a master’s degree. You can explore a few of your options in our lists of Master’s in Business / Marketing Analytics Programs and MBA Programs with a concentration in market research/analytics.
2. Tune your technical and business skills towards analytic thinking.
Technical Skills for Marketing Analysts
- Statistical analysis software (e.g. R, SAS, SPSS, or STATA)
- SQL databases and database querying languages
- Programming skills (if possible)
- Survey/query software
- Business intelligence and reporting software (e.g. Tableau)
- Data mining
- Data visualization
Since new data tools are being invented every day, this technical list is subject to change.
Business Skills for Marketing Analysts
- Analytic Problem-Solving: Processing a large amount of complex data with precision and translating it into measurable results.
- Critical Thinking: Maintaining an innate curiosity about consumers; assessing all available information to make key financial decisions.
- Effective Communication: Developing strong relationships with consumers, interviewees, fellow researchers, clients and management; presenting results in a language non-technical audiences can comprehend.
- Industry Knowledge: Understanding the way your chosen industry functions and how data are collected, analyzed and utilized.
3. Complete additional certifications for marketing analytic professionals.
Certifications can help expand your marketing analysis skill set.
Offered by the Insights Association, the PRC is designed to encourage high standards within the marketing research profession. It isn’t a mandatory requirement for most jobs, but it does show employers that you’re serious about your work.
The CMRA is just one of the many certifications developed by the International Institute of Market Research and Analytics (IIMRA).
The CMRA is an introductory credential and final year college students are welcome to apply. Coursework covers areas such as the basics of market research, designing a project, market research tools and turning data into findings.
Related qualifications include:
An Interview with a Real Marketing Analyst
We caught up with Eric Bryn, Digital Marketing Analyst, consultant, and Adjunct Professor of Digital Marketing Analytics at Loyola University Chicago, about working as a marketing analyst in the real estate industry. Read on to learn about the difference between marketing analytics and data science, and the skills students will need in order to be successful.
A: A marketing analyst, of course, specializes within the marketing function, role, or business unit within an industry or company, which includes delivering interpretive guidance as to outcomes derived by a data science team or individual. In short, a data scientist specializes in deriving business intelligence and analytic insights from structured and unstructured data sources (aka “big data”). A productive working relationship begins with people working in both disciplines having respect for and an understanding of their colleagues’ expertise and functional output. Given this, a marketing analyst can best work with a data scientist by having a clear understanding of the business and marketing objectives they are trying to achieve and then giving their data science team specific, precise and relevant questions to answer related to these objectives. Specificity and precision beget (generally) more useful business intelligence and insights.In turn, the data scientist must understand that a marketing analyst is not a coder and that sometimes a marketing analyst must start generally with her inquiries and then incrementally get more specific and precise with her queries over time. Channeling a bit of Donald Rumsfeld, you have known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns. The latter two are often the hardest to discern, and it will take a bit of back and forth collaboration to gain the insights and intel necessary to achieve desired business objectives.
Marketing Analyst Salary for 2020: How much does a marketing analyst make?
Marketing analysts work for practically anyone – manufacturers, market research firms, management consultants, advertising agencies and even the government. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for market research analysts in 2019 was $63,790.
Jobs Similar to Marketing Analyst
Jobs related to the task of amassing and analyzing business data include:
Another opportunity for data professionals is the role of Data Scientist. If you’re willing to school yourself in high-level stats and computer programming, you may be able to stretch yourself far beyond the bounds of conventional research.
After gaining some experience as an analyst, you may consider senior marketing positions such as:
- Marketing Manager
- Marketing Director
- Senior Marketing Manager
Marketing Analyst Jobs
The BLS is predicting employment of market research analysts to grow 18% from 2019 to 2029, a higher rate than the average for all occupations.
In their quest for potential markets, marketing analysts are likely to be faced with millions of factors that could affect product demand. Analysts now consider in-store traffic patterns, mobile buying habits, social media data and much, much more.
Fortunately, they also have new technologies to help them in their task. Today, savvy market research analysts can process behavioral data in real-time, substitute micro-surveys and social listening analytics for cumbersome studies, and employ tools like geofencing and eye-tracking.
Instead of spending long hours on what has passed, some analysts may use predictive analytics to suggest what is coming. Instead of relying on “bread and butter” services that are being replaced by automation and DIY market research tools, they’re developing customized solutions to customer engagement and enterprise feedback management.
In short, they’re honing their technical skills and adapting to a new digital reality.
Professional Organizations for Marketing Analysts
- International Institute of Market Research and Analytics (IIMRA)
- Insights Association
- Market Research Society (MRS)
Last updated: June 2020.