What is a marketing analyst? Marketing analysts help companies and organizations decide which products and services to sell, as well as to which customers and at what price. They come to their conclusions by studying market conditions, competitors’ activities and consumer behavior.
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Though everyone’s path is different, here are five common steps you may take to become a marketing analyst:
- Pursue an undergraduate degree in statistics, math, computer science, market research, communications, business administration or social sciences
- Get an entry-level marketing analyst position
- Grow your technical and business skills
- Pursue additional certification related to marketing analytics
- Consider getting a master’s degree in marketing research, statistics, marketing or business administration
Read more about these steps in the sections below.
What Does a Marketing Analyst Do?
Market research analysts or marketing analysts study the market of a particular industry and help companies best position themselves within that market. They use their knowledge and research to help companies develop products and services that are priced, marketed and stocked advantageously.
What else does a marketing analyst do? Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), common tasks of marketing analysts include:
- Gather data from consumers, sales and competitors
- Analyze the collected data and convert it into digestible information and visual representations
- Develop reports and present their findings to key stakeholders
Marketing analysts use various techniques to gather data, such as interviews, questionnaires, surveys, focus groups, polls and literature analyses. These techniques help marketing data analysts understand a company’s target customers so they can determine the best marketing approach to reach them. Based on their findings, they may recommend a specific sales strategy, marketing materials or promotions.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Marketing Analyst
On any given day, a marketing analyst may have multiple responsibilities. According to O*NET OnLine, common roles of marketing analysts include:
- Collect data on competitors’ marketing tactics, sales prices and product/service distribution
- Gather and analyze data related to market conditions and consumer demographics
- Research customers’ opinions, buying habits, preferences, wants and needs
- Create and evaluate methods for gathering data, including surveys, interviews, questionnaires and opinion polls
- Develop tactics and metrics to assess the effectiveness of existing marketing, advertising and communications programs
- Monitor and forecast marketing/sales trends, highlighting opportunities for new initiatives and promotions
- Convert complex data findings into understandable text, tables, graphs and/or data visualizations
- Work with internal departments to present clear reports to clients and management
- Collaborate with pollsters, data scientists, statisticians and other marketing professionals
Required Degree and Qualifications to Become a Marketing Analyst
Are you wondering how to become a marketing analyst? Generally, marketing analysts need at least a bachelor’s degree, the BLS reports. Statistics, math, computer science and market research are strong majors, but market analysts also have degrees in communications, business administration or social sciences.
Whichever degree program you choose, make sure it includes courses that teach strong quantitative skills. The BLS notes that courses in marketing, research methods and statistics are important for these professionals.
Some marketing analyst job descriptions, such as those in leadership or requiring technical research, require a master’s degree. You may pursue a graduate program in marketing research specifically, but many analysts also earn a master’s degree in statistics, marketing or business administration, the BLS reports. About 57% of marketing research analysts have a bachelor’s degree and 39% have a master’s degree, according to O*NET OnLine. Explore MBA programs and master’s in business analytics to see what interests you most.
Certifications and other ways to grow your marketing skills
Certifications may help expand your marketing analysis skill set. For instance, the Insights Professional Certification (IPC) offered by the Insights Association is designed to encourage high standards within the marketing research profession. It may not be a mandatory requirement in marketing analyst job descriptions, but it could show employers that you’re serious about your work.
You may also become a Certified Market Research Analyst (CMRA). This is an introductory credential offered by the International Institute of Market Research and Analytics (IIMRA). Exam topics cover areas such as the basics of market research, designing a project, market research tools and turning data into findings.
Bootcamps may also help you grow in the marketing research and analytics fields while adapting to changing tech and market realities. A digital marketing bootcamp, for instance, can help teach you about relevant topics such as analytics and reporting, content marketing, performance marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) tactics and more.
Skills Needed to Become a Marketing Analyst
Becoming a marketing analyst involves having key skills. Marketing data analysts may have technical skills, such as expertise in database and statistics software, and wider business skills, such as proficiency in presentations and marketing.
- 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.
Below are some business skills marketing analysts should have.
- Analytic Problem-Solving: Process a large amount of complex data with precision and translate it into measurable results
- Critical Thinking: Maintain an innate curiosity about consumers and assess all available information to make key financial decisions
- Effective Communication: Develop strong relationships with consumers, interviewees, fellow researchers, clients and management; present results in a language non-technical audiences can comprehend
- Industry Knowledge: Understand the way your chosen industry, such as digital marketing, functions and how data is collected, analyzed and used
What kind of person makes a great marketing analyst?
“A scientifically minded person with an appreciation for design. Analysts are by nature, and expectation, numbers-minded, data-driven and logical individuals. And marketing analysts are not an exception to this. However, as big data sourced from digital, social, mobile, web and direct marketing activities continues to expand in girth and complexity, designing customer experience models and campaigns around and from the unique insights derived from this big data requires the marketing analyst to understand how her interpretive guidance stemming from these insights will affect broad consumer experience goals. There is an art in interpreting the visual display of complex data sets.”
– Eric Bryn, Digital Marketing Analyst, Consultant and Adjunct Professor of Digital Marketing Analytics at Loyola University Chicago
Career Growth for a Marketing Analyst
The demand for market research analysts is projected to grow 22% from 2020 to 2030, a higher rate than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job opportunities should be best for those with a master’s degree in market research, marketing, statistics or business administration, the BLS reports. It also notes that workers with a quantitative background in statistical and data analysis will have better job prospects than those without it.
Businesses also need marketing analysts to collect and sort big data, the BLS notes. Marketing data analysts may need to sort through large data sets such as social media comments or online shopping reviews to extrapolate meaningful insights about customers’ preferences and behaviors.
Fortunately, marketing analysts also have new technologies to help them in their task. Today, savvy market research analysts are able to process behavioral data in real-time, substituting micro-surveys and social listening analytics for cumbersome studies and employing tools like geofencing, eye-tracking and predictive marketing tactics. These tools can help improve customer engagement and feedback management.
Analysts may also benefit from user experience (UX), social media, eCommerce and conversion rate optimization (CRO) knowledge.
Marketing Analyst Salary
The annual median salary for market research analysts was $65,810 in 2020, according to the BLS. The top 10% of analysts earned more than $127,410, while the bottom 10% earned less than $35,380. In states such as New Jersey, Delaware, Washington, and the District of Columbia, marketing analysts made at least $10,000 more than the national annual median salary.
The industry in which you work may also affect your marketing data analyst salary. Here are the top industries in which marketing data analysts worked in 2020, as reported by the BLS:
- Publishing industries (excluding Internet) – $79,040
- Management of companies – $77,110
- Finance and insurance – $73,800
- Wholesale trade – $64,170
- Management, scientific and technical consulting – $62,400
With demand for marketing analysts expected to grow rapidly, marketing analyst salaries may increase over the years.
How Marketing Analytics Is Different From Other Careers
Marketing analysts, business analysts and data analysts have overlapping but distinct roles within organizations.
|Marketing analyst||Business analyst||Data analyst|
|Analyzes consumer and competitor data to strategize the best way for a company to position itself within the market||Analyzes a business’ processes—such as production, research and development, or logistics—to improve upon them||Analyzes large amounts of data, focusing on proper processing and organization of that data for the company|
A marketing analyst’s role is primarily concerned with analyzing and strategizing the best way for a company to position itself within the market—that is, to potential customers and clients. While marketing may affect a company’s success, other aspects of an organization are also important.
A business analyst, for instance, may focus on analyzing a company’s internal processes related to production, research and development, or logistics. They might focus on internal inefficiencies and how to improve them. What is business analytics? Well, it involves driving practical, data-driven change in an organization. An online master’s in business analytics may focus on topics such as data mining, predictive modeling and demand forecasting.
While business and marketing analysts examine data relevant to marketing and operations goals, some may choose to specialize further in data analytics. A data analyst specializes in collecting and organizing large amounts of data. These statistical experts might work in business or IT to manage inefficiencies, but may also work alongside data scientists of any type. They also tend to be more heads-down and less client-facing than business and marketing analysts.
What’s the biggest difference between marketing analysts and data scientists? How can the two work together?
“A marketing analyst specializes within the marketing function of 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 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.”
– Eric Bryn, Digital Marketing Analyst, Consultant and Adjunct Professor of Digital Marketing Analytics at Loyola University Chicago
Other Related Careers
There are many ways to become a marketing analyst. Whether you get a degree, take online courses or explore other learning resources, there’s an option for you. If you’re particularly interested in the data science, data analytics or coding aspects of the industry, check out the bootcamp resources below.
Marketing Analyst FAQ
How does someone become a marketing analyst?
Everyone’s path is different, but there are a few common steps you may take that can help you become a marketing analyst. A bachelor’s degree is typically the first step. Depending on your career path, you may need other qualifications such as certifications or an advanced degree.
What does a marketing analyst do?
Marketing analysts perform various tasks depending on the organization. Some common tasks include collecting and analyzing consumer data, researching consumer opinions and preparing reports of their findings.
What skills do you need to be a marketing analyst?
There are various skills marketing analysts use. You may want to determine your career goals as a first step and the skills you’d need depending on your desired role. Common skills for marketing analysts include using business intelligence software and information retrieval or search software.
What is a career growth being a marketing analyst?
According to the BLS, the projected growth for marketing analysts is 22% between 2020-2030. However, growth for marketing analysts varies depending on where they work and what industry they work in. On average, marketing analysts earned $65,810 in 2020.
Last updated: April 2022
This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.