Market Research Analysts are the unsung heroes of the Product Design and Marketing process. An essential member of any team that creates a product or service, they act both strategically and tactically to guide various teams in their specific efforts.
From the very beginning of a product to its launch and subsequent marketing campaigns, data and market analysis are crucial. A product’s design features, target audience, and pricing are just a few examples of the areas of a product that require insight and research. Without it, it would be almost impossible for a company to accurately create something compatible with its target market.
What is a Market Research Analyst?
Although Market Research Analysts can work in a number of fields and specializations, their job is always consistent: use various research methods to acquire data about a product’s target audience and use, and convert those findings into actionable insights for the company. Product Designers, Product Managers, and Product Marketers all rely on these insights to perform their jobs to the fullest extent.
Market Research Analysts can be directly employed by a certain company to focus on their product full-time, but brands often use Market Research Analyst firms to advise them and execute data collection as needed, like when the product is going through a design overhaul, or when the Marketing team is looking to create a major campaign.
The end goal of Market Research Analysis is to optimize the product and maximize profits—the means vary based on industry, but an ever-changing customer landscape means that the work of a Market Research Analyst is never done.
What Fields Use Market Research?
Since every field and every department in the company is working towards the common goal of perfecting and promoting its product, no one is totally independent of the need for Market Research. However, the areas that may work most directly with Market Research Analysts within a brand are:
- Product Design: Product Designers are in charge of all aspects of a product’s usability and features, so it’s important for them to understand what users are looking for. Pain points, desires, and use cases all help Designers create a tailored product that consumers will want to engage with, and data is needed throughout to give the team a clear path to follow.
- Product Marketing: From setting prices for the product to promoting it through appropriate channels in a way that speaks to the target audience, Product Marketers have a lot of decisions to make that require data. Competitor research is one example of what Market Research Analysts would present to PMMs to help them decide a fair price for their offering that maximizes their earnings, but is also accessible to the user and is in the neighborhood of what a similar product would charge. Campaign creation also uses data to get a sense of what resonates with the user base, and allows Product Marketers to allocate their resources for the greatest ROI.
- Sales: Hand-in-hand with Marketing, Sales needs data to understand customer pain points and needs to best tailor their efforts in that area.
What Do Market Research Analysts Do?
Under the umbrella of collecting useful data, there isn’t much that Market Research Analysts don’t do. From coming up with new ways to effectively pull insights from their research, to advising design and marketing teams on their campaign creation, to assessing how well a campaign has performed, the role covers a wide range of purposes.
The two main components of the job are the research portion, during which data is collected, and the analysis and interpretation portion, during which the data is turned into actionable insights. Of course, one is not possible without the other, so it’s important for professionals to have a strong command of both the hard skills needed for the research and the foundational knowledge to understand it in a way that helps the company.
Another important part of the position is being up to date with the latest market trends and news, since this knowledge provides context for observable data that allows it to better be applied to real-life situations.