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I am an award-winning market research blogger and speaker. My personal brand and blog have taken me to places all over the world. Through Twitter and my blog, you can find out my latest thoughts about the sector.
Market Research – What does it actually mean to you?
Travelling through London when writing my latest blog post, watching people pass by.
I still class myself as a graduate or young market researcher
It made me think about when I first entered the sector and what it looked like for a recent graduate.
When looking at my CV.
I needed to understand how the skills I had learnt from university and placements could benefit the sector.
The term market research
The term market research is used but only as a descriptor or a placeholder for other words such as
- Data analysis
- Big data
- Virtual reality
- Customer experience
- Quantitative research
I think the less market research is actually mentioned, the more exciting the sector becomes for colleagues and peers.
Also, you only have to look at some of the leading market research agencies.
They all use the term ‘market research’ far less than others do.
Some businesses are meeting the demand from the sector and their clients, because they now have clear questions and objectives that fall into some of the following phrases:
- Customer experience
- Customer purchase funnel
- User experience
- Data analysis
- Understand the life of a consumer
I haven’t listed every single phrase, or you would never read this blog post or the next one…
It is clear that clients now require a return-on-investment from the research conducted for them.
Don’t forget about a recent blog post I wrote
I wrote a blog post about return-on-investment of our work in the sector, uncovering some top tips to understand your personal ROI.
Market research agencies can win clients over by different means.
For example, by offering bespoke and cool offers that include some of the key terms and phrases I have mentioned.
For someone who hasn’t even had 5 years in the sector, this is exciting. Because every day, new products and tools are being created with the help of emerging technology.
Now, this is all good for the sector. However, when the term market research might be used less, this means the sector is becoming cluttered with new startups. Who only offer customer experience research or a niche offer.
For long-standing agencies, this becomes difficult, because new start-ups can sometimes offer attractive proposals with far more cost-effective prices.
Whilst all of this is happening, businesses quickly try to find new customers or expand their own accounts. And you have buzzing university students looking for their first break and introduction into the market research world.
Market research and sexy? Do they match up?
If I asked: Do you think market research is sexy enough?
I would say, market research isn’t sexy but the tools, technology and cool methodologies underpinning MRX is sexy. This will only improve in the years to come.
For recent graduates, this can be exciting if universities offer a dynamic course offer.
Do universities offer research modules and courses that include some of the new and brand-new tools?
From experience, it is very mixed. Interestingly, there is a clear divide between what universities offer in the U.S.A and the United Kingdom.
The University of Georgia is a clear example of the United States having 2 feet in front of UK graduates. Because they have specific market research institutes and programmes for students.
From the courses I have seen in the United Kingdom, it is poor in comparison to the United States. Because they don’t offer graduates with some of the required skills and ideas to enter the market research world when the whistle goes.
Graduates don’t need to know everything when they gain their first job in market research. However, they do need to have some contextual understanding of the different tools and methodologies.
So, whilst the term ‘market research’ is being used less, it is an exciting time to be in the sector and something I am definitely looking to challenge and improve.
In a month, in 6 months or a year, I would predict the common market research jobs will be no more. And a new breadth of job roles will appear to suit a range of different skill sets.
What terms do you think get used more and more in market research?