Article: Marketing and Market Research
This article covers the following jobs:
- Conference/Exhibition Organiser
- Direct Marketing Manager
- Marketing Executive
- Marketing Manager
- Market Research Analyst
- Market Research Executive
- Market Research Interviewer
The job descriptions are only a brief summary. It is recommended that you do further research on jobs that interest you.
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Products and services need to be promoted
All companies that provide products and services need to decide how best to promote them, in order to increase sales or public awareness.
They often carry out market research to find out what the public thinks of them or of their products. They might also use market research to test a new product before producing large amounts of it.
Large companies might have their own market research departments. Smaller firms might use the services of a market research consultancy.
Marketing managers plan and produce marketing policies for a range of products or services, or for an entire organisation. They take overall responsibility for finding out what customers want. Then they plan the company's policy to meet that need and increase profits.
They often use market research to find out what the public thinks about their goods or services. They might also oversee advertising campaigns. They need to make sure they're getting the best results for the total amount of money their department is spending on marketing.
When a product is launched for the first time, the marketing manager makes decisions about its price, name, packaging style and how it is advertised and distributed. They monitor sales and use feedback to improve performance.
Entry to marketing jobs is competitive. Many applicants have a degree in marketing or business studies, plus relevant skills and experience.
Market Research Executive
Market research executives plan and co-ordinate projects to collect, analyse and interpret, and present information gained from market research surveys.
They could either work in a large company with its own market research department, or for a consultancy firm.
When a client needs market research to be carried out, the research executive might help to put together a proposal. This outlines how the data will be collected, how many people the survey will use and how much the research will cost.
If the client accepts the proposal, the market research executive co-ordinates the project. They could, for example, select and train interviewers, design questionnaires and become involved in the analysis of the data collected. The market research executive keeps the client up to date during the project.
Some research is based on interviews with individuals or groups, rather than on questionnaires. For these projects, the research executive co-ordinates and organises groups differently and sometimes gets directly involved in the collection of data.
Most new entrants to this career have a degree in social sciences, business studies, marketing or a similar subject.
Marketing executives help to promote products and services. They might be involved in collecting information on customers and competitors, devising and implementing marketing plans, working with advertising agencies, raising awareness of a product or brand, and measuring the success of marketing campaigns.
Marketing executives choose a mix of methods to suit the product or service they are promoting. Organisations that market their products and services to the general public might adopt a different approach from those that sell to other businesses.
Entry to marketing jobs is competitive. Many entrants have a degree, HND/HNC or foundation degree. It might also be possible to enter with A levels; some people start as marketing assistants and progress after further training and experience.
Market research is carried out
The aim of market research is to find out what people need, want, like and dislike. This is done by carrying out surveys and opinion polls.
Market Research Interviewer
Market research interviewers often collect information using questionnaires. They ask questions about, for example:
- which brand names or advertising slogans people recognise
- which products they use
- where they usually shop
- what they watch on TV
- what they think about government policies.
They usually have to interview a target number of people. This could either be a random selection or a particular group. Interviews can be carried out in the street (often in shopping centres where there are lots of people), over the phone, online or in people's homes.
There are no formal academic qualifications needed to become a market research interviewer, but you'll need good verbal and written communication skills, and some IT skills. The Market Research Society (MRS) accredits a number of market research agencies to organise training for new entrants.
Conclusions are drawn from survey results
The results of a market research survey need to be turned from large amounts of statistical data into something understandable, so that marketing departments can decide how to use the results.
Statistics are often presented in diagram form, for example, as graphs and pie charts, and summarised in reports.
Market Research Analyst
Market research analysts explain the data produced as a result of market research. This helps companies and organisations to judge people's opinions. The analyst presents the data in a form that can be easily understood by the client, for example, in a report with graphs and charts.
The analyst makes recommendations that might be used to help in product design or pricing, or when deciding on advertising policy. In industrial research, the analyst might study published information such as company sales figures.
Market research analysts must have excellent communication and IT skills and be good at solving problems. Most entrants to this work are graduates with good numerical and analytical skills.
Statisticians collect, analyse and interpret numerical data. Their results help others to make informed decisions, create strategies or policies, and comment on aspects of modern life.
Statisticians help marketing managers to identify and predict demand, target products at particular types of customer and assess company performance.
Many statisticians work for the Government Statistical Service. They provide an information and advisory service to the government and parliament, to help develop policies and put them into practice, and to evaluate their impact on the public.
Statisticians use their skills in many other areas, including finance (for example, banks and investment companies) and industry, especially in pharmaceutical companies.
The most direct route to employment as a statistician is a degree in statistics or applied statistics. For some areas of work, you will also need a specialist postgraduate qualification.
Action is taken
The results of market research are used in a number of ways. They can help companies decide on things like:
- where to advertise
- how a product's packaging should be designed
- which customers to send special offers to
- whether or not to launch an entirely new product.
A company might decide, for example, to attend an exhibition, run a conference or organise a mailshot of catalogues to householders. Other surveys, such as opinion polls, can help political parties decide on the issues to focus on, in the run up to an election.
Exhibition organisers handle the planning, organising and advertising of trade and other exhibitions.
They arrange for promotional material to be produced to attract exhibitors and visitors, and they sell exhibition space. After the event, the organiser asks for opinions from visitors and exhibitors to find out whether or not the event was a success.
Conference organisers are also involved in a lot of planning. They have to organise the programmes, liaise with speakers, find venues for conferences, arrange catering facilities, and sort out accommodation for the people attending the conference, for example.
Many conference/exhibition organisers are graduates; others are recruited from hotel and catering, or sales, marketing and public relations.
Direct Marketing Manager
Direct marketing is the method of marketing goods and services by direct communication with the customer. Direct marketing is done through, for example, text messages, emails, social media, viral marketing, search engine optimisation, phone calls, mailshots and websites.
Some direct marketing campaigns make use of computer databases to record and analyse details about customers and then send them marketing information and special offers about things they have bought in the past, for example.
Direct marketing managers plan and co-ordinate direct marketing activities. They work out how best to market a product most efficiently. They spend a lot of time talking to people in person and on the telephone, monitoring the work, so they need to have excellent communication skills.
At the end of each marketing campaign, they analyse costs and sales figures to see if it was successful.
There is strong competition for all jobs in marketing. Direct marketing managers usually have skills developed by working in marketing, sales, public relations or telemarketing. Some enter through graduate training schemes.
Specialists in graduate careers
Address: Unit 6, The Quad, 49 Atalanta Street, Fulham, London SW6 6TU
Tel: 020 7565 7900
Association of Event Organisers Ltd (AEO)
Address: 119 High Street, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire HP4 2DJ
Tel: 01442 285810
Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
Address: Moor Hall, Cookham, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 9QH
Tel: 01628 427120
Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM)
Address: 1 Park Road, Teddington, Middlesex TW11 0AR
Tel: 020 8614 0277
Market Research Society (MRS)
Address: The Old Trading House, 15 Northburgh Street, London EC1V 0JR
Tel: 020 7490 4911
Royal Statistical Society (RSS)
Address: 12 Errol Street, London EC1Y 8LX
Tel: 020 7638 8998