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Demystifying Market Research
To help demystify the market research and insights industry, we've started collecting the most frequently asked questions by students and young professionals in order to create more clarity around our industry.
What are all the roles in market research?
Honestly, there are more roles than we have room to answer on this page. Take a look.
However, we've written up descriptions for some of the more popular roles in Market Research below and provided a few links for you to explore on your own.
First Hand Knowledge:
Once you're done exploring, visit our Community Pillar to hear from market researchers themselves what they love about their careers.
Moderators are known for being the chattier, more colorful versions of researchers as their jobs, quite literally, depend on the conversations they have with others.
Qualitative moderators typically lead one-on-one interviews or large focus group conversations to understand how people interact with brands and why. This method of research is used to gain deeper insights on the psychology of consumers in order to link that information to how they interact with their brand world.
To get this right, Qualitative moderators often ask larger, loftier questions in order to paint a fuller, more comprehensive picture of the world and lives of the respondents they are able to speak with.
Project Field Coordinator
Think of this role as the glue that holds a project together. A Field Coordinator typically oversees the costs, logistics & planning of different qualitative or quantitative research projects, both globally and domestically.
Their roles may include many tasks including identifying they right types of consumers the research should be focusing on, managing vendors or panel sample, creating comprehensive price elements, running the financial aspects of projects, and coordinating projects as they are won.
Coordinators play crucial roles in the organization by ensuring the projects that come in are run smoothly and at a profit.
Similar to a Consumer Insights Strategist only their responsibilities also include developing strategies that enhance that brand itself to ensure it is easily recognized in its category and remains relevant for consumers over time.
Sometimes brand strategy is only about building the brand identity which may include what the brand stands for, what it looks and sounds like and how it's meant to be perceived by others who see it. Or, sometimes brand strategy is also about creating the central idea from which ads, commercials and marketing campaigns are meant to come from.
No matter the scenario, brand strategists must be able to take the data and insights they learn about consumers, culture and the marketplace to create a strategic plan to achieve specific goals for the brands they work with.
Someone who takes the theories from the field of semiotics and applies it to how consumers assign meaning to the signs, shapes, symbols and messages they receive from brands.
Semioticians use their ability to break down signs and symbols to determine how brands can more effectively resonate with consumers while remaining culturally relevant.
To do this effectively, semioticians must be able to stay in touch with culture at all times. They have to be well informed with the things happening in their countries- from politics to pop culture. And, more than anything, they have to love advertising and branding.
Analyze large quantities of numbers and data in order to extract insights in away that quantifies, measures or validates specific insights that brands need before making key decisions.
In market research, Quantitative Analyst are the ones who build the surveys that companies make and distribute on their behalf. Their interaction with respondents is limited as they only see finished survey answers.
Unlike qual, Quantitative Analysts often deal with large sets of data because the surveys they create are often meant for hundreds and thousands of people to take them. Because of this, Quantitative Analysts have to understand how shifts in demographics and identity labels (gender, ethnicity, age, etc.) may or may not impact their work.
UX is short for "user experience". This role is all about how people navigate the internet and the ease at which they are able to do so.
UX researchers work to create the best possible experience for the users of a website, or digital platform by researching user behavior and analyzing design elements to make the experience more intuitive and seamless.
Very similar to a brand strategist only this person creates strategy with state of culture in mind. Essentially he/she is tapped in to culture at all times and uses this to inform how clients should go to market vs. only relying consumer data and competitor trends.
Because of their relationship with culture, the role of Semiotician also sometimes falls beneath this practice area.
This practice area is not to be confused with a "Multicultural Strategist" which is a different role all together. Click the links to lean more.
Born from the newest fields of design thinking, design strategy is a combination of insights, brand strategy, and, where applicable, UX design. While the utility of this career role is still being explored and understood, overall, a design strategist is needed to ensure that the products companies build, the spaces we create and the way we manage our organizations are, at their core, centered around the way consumers will use and interact with them.
Similar to Quantitative Analysts, Statisticians play a big role in understanding data through numbers.
However, what makes them unique is that they can apply statistical methods and modeling to real-world problems to help brands understand consumers and, in some cases create predictive factors and correlation models to increase the likelihood of sales.
Essentially, their ability to understand numbers means that they can track trends in consumer and purchasing behavior to create new tools for brands to rely on when building new go-to-market strategies.
Consumer Insights Strategist
Use the insights gained from different research methods (qual, quant, social listening and more) to create strategies that appeal to a brand’s target audience. This also means that a consumer insights strategist must be proficient in at least one research method.
Typically, a Consumer Insights Strategist has to know how to take the outputs from the data and insights they receive and create a story for brands to better understand the consumers they spoke with. Essentially, a good strategist is a great storyteller. They know how to pull the most important pieces of information to the front- information that helps clients gain clarity and understand the world of their consumers with more depth.
Finally, strategists identify the steps required to ensure clients know how to connect with their audience, authentically.
Someone who dedicates their research to BIPOC populations and becomes an expert in the behaviors, habits and trends in multicultural groups and audiences.
A Multicultural Strategist can exist across various research specialty areas (qual, quant, stats, strategy, etc...) and uses their skillsets to tell the stories of consumers of color, how they interact with different brands, products an services and why.
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