Marketing Research Analysts and Survey Researchers
Market, or marketing research analysts concentrate on the potential sales of a service or product. By gathering statistical data and examining marketing and distribution prices, sales, and methods, analysts then analyze this past sales data to predict future sales. To obtain required information, they often devise post, telephone, in-person, and Internet surveys to assess consumer attitudes. They also lead focus group discussions, set up booths in public places to conduct interviews, as well as going door-to-door within a specific region of interest.
After compiling and analyzing the data, market research analysts are able to provide recommendations to their employer or client. They provide recommendations on distribution, promotion, design, and pricing of products or services. General business suggestions and guidelines for developing effective advertising methods, sales plans, and product promotional ideas may also be provided.
Survey Researchers work for a variety of clients including corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations to conduct and design surveys. The surveys collect information for obtaining data used for performing research, making operational decisions, or improving customer satisfaction. Like market research analysts, survey researchers use mediums such as mail, Internet, telephone, and personal interviews to conduct surveys.
Depending upon research scope and data collection method, survey researchers design surveys in many different formats. They also may consult with market research analysts, economists, and statisticians in order to design efficient and effective surveys.
Typically working within a structured work schedule, market and survey researchers may work alone (but usually part of a research team) designing surveys, writing reports, and preparing statistical charts. Those who conduct personal interviews may have regular contact with the public. Most work under the pressure of tight deadlines and busy schedules, which may require overtime hours. Special, unexpected requests for data, meeting attendance and travel can also be part of a researcher's work environment.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-2007 Edition, Market and Survey Researchers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco (visited December 28, 2005).