It’s an exciting time to be in the market research industry. Technologies and tools are constantly improving, and there’s more data available than ever before. Of course, more doesn’t automatically mean better. And maximizing the tools at hand doesn’t mean insights will magically appear. So, what does it take to be an outstanding market researcher?
Here are some of the top market research skills needed to succeed in 2021. When you’re evaluating a market research partner for your next project, be sure to look for these skills and qualities.
Competition-crushing insights don’t come from a pile of numbers. Gathering the data is one thing, but knowing how to make sense of it is where the true value of market research skills comes in. To analyze and translate raw data into actionable insights that move the needle in your business, a researcher should:
Beyond collecting and interpreting the data, market researchers should be able to present their findings in a compelling way. That includes data visualization tools and techniques to help you make connections quickly.
As market research consultants, we take time to accurately present in a clear, understandable, and visually compelling format. We encourage follow-up questions, and our goal is to provide in-depth reports you can use to make informed decisions.
An effective market researcher will work hard to reduce any potential risk of bias. This includes avoiding questions that might alter participants’ responses or subtly leading them towards desired answers. On the contrary, they must have an open mind and be prepared for the research to take unexpected turns.
Market researchers understand good survey question design and interview protocols to help avoid bias and encourage honest and accurate representations of the consumer’s opinion.
Today’s customer journey is fractured, occurring across the web, mobile, apps, and in-stores. That means truly understanding the customer journey requires connecting the dots from multiple data sources. Data integration is a key step in the process of turning raw data into insights that drive better, faster decision-making.
While much qualitative research occurs in-person (such as via interviews or observational research) online qualitative research continues to gain in popularity. It’s convenient, safe, and it allows you to reach people where they are hanging out!
Mobile ethnography, online surveys, video interviews, and online focus groups are popular methods of virtual qualitative research. A qualified research partner will be well-versed in all of them.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to market research. Complex research questions often call for a hybrid approach, which is why market researchers need to have a variety of skills and techniques in their toolbelt.
This includes quantitative methods like social media surveys, employee surveys, design validation tools, shopper behavior + process mapping. And also qualitative methods such as in-depth interviews, executive interviews, focus groups, in-store observation, and mystery shopping.
Ok, this one’s more of a quality than a skill. But it’s super important! It takes more than just being a research nerd to be a successful market researcher. When conducting 1:1 interviews or focus groups, it’s important to establish a rapport and a sense of trust with your research participants. Making people feel at ease can make it much easier to bring out insights, patterns, and open honest answers.
This is not an exhaustive list! These 7 skills should complement a market research partner’s excellent communication skills, accuracy, attention to detail, and client-focused approach.
To see how Voccii® helps enterprises, non-profits, and other businesses position themselves for continued success, see our case studies.
Related reading: 4 Top Market Research Trends To Look For In 2021