Making the career jump from academic to market research has been rewarding, engaging and most of all, exciting. Five months and dozens of projects later, I've learned a lot of valuable lessons and below are four that I'd like to share with you.
1) The work is fun!
First and foremost, market research is exciting stuff. We get to work with a wide variety of companies for weeks at a time, dive in and learn all about the market their operating in and relay valuable insights back to stakeholders. We dig up everything from why consumers make certain purchase decisions to what they're passionate about and what makes them tick.
2) Sometimes 10 people can reveal more insights than 1,000
I always thought the more, the better. The larger the sample size, the more accurate the results, right? Well, in market research emotions play a significant role in consumer behavior and sometimes unearthing the emotions of 10 people is much more enlightening than surveying 1,000. Qualitative research should not be overlooked, especially when you find yourself asking a lot of whys.
3) People will always keep you guessing
Oftentimes you think you can predict how consumers will respond, but people will always surprise you. It's essential to analyze your data with fresh eyes rather than simply pulling out what you want to see. You have to be willing to throw away your hypothesis if your data doesn't support it and start new.
4) Check, re-check and then check again
Projects move quickly, sometimes 24-hours quickly, which means you don't have time to go back and re-collect data or make corrections to a report. Questionnaires, surveys and reports have to be checked, checked by your coworker and checked again.
Whether you're new to the field or a seasoned veteran, the consumer landscape is constantly evolving and there is always something new to learn.
Stay tuned for more market research insights next week!