Companies that sell products and services learn more about their current customers and target audiences through market research. They also use market research to learn more about their business reputation, brands, and other aspects of their organization. The definition of market research, according to Entrepreneur.com is: “The process of gathering, analyzing, and interpreting information about a market, about a product or service to be offered for sale in that market, and about the past, present, and potential customers for the product or service; research into the characteristics, spending habits, location, and needs of your business’s target market, the industry as a whole, and the particular competitors you face.”
Among the first steps in the business planning process is market research. Companies use it to help tackle such challenges as market segmentation, which is the identification of specific groups within a market, or product differentiation, the creation of an identity for a service or product to distinguish it from that of competitors. Market research companies gather, record, tabulate, and present data on marketing and public opinions. The services that market research companies offer include sampling and statistical services, broadcast media rating services, market analysis services, and political polling. Market research is conducted by telephone, e-mail, social media, snail mail, and face-to-face research (such as focus groups).
Jobs in the market research industry are found in market research agencies and at advertising agencies with market research capabilities. Many organizations also have their own marketing departments. The types of jobs in the field include research director or manager, research analyst, operations director, fieldwork manager, and statistician/data processing workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 681,900 market research analysts were employed in the United States in 2018. They worked for managemen...