Posted on 01/16/20 by Danielle Garan
While it is true that we have a continuously growing number of marketing research solutions and tools, that alone won’t guarantee successful market research. Maximizing these tools won’t automatically make you a skilled researcher either.
So, what does it take to be an outstanding market researcher? What qualities are essential in delivering the kind of insights that will ultimately delight your clients?
Below are 10 traits that can make you a stellar market researcher:
1. Strong analytical skills
Gathering a substantial amount of needed information is one thing, but knowing how to make sense of that data is more important. As a market researcher, it’s not enough to just gather huge amounts of raw data. The key is to analyze and translate this information into actionable insights for your client’s business. You need to have a concrete understanding of your client’s objectives, their roadblocks and analyze the data taking all that into consideration. Ultimately, everything should tie back to business goals and objectives.
2. An open mind and lack of prejudice
Remind yourself to throw away any preconceived notion about a particular client before working with them to reduce any potential risk of being biased. In addition, an effective market researcher will not ask questions that can directly affect the answers of its participants or subtly lead participants to give out your desired answers. This may look like a win to your study at first or it can be tempting if the research is not exactly going as planned, but brands will still benefit the most from honest and accurate representations of its consumers’ opinion.
3. A pleasant personality
As a market researcher, you are bound to conduct focus group discussions and in-depth interviews, among many other methods, to gather data. In order to get your respondents to comfortably share their insights with you, whether in-person or online, you must be able to build rapport and be flexible to work with a variety of personalities. Don’t easily dismiss someone because their opinions are equally valid and they may always have something valuable to share.
4. Excellent communication skills
Whether verbal or written, it is only imperative that a market researcher be able to do well in both. You need to be able to communicate your findings to your research participants and clients in such a way that is clear and engaging. By the end of it, you should be able to provide understandable insights that will help your clients with their decision making moving forward.
It is also important to be able to adapt your communication style depending on your audience and the industry they belong to.
5. An understanding of multiple research methods
The world of market research is composed of several research methodologies. Each one has its own corresponding benefit and shortcoming. You just need to distinguish when to use which method depending on a range of situations. For one, focus group discussions provide a detailed opinion from selected people in a social environment, whereas an in-depth interview is an opinion taken from specific individuals at a time. Diary and journal studies ensure in-the-moment reflections from individual participants while online research communities include a bigger set of respondents which allows for comparative analysis.
You may have seen methods that work instantly and efficiently. However, you must remember that every project is different. There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” solution in research. You need to be able to assess your client’s problem first, understand where the gap is, and then determine the approach and the tools you will use for that particular project. Furthermore, you are not limited to using just one research method; in fact, it is recognized that using multiple methods and tools can help achieve reliable results. Basically, a skilled researcher knows how to adapt based on their client’s needs.
7. In-depth presentation and reporting skills
Your job as a market researcher doesn’t just end with interpreting the collected data. Whatever insight is drawn from the analysis phase should be well-documented, actionable, and be made into a visually understandable report that your clients will have no problem understanding. As a market researcher you are also expected to accurately present these data to your clients and be ready for follow-up questions. This will act as a guiding light to help them make informed decisions. It is, therefore, really essential to possess reporting and presentation skills.
8. A keen eye for trends
An effective market researcher is someone who is able to easily spot patterns and trends through data analysis and be able to identify meaningful events or insights from them. This refers to your ability to weave a sensible premise from various bits of observations that will assist your clients to make informed decisions.
9. Effective management skills
No man is an island is especially true in market research where you’re working with a number of people; colleagues, respondents, marketing people, the client. It is then imperative to have steadfast management skills because this work demands a strong group dynamic. If you’re in a position to manage people, remember to always be open to receiving and providing feedback respectfully.
10. Ceaseless curiosity
If you want to be a researcher, you should always have the curiosity and the desire to learn and know more. It’s important that you never stop asking why and figuring out the how’s. You should have the passion to always dig deeper, look further, and see things from a different perspective so you can come up with ideas that your client wouldn’t have thought of. Great qualitative market researchers will continuously look for ways to improve their knowledge of research methods and ways to innovate and drive the industry forward.
These 10 qualities are what we think would make a great market researcher. What else do you think is important to become a successful researcher? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!