Market Analyst Job Description: Skills, Requirements and Career
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What Does a Market Analyst Do?
The job of a market analyst is to collect, analyze, interpret, manipulate and visualize data to help companies plan successful sales strategies and marketing campaigns. They are sometimes also known as marketing analysts.
The market analysis and research remit of a market analyst involves analyzing, interpreting, manipulating and visualizing various types of sales-related data, including consumer demographics, pricing policies, distribution channels, sell in/sell out performance for sales outlets, performance of promotional and marketing activities, and market penetration. Market analysts are also responsible for preparing market research solutions, involving surveys, questionnaires, interviews and focus groups, with the aim of assessing the preferences of consumers, their needs and buying habits, as well as to obtain feedback from customers. Analysts also collect statistical data and analyze market reports to identify market trends and potential new target customers/markets/channels. They also constantly monitor the activities and strategies of competitors in order to create competitive benchmarks for the industry/sector.
The general aim of the analytical work done by a market analyst is to obtain information that can help a company achieve its business objectives. For instance, an analyst may be required to identify the most profitable types of product or service, customer preferences, the most effective channels of distribution or specific target markets for communication and marketing initiatives, or to produce projections of sales volumes.
Market analysts produce reports and presentations illustrating the qualitative and quantitative results of their analyses to the directors of the marketing and sales departments, or else directly to company management. Their goal is to provide the company with the data required for effective strategic planning, i.e. in order to drive and inform the design and development of its products and services, to define its sales and marketing strategies, plan effective communication initiatives and organize its sales networks as efficiently as possible.
Market analysts typically work with marketing managers and their team in devising and coordinating advertising campaigns, on the launch of new products and other promotional activities, as well as with budget planning. They help companies to identify the most suitable communication tools and channels for the specific target market, analyze product positioning and plan sales strategies. Subsequently they monitor initiatives to ensure they are conducted in line with the agreed business objectives and measure the return on investment of campaigns.
In performing their data analysis and interpretation functions, Marketing analysts regularly make use of databases, statistical software and Business Intelligence tools to mine the data gathered for relevant information and to reach conclusions with regard to markets, trends, competitors, potential customers and campaigns.
Marketing analysts typically work as employees of medium to large sized companies or multinationals with in-house market analysis functions or, alternatively, for consultancy firms offering marketing, consumer insights and market research services. Additionally, some marketing analysts may work on a self-employed basis. The skills of a marketing analyst can be applied in a strategic and operational marketing function within any industry or sector.
The typical workplace of a marketing analyst is the marketing department of the company they work for or, in the case of an external consultant, the offices of their client. Working hours are generally standard full-time hours.
Other common names for this position: Marketing Analyst
Market Analyst Responsibilities
The main responsibilities of a market analyst are as follows:
- Gathering statistics relating to sales, marketing campaigns, demand trends, consumer habits, market trends and actions of competitors
- Preparing and conducting market research
- Analyzing statistical and economic data to provide business with relevant information
- Prepare detailed reports providing management with relevant data on consumers and markets
- Translate data into actions to support company initiatives and decisions
- Contribute to definition of data-driven strategies for development, manufacture and sale of products
- Support implementation of operational marketing plans and organization of sales network
- Monitor campaigns and sales performance and measure results achieved
How to Become a Market Analyst: Education and Requirements
To become a market analyst usually requires a degree in Marketing, Economics or Statistics. The ideal candidate will have prior experience in marketing or in market research, while essential skills include collecting, analyzing, interpreting and synthesizing data, creating market research questionnaires and surveys, a knowledge of data collection methods and the ability to perform statistical analyses. Job adverts for marketing analysts typically request an in-depth knowledge of statistical tools and an ability to use databases, analytics software and business intelligence applications, as well as a familiarity with basic computer applications. Market analysts also need to be able to summarize their findings and illustrate them to management and clients using charts, graphs, tables and presentations, in order to help them make informed decisions when conducting product launches or marketing campaigns.
Skills and Qualifications
Job vacancies for marketing analysts typically request the following skills:
- Ability to perform market analyses and interpret and manipulate statistical data
- Knowledge of data collection and analysis methods, big data and research techniques
- Ability to use statistical software programs and data visualization and presentation tools
- Analytical skills
- Strategic planning skills
- Goal-oriented attitude
- Team player
- Good communication and organizational skills
- Proactive problem-solving approach
Market Analyst Career Path
A career as a market analyst may develop in a number of different directions. Starting from a position as a Junior Marketing Analyst, an analyst may, with experience, progress to more senior roles and from there to managerial positions in a company’s marketing or sales department.
Alternatively, an analyst may choose to specialize in a specific sector, for example, becoming a digital marketing analyst, i.e. an expert at analysing and interpreting data to help companies plan and implement their online marketing strategies.
Another option is to move into a self-employed role, providing companies with marketing consultancy services as a freelance consultant.
Top Reasons to Work as a Market Analyst
Working as a market analyst is a dynamic, stimulating and challenging job, in which an ability to work with numbers and data plays an important role, making it an ideal position for candidates with strong analytical skills and reasoning abilities. Marketing analysts typically enjoy a good degree of autonomy and work in contact with a number of other company departments, including design and development, sales and marketing and communications. The work of a market analyst influences a company’s strategic choices in terms of the design, sale, and distribution of its products and services and therefore plays a key role in the success of its business.
Additional reasons to choose a career as a market analyst include the competitive salaries that marketing roles generally offer as well as attractive career prospects in a dynamic environment that is rapidly evolving.