How to Become a Marketing Analyst – A Complete Career Guide
The best marketing analysts (or market research analysts) play the role of modern day storyteller, with the ability to translate small details, raw number, and interviews into a visually engaging and informative report for the client, according to Katie Zmijewski, a lead analyst at Market Strategies International. Identifying the target audience and monitoring current customer satisfaction, as well as determining the consumer’s price threshold are all key parts of the marketing analyst’s narrative. They are also responsible for understanding the customer’s wants and needs, utilizing data to suggest new products or improve existing offerings to best reach an organization’s target population. This can include how to cultivate the market through store location and product placement, as well as develop marketing strategies and campaigns through various media channels. Requiring a combination of strong analytical skills and creative insights, the role of marketing analyst is often considered the most difficult and demanding in the industry, while simultaneously being described as the most dynamic.
This guide provides the important information you need to become a marketing analyst, including detailed career steps, job description, job prospects, and average salary projections.
Six Steps to Launching a Successful Marketing Analyst Career
Step 1: Earn your Undergraduate Degree
The best subjects you can major in are marketing, statistics, and business. Other appropriate majors include mathematics, economics, computer science, communications, and consumer psychology. Regardless of your major, you’ll want to make sure you take courses that train you in quantitative analysis.
Step 2: Build Up Your Skills
You’ll need strong analytical skills to succeed as a marketing or market research analyst, and you’ll need to demonstrate these skills to land associated positions. Important skills include familiarity with Excel, R, SAS, and SPSS statistical software. You may want to learn programming languages, especially SQL. David Santee, the president of True North Market Insights, says it is crucial that the marketing analysts he hires have a core background in business with a strong emphasis in statistics and marketing. “To have meaningful recommendations, to see what is most important in the data, the researcher has to understand marketing concepts, business strategy, communications strategy, concepts of positioning, and how elements make for a strong value proposition,” Santee says. “I would advise anyone starting out or wanting to transition into the profession to make a point of learning as much about those areas as possible.”
Step 3: Gain Entry-Level Experience
Look for summer internships while still in school. It is common for companies to hire recent graduates with the proper training and qualifications right out of school. Think of ways to demonstrate your analysis skills through projects you have worked on and be able to tell a story about how your critical thinking skills led to unique insights.
Step 4: Specialize by Sector
As an entry-level marketing analyst, you’ll want to take part in many types of projects that give you experience in all aspects of the field. However, after a few years of gaining broad experience, you’ll want to start specializing. This will make you an expert consultant more likely to be promoted.
Step 5: Obtain an Advanced Degree
The most important way to advance your career as a marketing analyst is to get a master’s in business or specifically in marketing analytics. You’ll need this degree to qualify for many management positions or more technical jobs. You can also consider a professional certificate. These include the professional researcher certificate (PRC) offered by the market research association (MRA) or the certified market research analyst (CMRA) offered through the international institute of market research and analytics (IIMRA). The latter certificate is more basic, and open to college students to apply for, while the former is offered at the practitioner and expert levels and must be renewed every 2 years.
Step 6: Get Promoted
Marketing analysts generally stay in the position for about 1-4 years before transitioning into more senior roles, including marketing manager (or senior marketing manager), senior marketing analyst and digital marketing manager. This, of course, depends on your commitment to improving your skills, performing at a high level on every project, and doing things such as obtaining advanced degrees or professional certificates.
What is a Marketing Analyst?
A marketing analyst examines data to provide key insights to a company about which products or services to sell, to what audience, at what price. Relevant data includes market size, trends, growth rate, profitability, opportunity, distribution channels, and key success factors in an industry.
Marketing analysts must be able to identify patterns in data in order to make informed decisions. They determine what has and has not worked in past marketing campaigns, and what will work best in the future. They analyze both the hard data as well as customer psychology and behavior to make recommendations.
What does a Marketing Analyst do?
A marketing analyst conducts research to understand what customers need and want, while measuring the effectiveness of the marketing and business strategies that a company employs. One key aspect of the job is to minimize risks to a company as they embark on fresh marketing campaigns and strategies. Market analysts can reduce risks by understanding response rates, customer drop-out rates, and by measuring the return on investment.
The marketing analyst also monitors the competition for insights. The feedback that marketing analysts provide allows companies to create an advantage over their competition, and to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Marketing analysts might suggest emerging distribution channels, new products, or ways to segment the market to increase sales.
Marketing Analyst Job Description
- Conduct market research through predictive statistics and customer analysis to monitor and forecast trends
- Implement and evaluate data collection methods, including online customer surveys
- Analyze data through technical means, such as statistics programs and data mining
- Identify opportunities for new products and markets
- Calculate appropriate pricing based on industry cost structure, and generate sales forecasts
- Design marketing plans for new or existing products
- Turn the results of your data into easily digestible reports, featuring plenty of visuals like graphs and tables
- Present your conclusions to clients and management
- Develop ways to test effectiveness of marketing strategies
Skills needed to Become a Marketing Analyst
Marketing analysts need to be skilled in three main areas:
1. Data analysis: The core aspect of the job requires a vast amount of data analysis. Marketing analysts must ask the right questions and find ways to collect appropriate data. They will do this by using technical programs such as statistical analysis software, SQL databases, computer programming, survey software, reporting software, and data mining and visualization software.
2. Business and customer knowledge: Marketing analysts use their understanding of consumer psychology to interpret data. They also must use their understanding of how a particular industry functions, and their specific client within the wider context, including how to differentiate themselves from competitors.
3. Communication: Marketing analysts must be able to communicate with customers, researchers, and company management. They must be able to share findings and recommendations in such a way that nontechnical audiences understand.
Marketing Analyst Salary
The median salary for a market analyst in 2020 was $65,810/year, according to BLS.
Payscale estimates annual bonuses and additional compensation to be between $618 and $8000. Experience has a positive effect on salary, and certain parts of the country pay more on average than others, such as the metropolitan areas of San Jose, San Francisco, and Seattle. As mentioned earlier, certain skills also translate into higher salaries, including programming knowledge of SQL, project management, business analysis, competitive intelligence, and strategic marketing. Find a complete salary guide here.
Marketing Analyst Job Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increase of 18% in the number of marketing analyst jobs from 2019-2029, which is much faster than the average increase of jobs in other fields. This surge in jobs is dictated by the rise in big data, and the need to analyze this data and conduct market research across all industries. Companies have realized that in order to be competitive, they must engage in market research through data-driven analysis and thus are hiring an increasing number of marketing analysts.
The role of the market analyst has also changed because of big data. Whereas market analysts once relied on time-consuming surveys, they now find ways to automate the research aspect of the role and instead focus on predictive analytics and customer engagement. Job prospects are best for those with a master’s degree in market research, marketing, statistics, or business administration.