5 reasons why a job in market research can jump-start your career
Last week I was one of the speakers at the ESOMAR ‘Developing talent’ – event in the EMLyon business school. The objective of the event was to show the value of market research, and the attractiveness of the job to high potentials.
Together with interesting speakers from GfK , Added Value, BrainJuicer and Philips we shared client cases and personal experiences in a Q&A formula. A very valuable format of ESOMAR to connect youngsters to our industry.
Some people tend to be skeptical towards our jobs because in their perception it’s just not aspirational enough. I must admit it was hard to turn around the prejudice of market researchers as a bunch of boring data crunchers, but for sure we triggered some interest!
Based on my experiences, these are 5 arguments that helped me to inspire these young guys:
- Truly understand consumer behavior: The day-to-day contact with consumer’s opinions on various subjects enables you to really understand how and why people make certain choices. Being able to think in terms of consumer needs and expectations is an asset that will set you apart from others who have no understanding of consumer behavior.
- Learn from top level companies: The fact that you have the ability to work with some of the largest global companies is just massively valuable for your personal development. Getting to know the people and processes in these companies, their way of thinking and decision making flow, their company culture… is an experience that will be of value for the rest of your future career.
- Develop strong consulting skills: A large part of market research is inspiring your clients based on the results of your study. Giving presentations and bringing the voice of the customer into the board room sharpens your personal consulting skills. You become a much more confident speaker and debater, a person that is able to inspire an audience with engaging speeches.These first three points already indicate that a job in market research can be at least equally inspiring as a job in a pure consulting or advertising for example. But there is even more…
- Benefit from cross sector and cross country market insights: On a daily basis you are working on B2B and B2C projects, going from FMCG & retail, to travel, health care, media, technology… Different sectors and markets with different consumers and customers. Many of these projects will be cross-country. Getting insights in all these different markets fuels your overall knowledge and turns you into a true cosmopolitan.
- Leverage the latest social and technological trends: Just like in many industries, market research is evolving by the speed of light because of the changing technological and social environment. As a youngster you can bring lots of new ideas to the table, based on these ultra-fast moving evolutions. You get a lot of room to bring your ideas alive and develop them further via the profound knowledge of experienced professionals. Consider it living the life of an entrepreneur with all the necessary tools available to tap into new opportunities.
As you’ve probably noticed, working in market research goes way beyond statistics and numbers. So the existing market research stereotypes, being it just boring statistical nerds or data crunching geeks don’t match with reality.
All of my colleagues are really cool and ambitious people who above all want to inspire companies and brands with an ongoing drive and passion. Nothing boring about that! On the contrary: we feel like changing the world in a way. Maybe you can add many more arguments, help me in building this story so that we can make market research a sexy experience, also for these young and very eager starters!
Get connected via Twitter @dadovanpeteghem to discuss or share your opinion in the comments below. Talk soon!