Market Research and Consumer Behavior

What is Consumer Behavior? Why is it so Sought After?

A career in Consumer Behaviour is a vivid build that combines various disciplines to evaluate the structure of the consumption attitude present among customers. Making a career in this multidisciplinary field sure seems like an exciting choice. Borrowing from disciplines like Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Marketing, Arts and Aesthesis, and Advertising, this field tries to gain a factual insight about the consumer behaviour in the competitive marketplace.

Consumer Behaviour is largely concerned with the trend of popular consumption, commonly seen amongst the target product consumers. Therefore, Consumer Behaviour professionals study acquisition, survival, and disposal of the produced goods and services. Companies of all sizes, making products of consumption, largely depend on their employed marketing professionals to build a circle of brand loyalty around their products. That is the reason why Consumer Behaviour is used in Marketing strategies.

Marketers also use Consumer Behaviour to understand the needs and motives of their target customers. Consumer Behaviour Analysts, also titled as Market Researchers or Consumer/Marketing Specialists, dive inside the psychology involved with marketing concepts, analyzing the mind of the consumers and digging facts as to what customer buy and why. These purchasing habits are used as a base to carry out marketing and production activities so as to create a strong strategic attraction around products. Studying buyer behaviour, collecting data, noting market trends, and calculating marketing potential are integral to a career in Consumer Behaviour.

Qualification Needed for a Career in Market Research and Consumer Behavior
To show commitment towards this detail-oriented field, owing some relevant experience in marketing related behaviour analysis generally plays in one’s favour. Since, in this field we are taking into picture two areas-Marketing and Behaviour, combining these two in one’s formal academic exposure will be a good idea.
An MBA is proven to be a useful accomplishment for a career in Consumer Behaviour. It conceptualizes and processes the academic and practical knowledge gained in past. Some elective courses in Marketing can set a good base for understanding consumption patterns. Alternatively, any other relevant Masters degree will be a step-up in advancing knowledge about the core business routines and inch towards a career in Market Research and Consumer Behavior.

One would typically start with a degree in Business Administration, Public Relations, Advertising, Marketing Research, Consumerism, or general Psychology, with a specialization in buyer behaviour. These will prove to be a useful foundation for a career in Consumer Behaviour. Experience is highly valued in a career in Consumer Behaviour because it shows basic knowledge, either in Marketing, Consumerism, Business Operations or Product Making, all of which can be used in understanding Consumer Behaviour. Through volunteering and internships, students can make sure that they get plenty of networking and relevant experience. Positions that give candidate a view of Manufacturing, Logistics, and Marketing can be counted as useful experiences.

Skills Needed for a Career in Market Research and Consumer Behavior
The process of data collection, analysis, hypothesis, research and conclusion about the Consumer Behaviour is a very technical process. Thus, strong analytical approach is needed to begin a career in Consumer Behaviour. To juxtapose, compare, and contrast data, and to make reports and articulate their findings, successful Customer Behaviour requires well refined planning skills and quantitative skills. It is not easy to get into the minute specifications without backing oneself with high organizational and strategic, skills along with attention to detail. To reach a favourable conclusion, a Consumer Behaviour Analyst or a Market Analyst has to integrate large amounts of research data and needs to have robust mental capacity.

Further, sharp observational skills to understand and capture the popular culture, profound knowledge of methods used in experimentation, socioeconomic awareness of the global consumption trends and determination towards registering relevant behavioural patterns for the clients are the skills typically seen amongst successful Consumer Behaviour Analysts. Planning, conducting, interpreting the result of research campaigns are part of the job of a Consumer Behaviour Analyst. Along with this, understanding of the industrial- organizational psychology, personality and culture improvement are strong career builders for progression in this career. Additionally, good writing skills for constructing detailed marketing plans and communication skills for public relation related activities can be advantageous.

Hierarchy in Market Research Career and Consumer Behavior Career
The entry level position in a career in Consumer Behaviour can begin with Marketing, Advertising, or any other Business Operation oriented positions. After four to five years of understanding production, buyer behaviour, consumer decision-making and dynamics of products, professionals rise up to become Marketing Heads, Senior Managers, or Buyer Behaviour Analysts.
To become more competent, more exposure towards understanding the market needs and shaping the strategies can be gained through joining Marketing Club, attending workshops, taking up independent work towards consumption patterns, completing certified courses, and keeping updates with the popular culture. All these will aid towards building a career in Consumer Behaviour.

Pros of a Career in Market Research and Consumer Behavior
Professionals who succeed in making a value name for themselves in the field of Market Research and Consumer Behavior can expect a good salary growth. The more one learns and achieves in the career ladder, the higher one’s growth potential becomes. There are several other advantages of working in Market Research and Consumer Behavior. One gets to work with and meet new people from different industries, making every day exciting. It is because of this scope that it is easier for Consumer Behaviour professional to make shifts to different industries, according to their interests. The opportunities are plenty to choose from. This highly competitive field makes sure that one’s knowledge and skills are updated at all times and efforts are duly rewarded. Another good thing about working the career path is job stability. The career line usually sails through economic bumps, since consumer analysts are needed through all the economic scenarios.

Cons of a Career in Market Research and Consumer Behavior
A career in Consumer Behaviour may not be a good fit with those who think that research and theoretical work is mundane. The working hours can be long and tedious, which can get quite monotonous. The competition can be hefty and the deadlines can be tight. Frequent overtime, constant travel, and dedicated hard work can make the road rocky.

Who is a Career in Market Research and Consumer Behavior good for?
Market Research and Consumer Behavior is an exciting avenue for integrated individuals. For those who wish to enjoy a wholesome career that keeps one updated not only with business operations, but also with the cultural, social, economical and political situations influencing the consumers, a career in Consumer Behaviour will be a good fit. Another reason for an interest in this area could come from the psychological division of this career. The mental make-up, influencing a particular choice amongst the consumers, can captivate many candidates.

Best Companies for a Career in Market Research and Consumer Behavior

  • L.L. Bean
  • QVC
  • Kohl’s
  • Land’s End
  • JC Penney
  • Nordstrom
  • Covered by…