Career in Market Research- The role, Positives, Challenges & Top companies

They say marketing without market research is like driving with your eyes closed. Currently working with a leading Market research firm, I can safely say, companies do invest heavily in market research – and with good reason. Be it minor business decisions or big strategic actions, companies do evaluate and study the market before taking calls on the way forward. And it does make sense, doesn’t it? Even when we are required to take difficult personal decisions, we evaluate, think of future consequences and act accordingly. So why shouldn’t businesses that have so much capital invested in each decision, do the same?

What does the role entail?

  • Monitor and predict marketing and sales trends
  • Evaluate past and present behaviour/ trends and provide insights into the future course of action for a business
  • Measure the effectiveness of marketing programs and strategies
  • Devise and evaluate methods for collecting data, such as surveys, questionnaires, and opinion polls, discussion guides, etc
  • Gather data on consumers, competitors, and market conditions
  • Analyse data using statistical software
  • Analysing consumer behaviour using qualitative tools
  • Convert complex data and findings into understandable tables, graphs, and written reports, ones that can be consumed in the right way
  • Preparing reports and present results to clients and management consulting them on way forwards/ strategic actions

The Positives of choosing Market Research as a career

People from diverse streams can opt market research

Literally anyone from any field can find a place in market research. A few techniques learnt previously and a little bit of an analytical mind is all you need to crack the interview (considering you are applying for a fresher’s job). This is because a lot of learning happens on the job.

Immense on the job learning

Learning on the job is tremendous in terms of technical knowledge as well as inter personal skills. Being a market researcher, you may have to show your clients the reality which may not always be rosy and here’s where you’ll learn persuasion, crisis management and effective communication skills.

You are paid Well

It pays well. Well, the big research firms in India do remunerate their employees well; knowing that a lot is required while working in the Market Research space.


If you were to join a top market research firm with diverse areas of marketing, the chances of you branching out every 2-3 years to a different area of market research is high. That way you get to broaden your horizon with market research and equip yourself to be more aware of the workings of the field.

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The Few Challenges of Market Research

The workload of market research

The current situation in India is such that clients expect MR firms to come back quickly with way forward’s for their companies. And they also expect a fair level of analysis and strategic recommendations. Therefore it becomes increasingly challenging to be able to finish studies and prepare impactful reports with purposeful recommendations, within limited timelines. But here’s where you learn time management!

Job Content can be overwhelming

The work can seem overwhelming. Since I studied psychology and MR was something completely new to me, it was all new information. Learning from scratch and keeping up with the pace of the industry can sometimes become overwhelming for a newbie. But here’s where you learn to toughen up!

The corporate culture

Most Market research firms are hierarchical in nature, unless it’s a start up or a medium sized firm. While the people may be nice, the hierarchy limits your promotions and career growth. This is true to any company and industry, tbh. So there’s not much you can do about it.

Top Market Research Companies in India

  • Nielsen
  • IMRB International
  • RNB Research
  • Market Xcel Data Matrix Private Limited
  • Majestic MRSS
  • TNS India Private Limited
  • Hansa Research
  • IDC India
  • IPSOS Indica Research
  • Millward Brown

In my opinion, market research is often looked at as a career option for students with an MBA or diplomas in research, but gradually the industry is opening its doors to students from all areas and levels of education. It’s a great place to start off, and like we mentioned, you can always branch out to other areas/ fields and the skills you pick up in research are sure to help you in anything else you choose to pursue!

“Marketing analysts can have a huge impact on the overall success of companies in the real estate industry. A marketing analyst will understand consumer expectations and use this understanding to work with a data science team to drive better product development, campaign management, and advertising messaging strategies. The more targeted and meaningful these strategies are for consumers, the more profitable companies can become by increasing the brand loyalty and lifetime value of clients.”- Eric Bryn, Digital Marketing Analyst, consultant, and Adjunct Professor of Digital Marketing Analytics at Loyola University Chicago.

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Written by Suzanne Dsouza

Suzanne is a Market Research Analyst for Qualitative Consumer Insights at Nielsen India. She holds a Masters degree in Psychology from Christ University, Bangalore.Hear it from her-
"Being brought in up in 3 metropolitan cities of India and having traveled to many states in India, I love covering travel related topics - places I've been to and places I wish to visit. My education in psychology makes me an empathetic yet mature individual;and while working in an MNC can sometimes take a toll on me- writing helps me find the balance and peace of mind I need.
Apart from work I enjoy spending time around my furry friends, cleaning, baking, learning new dance forms and horse riding"

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