Sunday, June 10, 2012

August 2010 Newsletter for Research Professionals


The Newsletter for Research Professionals   August  2010

While the recession continues to choke some industries and seriously challenge job opportunities in others, most research businesses find they are weathering the economic hard times better than most. This is especially true for market research companies who continue to experience job growth statistics despite the downturn. Market research jobs are expected to increase at a modest but steady rate across all branches.

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A market research career
Wikipedia describes market research as the systematic gathering, recording and analysis of information. In its simplest essence that is exactly what it is but in practice, market research is a dynamic and contemporary career choice that is challenging and varied to a greater extent than almost any other research based occupation.
Market research professionals are typically concerned with the potential sales of a product or service. To achieve this goal they are tasked with collecting statistical data and examining prices, sales, and methods of marketing and distribution. These professionals also endeavor to predict future sales. In addition to administering these tasks market researchers must devise methods and procedures for obtaining the data they need. This usually involves creating telephone, mail, in-person and online surveys to understand consumer preferences.
Market researchers then interpret the data obtained and use their experience and knowledge to garner meaning from the data. They will then make suggestions for advertising campaigns or policy decisions based upon their inferences. Suggestions may include advice about promotional material, design, branding, distribution, policy direction and product pricing.
Many marketing career professionals begin as a project director or consultant and work their way up the ladder from there. While salaries for a market researcher begin at a modest but decent level, there is literally no limit to what a market researcher can potentially earn. The work is interesting and varied. A typical market research career may roughly follow this path:
Project Director/Consultant àSenior Director/ConsultantàResearch Analyst or Research Manager or Account ExecutiveàSenior Research Manager or Senior Account ExecutiveàStatistician or Vice President or Senior ManagementàCEO
To follow are rough examples of Market research titles and corresponding salaries as taken from the Department of Labor Statistics in the United States (http://www.bls.gov/). 
Job Title
Typical Salary Range*
Project Director
$30,000 to $50,000
Senior Project Director
$40,000 to $60,000
Market Research Analyst / Marketing Research Analyst
$50,000 to $80,000
Research Manager / Research Director
$50,000 to $70,000
Senior Research Manager / Senior Research Director
$60,000 to $90,000
Account Executive/Account Manager
$50,000 to $70,000
Senior Account Executive
 $70,000 to $100,000
Statistician
 $90,000 to $110,000
Vice President
$125,000+


*Excludes bonuses, commissions or other non-salary compensation
According to the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics, “Employment opportunities are expected to grow faster than average for all market research positions through 2014. Job growth will be driven, in part, by retiring workers, shifting of job skills toward computers and quantitative methods, a growing economy and the need for companies to operate in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.”
Eric Salama talks about what it takes to be a great market researcher in a contemporary workplace in the July 2010 issue of Research World. Here is what the CEO of Kantar, one of the top five market research companies in the world, had to say, “You need an incredibly diverse group of people with a multitude of different skill sets. You need technically excellent statisticians and researchers; people who are expert in data fusion; storytellers who can weave together a myriad of different strands.”
He goes on to say that other qualities or skill sets needed in market research are those of a qualitative researcher with excellent listening skills who is able to identify the essence amidst a mountain of information, and also project management skills. He says that regardless of the skill sets needed for varying components of market research, common requirements are a passion for insight and for helping clients, in other words possession of a customer based focus.
Amazing research!
Wireless Power Chargers:
At long last the end is in sight for the tedium and hassle of wall outlet plugs to recharge. Wireless chargers are indeed on the horizon for smaller devices anyway. The concept of a pad on which you set your phone or MP3 player has been realized. Convenient Power has developed a charging pad which uses vertical fluxes to transmit energy to a receiver. Apparently there is a coil inside the transmitter that sends an energy signal to a coil within the receiver which is either embedded or attached.
Convenient Power’s CFO says that once the standards are approved their device will be the beginning of an era in commonplace charging platforms. Although the company has cracked the code for charging smaller devices there are still a number of issues to overcome before wireless pads exist for larger capacity devices – we can’t wait!
tHIS month’s NUMERO UNO job interview TIP:

Listen. While listening skills are justifiably given due weight for people undertaking interviews it is often understated for those being interviewed, the assumption being that they will be talking more than listening. In actual fact the talking being done will be more on target and indicative of what the interview panel is looking for if the interviewee has listened carefully to what is being asked. A person who answers questions that haven’t been asked, who skips over comments made by panelists or ignores (or simply doesn’t hear) what is being asked of them sends a very clear message to the hiring panel. The message is, “I am incapable of listening, taking direction, following instructions or engaging in dialogue.”

There aren’t many jobs today that don’t require a high level of communication skills and that is particularly true in research fields. That said, it is critically important to a successful interview that the job candidate listen to the panelists and respond specifically to what is being asked. That doesn’t mean you can’t elaborate or even steer the question to more comfortable ground (or a topic that shows you in your best light) but be sure to obviously answer the initial question within your dialogue to show that you did hear what was said.

______
"Every path to a new understanding begins in confusion."
Mason Cooley


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