InterQ Learning Labs offers training for market researchers

“Market research” is a broad term covering both qualitative and quantitative research. It can include things like market sizing, marketing research, ad agency research (planning/strategy), consumer insights, voice of the customer research, and traditional qualitative research (focus groups, ethnographic research, in-depth interviews, social listening, and UX research). Let’s narrow it down a bit, and for the purposes of this post, we’ll be focusing on qualitative market research. Keep in mind that qualitative and quantitative research often go hand-in-hand (mixed methods), but there are distinct methodologies, skillsets, and practices that define what market researchers need to know.

So whether you’re well-established in your career as a market researcher, in school and interested in becoming a market researcher, or looking to transition into market research, keep reading — we’ll cover the key skillsets and training you’ll need to acquire to succeed as a market researcher working in qualitative research.

First, look for a market research training program that covers moderation skills

One of the key skills required in qualitative research is the ability to interview participants. Since qualitative research explores themes and seeks to uncover the “why” behind peoples’ behavior (as opposed to how many/statistical measurement, which is the domain of quantitative research), the most important foundation is to first learn how to “moderate” or interview participants. In order to understand how people perceive products, respond to product experiences, or think about products and brands, a skilled market researcher needs to be able to interview people.

Depending on the study context (and research should always be done in context), this can take many forms: Moderators can interview individuals, groups, or collect data through observation (ethnographic research). A market researcher needs to learn about the various methodologies and understand the fundamentals of how to set up interview questions and interview people without bias, be able to guard against group think, and be able to offer a safe space that allows people to share their authentic opinions.

And this requires training, coaching, observation, and practice.

Fortunately, there are training courses that focus exclusively on moderation skills.

As a market researcher, you’ll need to learn how to analyze and present research

Setting up studies and moderating interviews is just one of the skillsets market researchers need. Once all the data has been collected, the analysis and report process comes in. Qualitative research can put out a lot of data. Some studies, with 30+ hour-length interviews or focus groups can generate hundreds of pages in transcripts, online data, or observational notes. Though there are software programs that help researchers analyze, code, and tag the data, it still takes a researchers’ touch to be able to effectively hunt out the key themes and find actionable insights — and be able to translate this into a compelling story that will resonate with stakeholders.

To really up your game as a market researcher, take courses that teach you how to analyze and create market research reports that have maximum impact.

Advanced methods in market research

In addition to mastering moderating skills, setting up research projects, and analyze and write research reports, there are advanced methods that will give you the ability to advance your career in market research insights.

Social listening is a type of qualitative and quantitative market research that allows researchers to understand trends and themes from online conversations. This is instrumental for brands — it allows companies to track customer sentiment, across time — both for their brand and competitor brands.

If this is a specialty that is of interest to you, check out training courses specifically designed for social listening research.

Market research is a rewarding and fascinating career — find a training course near you >