Marketing Analyst Careers: Job Description & Salary Info

About this article
A marketing analyst's median annual salary is around $61,290. Is it worth the education requirements? See real job descriptions and get the truth about job growth and career prospects to find out if becoming a marketing analyst is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of a Marketing Analyst Career

Market analysts determine where and when to implement corporate strategy based on localized target market conditions. Check out the following pros and cons of being a marketing analyst to determine if it's a good fit for you.

Pros of a Marketing Analyst Career
Higher than average median annual salary ($61,290 for all market research analysts and marketing specialists as of May 2014)*
Job security (expected 32% job growth between 2012 and 2022)*
Only a bachelor's degree is required*
Job opportunities in many industries (finance, manufacturing, technical service, wholesale trade)*
Voluntary certification is available*

Cons of a Marketing Analyst Career
May need to work more than 40 hours per week*
May need to sit for long periods of time**
Work can be monotonous*
Many employers want to hire individuals with experience**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Assorted November 2012 job postings

Career Information

Job Duties and Descriptions

Marketing analysts, also called market research analysts, study the market for a city, state, region or country to determine which products and services are in demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), companies can use this information to offer products people want, set prices people will pay and create targeted marketing campaigns based on the group who is most likely to purchase the product. You could use polls, surveys, interviews, questionnaires or focus groups to gather data to predict future trends, determine how one company's product is selling compared to another's and identify ways to improve sales. Marketing analysts spend a lot of time in front of a computer, working alone. The BLS reported that most work full-time, but longer hours may be required when on a deadline.

Career Outlook

The BLS projected that the employment of marketing analysts would increase by about 32% between 2012 and 2022, which is much faster than the average for all occupations during that decade. Marketing analysts work in professional, scientific, technical service, finance, insurance, information, management and wholesale trade industries. You could work for a company that pays you to do research, work for a consulting firm or go into self-employment.

Salary Info

The median annual salary for marketing analysts and marketing specialists was about $61,290 as of May 2014, according to the BLS. However, some industries pay considerably more, such as vehicle manufacturing ($96,400) and computer systems design ($98,810). According to the BLS report, the mean annual salary for market research analysts in California, New York and Washington State ranges from $73,000 to $79,000, while the range for market research analysts in states such as West Virginia and North Dakota was from $47,000 to $51,000, as of May 2014.

What Do Employers Look for?

To become a marketing analyst, you must have at least a bachelor's degree, preferably in the field of market research, though some professionals studied statistics or computer science, according to the BLS. These degree programs will familiarize you with the process of using spreadsheets and databases to organize data and common marketing techniques, including consumer behavior analysis, global marketing, marketing behavior, public relations and business-to-business marketing. Other classes are business-intense and address finance, management, economics, statistics and problem solving in business. These classes could provide you with useful skills applicable for a career as a market research analyst, including:

  • Communication skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Computer skills
  • The ability to assess the market
  • Decision making skills
  • Interpreting data
  • Applying statistics
  • Multitasking

Job Postings from Real Employers

Opportunities for marketing analysts abound in industries across the country, since employers search for ways to compete and earn more business. Employers want someone who has experience in the marketing industry and the ability to take consumer data and turn it into revenue for clients. Job postings also indicate that they're searching for someone who has at least a bachelor's degree. The following are some job postings for marketing analysts from November of 2012:

  • A Boston-area advertising company searched for a database marketing analyst who could gather marketing data and present reports for clients in the form of charts, macros and pivot tables. The employer required someone with a bachelor's degree and at least three years of experience working in marketing.
  • An event planning and promotions organization in Virginia advertised for an entry-level marketing analyst who could help other event professionals make decisions on services and activities that would increase revenue by drawing in more customers. The ideal candidate would have 1-2 years of marketing or sales experience, be able to work independently and with a team, have managerial skills, be able to communicate effectively and have customer service experience.
  • An Alabama sports company wanted to hire a database marketing analyst who could apply sales data, marketing trends and customer behaviors to anticipate customer needs and improve business. The ideal candidate would have a bachelor's degree, at least 2 years of experience and be able to pass a background check.
  • A manufacturing company in Michigan was looking for a marketing analyst who could conduct marketing research to gather data to understand what their clients need and to analyze the competitors' business to develop new marketing and sales opportunities. Applicants should have at least 5 years of experience, previous market research experience, a bachelor's degree in marketing and the ability to promote products.

How to Beat the Competition

As evidenced by the job postings, experience is the single most important way to get noticed by employers. During college, complete an internship or acquire work experience in marketing or data analysis. This shows that you are familiar with the field and that you know what it entails. It can also get you references, which could help you beat your competition.

Continuing Education

You could also take additional or post-college courses in marketing, data analysis, business and market research. While you don't need to earn a full-fledge master's degree, which can be expensive, taking a few credits every year can keep your skills sharp and keep you familiar with current trends in the industry. It can also help you make new contacts, which can lead to more job opportunities.

Get Certified

Certification is not required for marketing analysts, but earning it makes you stand out and shows that you're highly qualified for marketing analyst positions. The Market Research Association (MRA) offers a professional researcher certification, which confirms your ability to use current techniques in market analysis, gather data and incorporate it effectively. You can apply to take the certification exam if you have at last three years of market research experience and have completed at least 12 continuing education credits in the last two years. The exam assesses your ability to design questionnaires, take samples, solve problems, prepare data and gather research from international data pools.

Alternative Fields

Purchasing Manager

If you are interested in a position in marketing and business, but you don't like the idea of sitting behind a desk and staring at a computer all day, becoming a purchasing manager could be for you. These professionals decide which goods, products or services to procure based on consumer behavior and projected trends. The job only requires a bachelor's degree, but they earned a median annual salary of around $97,000 as of May 2011, according to the BLS. However, the BLS projected that employment would increase by only 7% between 2010 and 2020, which is less than the average for all occupations.

Marketing Manager

If you're interested in the practical side of marketing, and not the research side of it, you might consider becoming a marketing manager. Marketing managers work with advertising and promotions professionals to create targeted campaigns to convince customers to purchase a specific product or service. Part of the job involves conducting and applying market research to determine which markets will buy the products. The BLS projected that employment would increase by about 14% between 2010 and 2020, which is average for the decade. The median annual salary for marketing managers was around $116,000 as of May 2011.

Survey Researcher

If you like working with people and have a bachelor's degree in business, marketing or political science, but you're more interested in acquiring data than applying it, becoming a survey researcher could be for you. According to the BLS, you'll be using surveys, questionnaires, focus groups and interviews to get the opinions of the entire population or a target group about the government, education and products, which can be used for marketing purposes. The BLS projected that employment would increase by 24% for survey researchers between 2010 and 2020 and reported that they earned a median annual salary of around $40,000.

Popular Schools

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Featured Schools

American InterContinental University

  • Master of Business Admin: Marketing
  • Bachelor of Business Admin: Marketing
  • Associate of Arts in Business Administration

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Purdue University Global

  • MBA: Marketing
  • BBA: New Media and Internet Marketing
  • AASBA in Business

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Colorado State University Global

  • MS - Organizational Leadership
  • MS - Management
  • BS - Marketing
  • BS - Organizational Leadership

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Grand Canyon University

  • DBA - Management
  • MBA: Marketing
  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education

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Johns Hopkins University

  • Master of Science in Research Administration

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Saint Leo University

  • BA: Business Administration - Management
  • BA: Business Administration - Logistics
  • AA: Business Administration

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Regent University

  • Master of Business Administration - Marketing
  • Master of Arts in Law - Business
  • Bachelor of Science in Business - Marketing
  • Bachelor of Science in Marketing

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Herzing University

  • MBA
  • B.S. - Business Management: Marketing Concentration
  • Associate of Science - Business Management

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