MoneyMagpie

Feb 18

Earn money as a market researcher

The field of market research involves the gathering and analysing of information on consumers, in order to help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price. It’s not only limited to what you buy in the shops and supermarkets, but also includes areas such as the running of utilities, workplace relations and government policies. While the analysing side of market research is a more specialised profession, the collection of data simply requires someone who loves interacting with people, and it can be a great way to make a living, or to supplement another income.

If you think that you’d enjoy talking to strangers, and getting their opinions about various products and services, read on for our simple four-step Q&A to getting started.

 

What does a market researcher job involve?

We’ve all been on the receiving end of a market researcher’s tap on the shoulder on the street, knock on the door or phone call. Typically, we tell them we’re happy to answer a few questions, and they fire away while we give our honest responses which are duly noted.

So, depending on the role you take on, you might be approaching people in the street, door-to-door or on the phone. Once you’ve been employed as an interviewer, you’ll typically receive a few days’ training and you should be accompanied by an expert on your first outing into the big wide world.

If it’s a door-to-door job, you may be allocated a few roads to cover with a set quota of interviews to do.

Alternatively you may have a pre-selected list of addresses to contact, often with a specific person to speak to. Pre-selected interviews are often paid more as they’re harder to carry out.

You need to be polite and approachable, and to make people want to listen to what you’re asking by explaining what the research is about and what it’ll be used for.

The answers need to be recorded on the spot and, once the results are collated, they’re passed back to the organisation you’re working for.

Researchers are paid per completed interview, but you may find that your pay is topped up in the first few weeks as you learn the ropes. Rates may be better in London and the south-east than elsewhere in the country.

Some companies will also reimburse fares and mileage and there may be bonuses available for those who meet their quotas.

 

Different types of market research

There are two types of research that could be undertaken, quantitative and qualitative:

Quantitative research

Quantitative research is based on the quantities or numerical statistics collected by surveys and questionnaires to find out how many people act, buy or think in a certain way.

Qualitative research

Qualitative research is based on more in-depth questions, determining people’s actions and thoughts by researching their attitudes and opinions. This type of research often takes place in focus groups, where an environment is created where interviewees are led to reveal their opinions in a spontaneous, natural fashion as opposed to direct questioning which might affect their honest emotions.

While our article focuses on making cash by being a market research interviewer, if you gain sufficient experience in the industry and find yourself enjoying the work, you could also get involved with designing the questionnaires that interviewers use, analysing the data and reporting on the results of the data.

 

Could I be a market researcher?

There are no standard set of entry requirements to become a market researcher, but you do have to have the right personality for the job. You need to be a people person and, essentially, a great listener, as the job involves interacting with strangers and being interested in whatever it is they have to say.

Good market researchers use positive, action-focused language and make it easy for participants to complete their survey (of course, some company incentives work a charm in this regard too). You need to be able to hold their interest for the whole survey and keep the results honest – in other words; not adding your own spin or bias to their response. You’ll need to also be fairly thick-skinned when approaching respondents, and give it a good go before allowing potentially rude people to shrug you off.

Basic computer knowledge may be needed for collating data, and, if you go on to a more senior level, you’ll need good analytical skills to find the story in the statistics.

Most of all, it’s important to enjoy what you do and have fun getting out in the world and listening to what everyday people have to say.

It tends to be a popular job amongst younger people with a decent school record or degree, those with some relevant employment experience tending to have a better chance of securing work.

There is no upper age limit on being a market researcher, though, and it can be a flexible option for those with other commitments, including mums.

 

What do I need to work as a market researcher?

Assuming you have the personality for the job, there’s no standard set of entry requirements to become a market researcher.

It tends to be a popular job amongst younger people with a decent school record or degree, those with some relevant employment experience tending to have a better chance of securing work.

There’s no upper age limit on being a market researcher, though, and it can be a flexible option for those with other commitments, including mums.

 

Where can I find market research jobs?

The Market Research Society is the professional association for the sector and you’ll find its research job finder with job listings on the website.

The MRS also publishes its industry magazine, Impact, which you could also browse for vacancies.

Graduate recruitment websites and weekly magazines like Campaign and Marketing Week often advertise roles, while you could try going direct to companies such as these:

 

 

What training can I take in market research?

If you want to improve your earnings as a market researcher, think about taking some training, which may also open the way to more interesting roles.

The MRS runs workshops and courses, and there are networking events to help develop your careers, so keep a regular eye on their website

They also offer various qualifications, including a MRS Certificate in Market and Social Research  which gives a comprehensive grounding in the basic principles and practices of effective market and social research. From there you can work towards Advanced Certificates, Diplomas and even Masters Degrees which will obviously put you in a completely different league and earnings bracket.

This kind of training is obviously not necessary for the entry-level interviewer, where experience on the job is probably the best way to hone your skills, and get into the position where you’re offered regular work.

If after reading this you decide that this isn’t a way that you’d like to make some extra cash, then you could always opt to be on the other side of the fence, and be a respondent to market research surveys. We have a few articles on doing online surveys for money as we think that they’re a good way to make a bit of extra cash without having to put too much effort in. Think of it as small deposits in that summer holiday savings account – it all adds up!

 


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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

3 thoughts on Earn money as a market researcher

  1. If mums want to earn money taking part in research and focus groups (they are a key part of how we carry out our research) they can sign up at MumPanel mumpanel.co.uk




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  2. Kudos for posting this info, I don’t know about anybody else, but I could totally make use of it.




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