When you work in sales you find out quickly how important it is to know your market. This means knowing who the sort of people are who are going to buy your brand of tires (like Firestone) or HVAC warehouse equipment and know what they are looking for in the ideal service or product. One of the ways that companies find out the answers to these questions is by getting the help of market research. If you've found through your studies that you are good with people as well as analyzing data then this might be a perfect choice for you for your career.
The purpose of any market research firm is to provide their clients with accurate and relevant information about their customer base that is both valid and current. There have been many instances in the past where companies have lost millions of dollars or even gone out of business by making poor choices when it comes to following what they believe are their customers wants and needs. If you're selling software, for example, then you will need to know who is buying your products, where they are looking for them, and how much they are willing to pay. Good market research should provide you with the answers to all of these questions.
Marketing is certainly not an exact science and you will never fully know if one advertising scheme or promotion plan is going to be successful until it is out there for the world to see. That is why those trying to sell custom framing services or new cell phones concentrate so much on the information collected by market researchers. It is systematic and planned at all stages in the hopes of getting the most accurate results. It should also be objective and show no bias. If you're hiring a marketing company as a new dentist then you want the results to be motivated by what is actually needed in your neighborhood.
If you're thinking of working as a market researcher then you should know that you will be working with surveys a lot of the time. You will need to design the questions and set up the way that you're getting the answers. Some market firms prefer to call people while they are at home, while others will give out surveys at events where the best potential customers for their clients will be. There is also a testing phase that companies and products that you're working with might need to go through. Your main job will be to run the tests and surveys and analyze the information so that you can translate it back to your clients.