Marketing research is a balance of art and science, based on analytical thinking and a deep understanding of businesses and consumers. The field appeals to people from varied backgrounds who think outside the box and are fascinated by questions. If you have that kind of innate curiosity, a Wisconsin MBA can give you the education, tools, and skills you need to harness that curiosity to succeed in the growing, high-demand field of marketing research, analytics, and consumer strategy.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in marketing research and consumer insights is projected to grow 23 percent from 2016 to 2026—much faster than the average for all occupations, as industries rely on data and research to understand customer motivation, measure the effectiveness of business strategies, and identify the factors that affect product demand.

Demand for
marketing researchers
projected to grow
23% from 2016 to 2026

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employment prospects are best for master’s prepared candidates, who bring to their roles technical skills, consumer behavior perspective and management skills, as well as leadership and confidence.

Our specialized curriculum ensures that when you graduate, you are grounded by the principles of business and are a master of consumer insights, prepared to set yourself apart with leading employers.

What Do Marketing Researchers Do?

As a marketing researcher, you capture and discover insights on consumer behavior in order to bring the consumer perspective to business decisions. You are the voice of the customer in business decisions and strategy in an organization. You identify consumer practices and needs using observation methods and analytical tools that may include in-depth interviews, surveys, and social media listening as well as statistical tools like regression analysis to dive into big data. From these results you derive insights used to guide new-product development, package design, promotional events, and the development of brand strategy and advertising campaigns. You may do this in collaboration with brand managers, creative directors, data analysts, and clients to help turn data into powerful stories that guide customer-focused strategy.

A presenter at the A.C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Research Advisory Board meeting

Careers in Marketing Research

Skilled marketing researchers are in high demand since many industries rely increasingly on marketing research to remain competitive. To see the variety, look at the long list of companies represented on the A.C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Research External Advisory Board.

For the qualified researcher, career opportunities exist at various types of organizations: manufacturing, retail, advertising agencies, consulting companies, independent research companies, and nonprofit organizations. Reliance on marketing research for consumer insights occurs most notably at companies in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) field, technology, and health care industries.