How Do Market Analysts Gain Consumer Insight?

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A person interested in a career related to finance, economics or marketing may wonder, “How do marketing analysts gain consumer insight?” Consumer insight refers to the interpretation of trends in human behaviors as they relate to the purchasing of products and services. It focuses on the analysis of market research in order to hone and coordinate activities between research and marketing departments.

Focus Groups

One way that market analysts gain consumer insight is to convene and coordinate focus groups. Focus groups usually consist of people who fall in the company’s or product’s target demographic. For example, a focus group on baby care products might include women ages 25 to 40. In some cases, an incentive is provided in order to encourage focus group participation. The incentive might be a free meal, free product, gift card or a small cash stipend. Focus groups include a discussion of the product or service, its brand, slogan, icon, logo or another type of message.

Customer Surveys

Market analysts also gain insight through customer surveys. They may send email surveys to customers who make an online purchase or who sign up for a loyalty or newsletter program. The surveys might be focused on a particular product or service. They might also be focused on customer service. For example, after a person purchases a yarn winder from an online craft retailer, the business might send a survey asking how satisfied the customer is with the speed of delivery, the quality of the product, the product’s value, the customer service they received and the product’s packaging. The business might also send surveys asking if they are meeting the consumer’s needs.


Some businesses engage in one-on-one interviews with their customers. This might be an in-depth interview over the phone or in person. It might also include a simple question from a cashier at a retailer, such as, “Did you find everything you needed today?” A service provider might perform a follow-up call in order to find out how satisfied the customer was with the service they received from the business. This information is recorded and added to a database and fed into a statistical analysis program for data mining and analysis.

Transactional Data

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, marketing analysts also gain consumer insight when they analyze the data that is collected from every customer transaction. They analyze the buying trends, such as the timing of purchases from time of the day or season of the year to special events, such as the Super Bowl or Christmas. Market analysts also get insight from items that people put on wish lists or favorites lists. They may also look at the items that people put into their carts and whether or not they complete the purchase. They also look at trends around pricing and promotions.

Consumer insight is a complicated process, and it requires an in-depth ability to collect data, analyze it and make the most of the software and tools that are available. Knowing how to gain consumer insight makes it easier for a business to target its messaging in a way that creates the biggest return on investment. Knowing the answer to, “How do marketing analysts gain consumer insight?” helps a person prepare for a job in marketing or research.

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