On the 13 March, IE – Instituto de Empresa in Madrid organised the annual ESOMAR Career Event for the Master of Market Research and Consumer Behaviour (MRCB) students to give them a broad perspective on the current role of Market Research and the many career opportunities that can be pursued within the field.
A review from student Vanessa Gustafsson
What an opportunity to listen to highly admirable professionals from the Market Research industry, to learn from their experience and to network with them!
Regardless of the specific interests of the students, it could be considered that the main conclusion after the event is that there are countless opportunities in the market research industry. A map illustrated the many different job positions and career paths, many of which had probably not even been considered by them before, that can be followed after the Master’s.
The panellists, coming from different backgrounds and holding positions at both the client and the agency side, certainly seemed to have different motivations to work in the field but they anyhow agreed that trying out different opportunities within the market is a good idea to grow professionally.
Of special interest was the participation of Juliana Ferreira, a Market Research Specialist at Philip Morris and a recent graduate of the MRCB herself, who, based on her own professional experience, highlighted the differences between working at an agency such as Nielsen and a multinational brand such as the one she works for at the moment.
Julie Lefèvre, from VIACOM International and Sergio Serna, from Google, presented real cases that they have worked on that proved the vast role that consumer insights play in strategic decision-making for big corporations. Ms Lefèvre, by discussing the recent initiatives of Nickelodeon Kids’ based on market research, stressed how important it is to understand the needs and behaviours of audiences as well as the trends within media. Mr Serna on the other hand explained how Google can be used to give general insight to any kind of business on any market or geographical region. He introduced Google’s tools (the Consumer Barometer and the Consumer Surveys) which have a very high coverage and that can be crossed with Google data, resulting in a very cost-efficient surveying method. Their presentations proved how market research can play a crucial role in different (but equally fascinating) ways to guide companies and organizations in the right direction.
A panel discussion including the above-mentioned professionals as well as Andrés Vegas from Telefónica and Jesús Caldeiro from IPSOS followed, moderated by Enrique Domingo from the ESOMAR Professional Standards Committee Chair. We were prompted to ask specific questions regarding the industry as well as career advice. The speakers all shared their honest opinions on pros and cons of the field, their motivations and personal backgrounds and, most importantly, what makes a professional fit within the industry. What was particularly intriguing and rather novel to me, was the distinction they made between marketers, who they defined as action-seeking, and researchers, who they coincided are the “thinkers” within a corporation.
A networking gathering followed allowing the students to mingle with these professionals that were very open in clarifying the students’ concerns and questions regarding their near future career choices. Regardless of the organisation the professionals work for, they motivated us to explore different options as there is, surely, a lot of room for professional growth within the field and many opportunities that MRCB graduates should take advantage of once they enter the professional playground.