Consumer Researcher

  • Consumer Researcher

A consumer researcher is responsible for conducting market research studies, analyzing the collected data to draw relevant conclusions, and reporting that data back to the interested parties. In the entertainment industry, consumer researchers are most often hired to provide insight into audience behavior and purchasing activities. This is helpful in a variety of ways for different industries, as a video game company may want to gauge the interest among 18-35 year olds for a sci-fi MMO, or a record label might wish to discover the motivating factors among consumers for CD purchases versus digital downloads.


Duties

Major entertainment producers consider numerous qualitative and quantitative factors when planning for new project development, as well as sales, distribution, and marketing campaigns. It is the role of the consumer researcher to gather such information and present it in a manner that is clear and actionable. To that end, the researcher is responsible for conceiving of the parameters of the research study, to include the questions asked, audience sample, and the method of testing. He or she will work closely with the relevant department managers to ensure that the study addresses the necessary concerns before implementing the plan.

With approval, the consumer researcher conducts the study and records the relevant raw data. From there, he or she must systematically break down the qualitative and quantitative information into a spreadsheet, then distill that data into numerical values, which can be charted and graphed to demonstrate trends in behavior. This person then issues a written research report that clearly explains the findings of the study, broken down by categories, such as age demographics or income, and presents that information to the department heads. The entire process may take several months from initial planning to report publication.

Skills & Education

A college degree in statistics with an emphasis on mathematics and analysis is most relevant to this career. A bachelor’s degree is generally acceptable, though some organizations may prefer a master’s degree. Knowledge of the entertainment industry is not a prerequisite but is beneficial. For those wishing to work exclusively in that industry, study of entertainment business is valuable. This individual must be proficient in the use of spreadsheet software such as Excel or Numbers and be capable of building custom databases using existing applications. This career demands excellent written and verbal communication skills to translate complex data into easily understood terms. In conducting or supervising surveys and focus groups, the consumer researcher must be personable and respectful.

What to Expect

Full-time employment is available with entertainment media companies such as film studios, television networks, video game publishers, event production companies, and record labels. Regular employment opportunities are also available with consumer and market research firms that are contracted to entertainment corporations. Highly established researchers have the ability to work as freelance consultants on a contract basis for multiple organizations. This is typically a senior to mid-level role, with consumer research assistant being the entry-level position relevant to this career. 

Industries:

Related Content

Have some feedback for our editors? Contact Us