Market Research studies and calls have made it into American Pop Culture in the form of being mentioned or shown in numerous movies and novels. Usually the scene is the phone ringing at a crucial moment in the hero or heroine's life and instead of it being a call they expected it's a call from a Market Research firm. I recently left the field of Market Research but I have to say I had a great time working in that field and that it gave me a totally new perspective into many areas of my life. All jokes aside about Market Research and Surveys, allow me to share with you thirteen awesome things about working in that field.
1. Flexible Schedules
I was able to change my schedule at a 1 week notice to accommodate changes needed to attend college classes or other jobs.
2. Keeping up data entry skills
By keying in data while talking with respondents while on the phone or by typing verbatim responses I was able to keep my data entry skills in shape and up to par.
3. Developing reading skills even more
I already had great reading skills before I started the job, but after several years I realized that sometimes my brain started letting me read out loud in a mode I will call automatic. I could read out loud and talk to people while thinking about a different subject of my own choosing at the same time.
4. Call Centers are never boring
Many people say working in call centers is boring. To me call centers are never boring because they have lots of people there. The people who work in call centers come from all different walks of life that are as many and varied as the USA can hold. What is boring about that?
5. Market Research works
I can't go into detail about the studies I was involved in due to confidentiality purposes but I can point to a very successful public market research study that was advertised. A few years back Domino's Pizza chain set out to find what changes needed to be made to their product to improve it. The chain then implemented the changes the public wanted for the taste of the pizzas as well as combining the results of the survey with a national publicity campaign. The end result was a marked increase in sales for the company.
6. Working in an office atmosphere
Working in an office atmosphere, indoors with air conditioning and heat available, is a pleasant way to make a living.
7. Learning how to really listen to people
Listening to people is more then just being quiet and listening. It's about understanding what they are actually saying and how to interpret that.
8. Learning the importance of enunciation
My voice doesn't carry very well in person and when I was younger I slurred my words and so then I often had to spend lots of time repeating myself because people didn't hear or understand what I said. Talking on the phone and public speaking taught me to enunciate my words and to speak loud enough to be heard the first time.
9. The importance of cheerfulness and enthusiasm in work
When I smiled or laughed while talking with people I soon would start to feel cheerful and enthusiastic for real. This made the work seem much lighter and flow naturally without much effort (most of the time).
10. Experience with surveys helped with my homework
I had gone back to collage and I wrote out a speech assigned in Biology class word for word and read it out loud just like I would deliver the script of a survey. I did so well my instructor clapped for me at the end of my speech.
11. Learning about numerous subjects I previously didn't know much about
Market Research studies can be about virtually any subject and so I was always learning and did not feel stagnant. I actually first heard of blogging in a market research study.
12. The work stays at work
I never ran into any respondents in person and I had no work to take home with me to do. When I left for the day my work was done. This was a fact that I could appreciate after working in other fields.
13. Market Research helps promote the economy
Market Research helps promote the economy by providing jobs for people as well as finding out what customers think or want from a company. Some respondents will tell you what they think you want to hear but if you talk to enough people a pattern will emerge of what people really think about a subject.
In his book, THE AUDACITY OF HOPE, President Barack Obama wrote that he once lost an election because he failed to commission a poll and find out that people didn't know who he was. That is just another little tidbit about Market Research. (And yes I do own that book.)
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