This guide is all about becoming a marketing analyst, including information on a marketing analyst degree and various in-demand marketing analyst career pathways.
From gathering consumer information to identifying market conditions, marketing analysis is often a major component of a successful business campaign. So major that many colleges and universities offer degree programs focusing specifically on marketing analytics. And so major that, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there is a 22 percent job growth rate predicted for marketing analysts or marketing research analysts as BLS refers to them, over the next decade.
The rising demand for marketing jobs fuels this projected growth rate. Through 2020 and 2021, businesses are turning to more innovative methods and strategies to draw in customers. As a result, digital marketing practices have increased, leading to more job opportunities for marketing roles in social media, analytics, and e-commerce.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a 46.1 percent rise in marketing analytics skills. According to a 2021 Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) survey, marketing analytics has become a primary job for 76.3 percent of marketers, compared to just over 66 percent in February 2020. As of June 2021, marketing analysts ranked sixth on the list of fastest-growing roles in marketing.
Marketing Analyst Degree
As reported by the BLS, you would need at least a bachelor’s degree to work as a market research analyst, though a master’s degree could be required in some cases. For example, a master’s degree might be preferred for those seeking to fill senior management or executive positions overseeing marketing research processes and systems. More than two-thirds of job postings for marketing analysts call for candidates to hold a bachelor’s degree.
You would most likely pursue a bachelor of science in marketing analytics at the bachelor’s degree level. Or, you could enroll in a bachelor of science in marketing program, as many of these programs offer classes such as marketing research, marketing analytics, applied marketing research, market research, and consumer behavior. Those are some of the same courses you would take as a BS in marketing analytics program student.
You might also find some bachelor of science in business administration and bachelor of science in business analytics offering marketing analytics as a concentration area. You are likely to find a more business-oriented curriculum in the latter two programs, with fundamental courses in accounting, business communications, management principles, business law, corporate finance, and statistics.
Courses found in many B.S. in Marketing Analytics programs include:
- Consumer behavior
- Digital marketing
- Data analytics
- Business analytics
- Marketing research
- Web analytics
In some bachelor’s degree programs, you are allowed to gain hands-on experience through an internship or a project-focused practicum. In a practicum, you will apply analytics tools and knowledge of marketing concepts studied throughout the curriculum to provide solutions to real-world marketing issues faced by organizations.
Master’s degree programs in marketing analytics seem to be more widely available. Most of these result in a master of science in marketing analytics. Marketing analytics could also be an area of specialization in a master of business administration program. More advanced courses you could expect to find in a master’s degree program curriculum include data mining, predictive analytics, advanced marketing analytics, customer analytics, digital marketing analytics, and marketing management.
Internships are also part of some master’s degree programs. In addition, as a master’s degree student, you might have the opportunity to attend guest speaker events, network with marketing analytics professionals, and work with fellow students on group projects. You could also support your graduate education by joining a professional student association, such as one in marketing analytics or digital analytics, found at some colleges and universities.
How to Become a Marketing Analyst
To begin a career as a marketing analyst, you would generally first obtain a relevant bachelor’s degree in marketing research analysis or marketing. Some entry-level positions in this field might accept candidates with a marketing analytics certificate, typically a 12- or 13-credit program containing introductory classes in business, marketing, data visualization, and analytics. However, any advancement to mid-management roles would typically require a four-year degree.
In addition to business and marketing courses, other courses that could help prepare you for a career as a marketing analyst include data science, computer science, statistics, mathematics, and communications.
Certification could validate your knowledge to potential employers. A professional certification demonstrates your understanding of and ability to conduct extensive research and analyze data. Some relevant certificates for a marketing analyst are:
- Insights Association: Insights Professional Certification (IPC)
- American Marketing Association (AMA) partnering with Digital Marketing Institute: Digital Marketing Pro; Digital Marketing Expert Advanced Certification
- International Institute of Market Research and Analysis (IIMRA): Certified Market Research Analyst (CMRA)
- International Institute for Procurement & Market Research (IIPMR): Certified Research Analyst (CRA)
The two digital marketing certifications offered by the AMA cover SEO and analytics, social media, digital strategy, and search marketing. Some certifications have specific education requirements, and candidates much pass an exam to earn the certificate.
Marketing analytics is also addressed in many digital marketing bootcamps. Bootcamps are an effective and quick way to learn new technologies and develop skills in marketing analytics, strategy, and management. Though not as readily available as degree programs, you could find digital marketing bootcamps online or in-person at some colleges and universities, continuing education departments, workforce programs, educational technology companies, and educational services companies.
What Does a Marketing Analyst Do?
Mainly, marketing analysts use surveys and questionnaires to measure consumer behavior, analyze marketing strategies, and evaluate market conditions. However, there’s more to being a marketing analyst than gathering and analyzing data about consumers and markets.
Other job responsibilities for a marketing analyst include forecasting sales, monitoring sales trends, studying competitor activities, developing pricing strategies, preparing management reports, and measuring customer satisfaction.
A marketing analyst job description might look like the following, per Monster.com:
Marketing Analyst Job Responsibilities:
- Provides actionable overall market and customer insights to address key strategic questions.
- Responsible for tracking, reporting, and analyzing the performance of marketing activities, ad-hoc analytic requests, and development/automation of regular reports.
- Analyzes external and internal customer data using database queries (SQL, Access), spreadsheet (Excel) models, web analytics tools (Adobe / Omniture), statistical analysis tools, and campaign management software tools.
- Evaluates customers’ online behavior and provide insights and recommendations for further enhancements to the guest experience.
- Analyzes A/B and Multivariate tests, communicates results, and provides recommendations.
- Creates PowerPoint presentations to provide market and consumer insights to other marketing and sales departments.
- Advises other marketing functions (e-commerce/website, online/offline advertising, brand, product development) as the knowledge owner for customer and market data.
An example of an actual marketing analyst job posting follows:
The Marketing Analyst assists with marketing accounts, maintaining relationships with insurance company partners, and following market insights/trends.
- Responsible for marketing all assigned accounts.
- Peer reviews marketing work product of others.
- Coordinates service delivery on assigned accounts, including developing initial placement and renewal strategy.
- Cultivates strong relationships with insurance company partners, responsible for knowing carrier requirements and attributes, and in-depth knowledge of at least one carrier.
- Generates periodic reports for distribution.
- Looks for opportunities to improve the firm, Business Segment, and processes. Brings issues and discrepancies to the attention of appropriate leadership.
- Serves as a mentor to colleagues as requested.
- Completes special projects as assigned.
Skills usually required for marketing analysts would be creative, communication, organizational, technological, analytical, critical thinking, attention to detail, and leadership.
Within the field of marketing analysis, one could choose a few career paths. For instance, one might focus on a specific area, such as social media, or pursue a career as a marketing specialist, who uses the data analyzed by marketing analysts to develop new products and increase brand awareness. Other job titles for marketing analysts include:
- Product analyst: evaluates product performance and provides solutions to align with sales forecasts
- Digital marketing analyst: creates and implements strategies to increase a company’s online presence, promote online services, and drive up traffic to a company’s website
- Marketing campaign analyst: oversees the development of marketing plans and campaign strategies
- Product manager: coordinates the process of designing, producing, distributing, marketing, and selling new products
The median salary for a marketing analyst varies depending on the specific job title but generally falls within a range of $65,000 to $82,000. According to the most recent data published by the BLS, one who satisfies the general job responsibilities of a marketing analyst or marketing research analyst earns an average annual wage of $65,810. A senior marketing analyst could realize a yearly salary of $76,879, as reported by PayScale.com. A marketing campaign analyst ($70,049), product manager ($71,607), digital marketing analyst ($73,788), and product analyst ($81,283) might all earn higher average or median salaries, as there is often a managerial component to these positions. Geography can play a role in salary for marketing analysts, as with many occupations. For instance, marketing research analysts in the state of Washington and New Jersey, Delaware, New York, and the District of Columbia earn the highest annual mean wages in the United States. Larger metropolitan areas such as San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York City tend to see higher wages for marketing research analysts than non-metropolitan areas.