I recently read on The Market Research Event blog that there was A Millennial Problem in Market Research, and I definitely agree with a lot of what has been stated. As a Millennial who also fell into the industry myself, I must admit I didn’t know exactly what market research entailed. However, I was lucky enough to be nudged in the right direction by a college professor.
Now that I have a little bit of hindsight, I think that working at a market research company is a great place to start right out of college. If you’re a marketing major, then this field can provide you with a good sense of all the different aspects that marketing entails across many different industries. It’s a good way to find out what you like and what you don’t like about marketing. I’ve also found that those who aren’t marketing majors can naturally pick it up due to the analytical skills that they’ve honed during college coursework.
However, I don’t think that the “I just fell into it” phenomena happens only in the market research industry. I know I’ve heard this expression many times before and from all over. There are just so many professions that we aren’t aware of as young college kids. And this is where market research and consumer insight professionals can change that. We need to make market research more visible and appealing and we can do that so easily if we just make ourselves available. We need to offer to speak in the classroom, at educational events and job fairs. We need to take the lead by reaching out to universities and forming a relationship, much like BuzzBack has done with my alma mater, the University of Miami. For the past few years, we’ve welcomed marketing students into our NYC office to explain what it is we do and why we love it. You can almost pinpoint that moment of clarity when they realize how our work fits into the bigger marketing picture and how it’s a lot cooler than they thought it was going to be.
So yes, there may be a millennial problem in market research for now, but that can be changed. It’s up to us to show college students what we’re all about.