The learning imperative in market research with Ed Keller of MRII

Infotools’ John Bird recently guest hosted a podcast episode, where he chatted with Ed Keller, executive director of Market Research Institute International (MRII) not-for-profit educational organization that offers comprehensive online training and education courses for insights professionals. MRII collaborates with the University of Georgia, renowned for its Masters of Market Research program, specifically focusing on the continuing education aspect. Together, they have trained over 10,000 learners from nearly 150 countries worldwide.

Ed, who is also CEO of The Keller Advisory Group, is widely recognized as one of the foremost experts in word of mouth, influencer marketing, and consumer insights. As both an entrepreneur in social data and analytics and a top exec in leading insights agencies, he has built and sold businesses, launched data and insights platforms and products, acquired and integrated businesses, managed global teams, and worked with many of the world’s leading brands. He is a sought after board member and advisor for SaaS, data/analytics and market research companies. A book author and multiple award winner, Ed was most recently named to the Insight250 Legends at the 2023 ESOMAR Congress. 

Ed talks with us about the mission of MRII, with its founding association members of ESOMAR and the Insights Association, and its focus on the "market research core body of knowledge," emphasizing the foundational skills required to excel as a market researcher and deliver outstanding research results. The MRII provides a number of different training and educational options, including: flexible, discipline specific express courses; a comprehensive curriculum for individuals looking for a thorough understanding of market research without the need for traditional on-campus education; and an educational webinar series in conjunction with ESOMAR and CRIC. 

Is focusing on research fundamentals still as important and in demand as ever? Ed says yes, citing that the growth and evolution of the industry means more people are entering the field who lack knowledge about the intricacies of market research. This is on top of those individuals who are transitioning into insights or analytics roles within corporations or need new skills to keep up with changes in the sector. MRII steps in to address this gap by offering structured education and training.

Ed talked about the group’s recent Love of Learning study, which aligned with MRII’s mission to provide valuable industry insights. This global survey targeted market research and insights professionals to gain a deeper understanding of our field, exploring diverse topics, including career paths, job satisfaction, skill gaps, and training opportunities. It also collected opinions on the state of the market research profession. MRII interviewed around 500 participants, and the findings can be downloaded for free here.

Here are some key findings:

  • Approximately two-thirds of market research professionals are satisfied with their jobs, and this reflects well compared to other industries.
  • Opportunities to learn and grow are crucial for career satisfaction, with a notable gap between highly satisfied and less satisfied professionals.
  • Data visualization, machine learning, advanced analytics, text analytics, and AI are areas where professionals believe more training is needed.
  • Training is essential for professionals, even in areas where they already have some experience, as they aim to continually improve their skills.
  • Many individuals enter the market research profession through unconventional paths, with fewer than 20% planning for it as a career.

In summary, this study highlights the industry's overall high job satisfaction but emphasizes the importance of continuous learning and personal growth for career fulfillment. The findings also underscore the need for training opportunities to support professionals at various career stages, including those who enter the field mid-career or as their first job. The rapidly changing landscape of market research makes ongoing education vital for all industry professionals.

Overall, Ed emphasizes the importance of training, learning, and investing in people in the market research industry. MRII serves as a valuable resource for professionals seeking to enhance their skills and knowledge.

No Comments Yet

Let us know what you think

Subscribe by email