The MRS Advanced Certificate in Market and Social Research: I’ve recently taken the exam and completed the coursework for the Advanced Certificate in Market and Social Research methods which is administered by the Market Research Society (MRS). I’m a big believer in utilising insight in the marketing process – including thinking about your target market, key messages, how marketing can be segmented and better targeted, and a range of other elements which are all influenced by research and insight.
I’ve actually worked in the market research industry for several years, including research focussed roles, marketing roles within a research agency, and more recently business development and business winning within the same agency. However, it was only recently that I decided to take the professional exam and secure a further level of qualification.
In short, this is a very brief discussion of what I think was the key takeaway from the course, and how it applies to my everyday career – we’ll return to the more general elements of marketing and psychology in later blog posts though so please do check back!
One of the key benefits of taking the MRS Certificate, and of any professional qualification I’d assume, is the opportunity to re-cover the ground you already know – and to take stock of the how your industry fits together. Often we work at the ‘skyscraper’ element of our profession, with the foundations already in place and just adding the finishing touches, or taking some elements for granted; this course helped remind me to ensure that all elements of a potential project are assessed and that we start with the absolute basics.
For the curious among you, I would say the absolute basics – both in research and marketing – are the client’s business problem. A lot of clients come to Rippleout, for instance, asking us to develop a website. However, if the client’s problem is that they are suffering from a total lack of awareness, simply putting a website on the internet is not going to help – you need to review the demand for the product of service, understand the buyers, and establish where it is they are to be found. Potentially, a more pro-active approach such as social media (allowing for active outward engagement) or paid advertising may be more effective; of course a website is always something which is helpful – particularly for both those approaches – but it is not necessarily the fix the client imagined. Identifying the key elements of the issue at hand is vital in formulating the best way in which to move forward.
So there we go, a brief discussion of my recent experience with the MRS Advanced Certificate. If you have any of your own thoughts and experiences of taking industry exams, it would be great to hear from you in the comments section.
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