Buyer behavior analysts and marketing managers should be able to conduct thorough market studies, write detailed marketing plans and analyze consumer decision making processes. They should have excellent communication, public speaking and project management skills in order to analyze buyer behavior from the early stages of product development to public relations practices. They should have a good understanding of the psychological aspects of consumer buying and research methods, like focus groups and product surveys.
Marketing professionals who study buyer behavior are generally required to have a bachelor's degree in marketing, business administration or a related field. Prospects are best for those with at least three years of experience. A college internship allows aspiring buyer behavior analysts to gain experience and valuable networking opportunities. Master's programs are also available; applicants must have a bachelor's degree and previous career experience.
BS in Marketing
A 4-year marketing program introduces students to a variety of marketing, advertising and public relations concepts. Courses in buyer behavior, marketing research and organizational behavior all teach students how to analyze and understand marketing trends and practices.
MBA in Business Administration
An undergraduate business administration program teaches students a broad range of business skills, including accounting, marketing, management and business law. Many programs offer a marketing concentration, while others offer specialized marketing elective courses.
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MS in Marketing
A master's program in marketing focuses on marketing research and study methods. A 2-year master's degree may be required for advanced instructional or management positions at marketing or advertising agencies. A master's program in business administration, with a focus on marketing research, also prepares students for advanced marketing management careers.
Buyer behavior professionals typically have 3-5 years of professional experience. Many professionals obtain experience through a marketing or business internship. Many professionals take entry-level marketing positions to build their marketing, advertising and business experience. With significant experience in buyer behavior and consumer decision making, professionals can become senior marketing managers, buyer behavior analysts and marketing directors. Buyer behavior analysts and marketing managers are not required to be licensed or certified. Marketing professionals demonstrate competency through completion of a degree program and several years of relevant buyer behavior experience.
Continuing education and professional development opportunities are available from organizations like the American Marketing Association (AMA). Marketing professionals can benefit from AMA's career management resources, including a job bank, professional newsletters and a resource library that offers magazine and journal articles and marketing research. AMA publishes seven magazines and journals, including Marketing Management, Marketing Research and the Journal of Marketing.
Buyer behavior workshops and seminars are usually available from colleges and universities. Workshops may last several hours and typically address topics within buyer behavior, such as product evaluation and assessment, steps in the product purchasing process and social factors that affect consumer buying trends. Various marketing organizations, such as the American Marketing Association (AMA), also hold conferences, workshops and short-term training opportunities for marketing professionals. Seminars may focus on buyer behavior, while others address larger issues within marketing and product promotion.
Bachelor's and master's marketing and business administration program courses cover advertising, public relations, research, business law and other related topics.