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What is Market Research?

What is Pharma/Healthcare Market Research?

Market Research involves gathering, recording and analysing information about customers, competitors and markets in a systematic way. It can be used to create business plans, launch new products and services, ensure opportunities for products already in the market are optimised, expand into new markets and to develop and refine marketing, advertising and communication plans. Research underpins all wisely-made business decisions.

The term healthcare or pharma Market Research is a broad term, but products will either be categorised as ‘Ethical’ or ‘Rx’, meaning drugs which are prescribed or used by doctors, surgeons and nurses in primary, secondary or tertiary care environments; Medical Devices (such as pace makers, inhalers, pins and replacement joints used in orthopaedic surgery); OTC or ‘over the counter’, which means the drugs and remedies available from chemists through consultation – such as certain painkillers and cough medicines; or Consumer, where products have a broader appeal and can be purchased from supermarkets, vending machines and pharmacies and don’t require any consultation with a healthcare professional before purchase – e.g. pain relief, cough and cold medicines.


What does a career within Market Research look like?

A career within pharma/healthcare Market Research would ideally suit someone with an inquisitive and analytical mind. You’ll need attention to detail and the ability to interpret and explain data/information.

Most Market Research roles are client facing and therefore you’ll need to be able to communicate effectively, be adaptable and think on your feet. The majority of people who work within this industry will be educated to a minimum of degree level. Within healthcare and pharmaceutical research, degrees in the life sciences, business, marketing and psychology disciplines are seen as particularly relevant.

It’s not uncommon for people to rise through Market Research very quickly, while others prefer to remain at one level over another. You can have a lot more or a lot less experience than your colleagues and still work the same roles as them, especially if you have come from other areas. Please note that the terms ‘experience’ and any reference to time lengths are in no way discriminatory – during application a person’s suitability is considered based on their individual expertise. In this instance, references to length of time spent in particular roles are used as a guide to show a typical rate of progression.


What are the typical roles within Pharma/Healthcare Market Research?

Research Associate / Analyst (0 years’ experience)

Research Executive (0-2 years’ experience)

Senior Research Executive (2-4 years’ experience)

Research Manager (3-5 years’ experience)

Associate Director (5-8 years’ experience)

Director (7+ years)


About Fieldwork & Operations
Fieldwork agencies deal with the collection of data, and often work in conjunction with other research agencies. This can be quantitative involving paper, telephone or web questionnaires, or qualitative involving phone, web or face to face interviewing. A fieldwork agency will employ interviewers to carry out the research, and project managers will work closely with the clients to manage how the fieldwork agency handles the project. Sometimes pharmaceutical companies will just use a fieldwork agency, having done the design themselves and planning to do the analysis of data themselves.


How Carrot Recruitment can help you find your next job within the Market Research sector:

Our specialist recruitment consultant, Matt Goldrick, will be happy to help with all your Market Research needs. He can be contacted on:

+44 (0)1625 541 044 / [email protected]

You can also view all our live Market Research jobs here or take a look below.

Looking to progress your career within Market Research but unsure what your next steps may look like? Check out our useful article on how to progress your Pharmaceutical Market Research career here.

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