How To Write A Market Research Brief

How To Write A Market Research Brief Vision One

How To Write A Market Research Brief

Some useful tips for writing a research brief

If you haven’t written a market research brief before, don’t worry! We’ve outlined some ideas below which should help you prepare your thoughts. But if you prefer, just pick up the phone and we’ll be glad to help you and prepare a research proposal for you.

1. Background About your Company

It always helps to provide a brief introduction to your company which will help research agencies better understand your market and your customers. Rest assured that we treat everything you tell us in confidence. Your background section should include:

Include details such as:

  • Company name and website
  • Your industry sector and market trends/conditions
  • Details about your products and services of interest
  • Any other organisations involved in the project (e.g. advertising agency, branding, packaging company or consultant).
  • Background information about your customer and target market

2. Business and Research Objectives

Your business and research objectives are arguably the most important area to focus on in your brief – so spend most of your time on these.

Your Business Objectives will give the research agency important understanding of what problems or issues the research is trying to achieve. For example, your business issues may relate to problems your are facing, such as; competitor activity, declining sales, low satisfaction or to launch a new product. Alternatively, if there is no obvious business decision then it could simply be about learning new insights to gain a competitive advantage or measuring customer metrics (e.g. customer satisfaction, brand awareness etc).

Whilst your Research Objectives relate to the specific insights you want to learn or measure and particular questions you want to ask in your research. For example, the research objective may be to find out what your customers think of your product service you provide. Or it could be broader in terms of understanding how customers behave (e.g. how they use or shop for your products).

3. Target Customer

Your research objectives should also indicate who you feel the research should be involving.

Is it your current customers or broader target market, lapsed users or even non-users?  You should try to describe your audience in as much detail as possible, such as; age, gender, income, occupation, location, company size, buyer behaviour, etc.

Other things to consider about your target audience are:

  • Who you want to include within the research (and minimum sample size if known)
  • Specify if you are able to provide contact details (or whether you need the research agency to provide these).
  • Highlight if there are any specific segments or target groups you want to include or exclude

4. Research Approach and Methodology

Whilst your research agency can advise you on the best methodology. If you have a particular approach in mind then it definitely is worthwhile mentioning this at the outset – so that this can be discussed at the very least.

For example, are you looking for qualitative (insights and ideas) or quantitative (numbers) research or, perhaps, a combination! Furthermore, should the research be conducted face-to-face, by telephone or even online? But don’t worry if you’re not sure.

5. Timescales & Outputs

Research is often considered late in the business planning process – so we are used to turning around research projects very quickly.

But also consider internal milestones and deadlines that impact on the research process and decision-making deadlines. Also give some thought to what outputs and deliverables you need such as a presentation/workshop etc.

Include the following:

  • Timescale for the procurement process and when you will make a decision to commence the research.
  • Deadlines such as when you want the findings and when business decisions are being made
  • Whether you want to receive top-line findings in advance of the main findings or any other updates during the course of the research
  • How you would like the findings in a written report format or as a presentation  (face to face or online).

6. Budget

Ideally both you and the research agency should be as transparent as possible and that openness & honesty is the best policy. With an understanding of your budget, it is a lot easier to find the right solution that works for you. We often offer a few cost options so that the decision is always yours!

7. Other Information

Please provide any other details you feel is relevant – at the end of the day we are here to help! If it is a formal tender process and there are certain requirements to be met then please specify these in your brief.

For example:

  • Provide names and contacts of key contacts on the project team.
  • Who should we contact if we have any queries regarding the brief if not yourself?
  • Do you have any payment terms we need to be aware of?

Thank you for taking the time to read this guide to writing a market research brief. We hope you have found it useful and look forward to hearing from you at some point. If you would like any more information about your research needs, please call us on 0151 945 0150