Why write a market research brief?
Writing a market research brief helps clarify your research needs and makes sure your colleagues are on-board. In turn this helps an agency write a research proposal, conduct more useful research and achieve your desired business outcomes! Here are some questions to consider and headings to help write your brief.
Background to brief
First describe the problem you wish to solve i.e. what has happened to make this brief necessary? Include any relevant context, for example, work to date, what information you have, why you wish to conduct research now, and how the issue or challenge fits with any initiatives within your organisation.
Then describe your business objectives. These could include increasing sales, attracting lapsed customers. Be as specific as you can.
Next explain the purpose of research, or expected research outcomes. Consider what decisions you wish to make? Such as to improve a product, create an advert or strengthen your brand.
Market research objectives
Market research objectives should follow from business and project objectives. Make clear your research aims and information needs. Here it is helpful to list the questions that require answering.
Now consider who needs to sign-off and act on the research outcomes. This is because clarifying the audience will help an agency anticipate your needs and help get everyone on-board with a plan.
Envisaged method, scope of work, sample and guidelines
Include guidance on the nature of work required to help make best use of your budget.
- So what are any dos, don’ts or priorities?
- What countries, areas, markets, customer groups to include? Which should get most attention?
- For quantitative research, include the sample size, and length of survey. These are key cost determinants.
- Also describe any stimuli or inputs. Stimuli is useful to probe and develop ideas.
- What timing and budget constraints? Providing a budget makes sure the scale of work proposed is affordable.
- Lastly mention any other decision-making criteria?
Finally, define what the project should deliver. So consider what success will feel like?
Also if you prefer a specific reporting format (e.g. face-to-face debrief, short film, infographic)?
Throughout use plain language and explain any unusual or in-company terms so your needs are clear.
Download our example market research brief as an aide mémoire.
To ask for an inspiring research proposal or advice
Use the form on the right or email or call Guy Tomlinson on +44 (0) 1628 400699.