• Richard Mace

What do you include in a market research brief?

A written market research brief is often developed by a business seeking to engage a research agency in activities on their behalf. It is the document where the business challenges have been drawn together and provided with supporting information.



Although a research brief is usually an excellent starting point to framing a response, our clients do not always provide these and sometimes we take the time to frame these together. But if you are seeking to put a brief together, here are a few pointers to help.


1. Company background

An introduction to your company is useful to help agencies better understand your business, services, or products. Ideally this would include sector information, your market conditions, partner agencies involved in the project and background on your customer/ target customers.


2. Business and Research Objectives

Your Business and Research Objectives are the most important area to focus on. Business Objectives provide wider context on the challenges the research is seeking to investigate e.g. new product development, low customer satisfaction, competitor activity, etc.

Research Objectives focus on the specific insights you wish to gauge or particular questions you need answered.


3. Research Audience/ Target

Who is the target of this research? Is it a current customer, stakeholder, potential customer, key decision makers or lapsed users? Is there a minimum target size or specifics surrounding the target e.g. by age, income or behaviours?


Who is tasked with providing the ‘sample’? Are you providing a database of customers for example or is the agency providing these?


4. Research Approach

A research agency would of course advise you on the best methodology, but if you have a particular approach in mind then it should be stated as a guide. Broadly there are two approaches: Qualitative (insights and ideas) or Quantitative (numbers).


5. Timescales & Outputs

A broad outline of time expectations is useful. Use any internal deadlines to feed into this. Also give some thought to what outputs and deliverables you need such as a presentation/ workshop etc.


6. Budget

A research agency will typically develop a bespoke program of research for you, that is not ‘off the shelf’, and hence an understanding of your budget is useful in positioning this. We typically offer a range of cost options for you to consider.


Get in touch with your brief or contact us if you want to discuss how we can help develop a brief for your business.

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