Writing Research Briefs

How to Write a Research Brief

Normally we are on the receiving end of the research brief but feedback from
some customers suggested that some guidelines about writing a brief
would be useful.  Therefore, we have put together some helpful
hints as below to assist you when preparing a research brief.

Your brief should be kept short and
should focus on the information that the researcher or research company are
going to need.  A clear brief at the outset can avoid disagreements and confusion
later on which will cause

The essential facts surrounding the background of your business should be
set out in the brief, things you should include are:



about your organisation or business.


Which product
or service is the research is to be focused upon.


Details of
where you sit within the overall market.


The nature
and number of customers.


Any relevant
information about your competitors.


The nature
of your competitive environment.



You will need to
explain your business and research objectives. Why does your company need
market research and what is the objective of the research?  This is an
important point.  For example, you will need a very different approach
depending upon whether the research is intended to help you develop the
product or to interest a venture capitalist.

You may have a further key research objectives such as further information
about respondents e.g. the name of the decision maker,
the size of the business etc. To avoid the researcher spending time on sectors
which have no relevance you need to make sure there is a clear understanding
on what the main focus of the research is.  The researcher will also
need to know exactly how many respondents you require to be interviewed.

You might want to state which products or categories should or should not be
incorporated into the research defining clearly who your research is

Your brief will help decide which type of research is best. Quantitative
analysis is concerned with measuring the quantity of something e.g. 95% of
people thought X.  Qualitative research is more concerned with areas
where insight is
required and the researcher will take a more discussion based approach to
the interview.

To avoid issues later on before starting the project make the researcher
understand what you require at the end of the exercise.  For example, do you want a presentation or a report? Or
both?  Most importantly, what is the deadline for the delivery of the
research results?

Knowing what info you need and making your objectives clear is crucial in
market research.

To discuss your requirements, in strict
confidence and without obligation:





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