Best Practices

10 Essential Components of a Market Research Brief

The market research brief is a document that outlines the research objectives, desired outcomes, and other relevant information. It provides a framework for the research analyst or agency to understand your specific research needs.

A well-defined brief is vital to the success of your market research. It will ensure that the research aligns with your business goals. A clear brief also enables you to hire a suitable insight expert, sets clear expectations, and allows easier communication.

This article lists the questions you need to ask yourself while preparing your research brief document. It also breaks down the key components that it should include.


3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Preparing Your Research Project Brief

As with any project, before you start writing your research brief it is crucial to think through what you need to know or find out.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before writing the brief for your research project:

1. Why are you conducting the research?

The first step in the research process is to define the purpose of the study. This can be articulated as a problem that needs to be solved. Or a gap in your knowledge of the industry, customers, or market. Answering this question will provide the research objectives and guide how the study will be conducted.

 2. What is the expected outcome?

Think about the results and conclusions that the study will deliver. This will give you an idea of what variables need to be measured or monitored during the research. Also, think about how you want the findings to be presented. These could take the shape of basic informational reports or more detailed diagrams, charts, personas, and so on.

 3. What decision will the study help you make?

Consider how you will use the insights gained from the research. The reason you’re doing the study is so that you can make an informed business decision at the end of it. Market research in itself doesn’t guarantee success. But it will definitely help you reduce the uncertainty surrounding the decision you need to make.

Together, these 3 questions will help you clarify your own thoughts about the study and help you formulate a clear and detailed market research brief.


Essential Components of a Market Research Brief

1. Context/Background

Provide a brief introduction to your company and the business challenge you are facing. Any information you already have about the audience and market can be added here. This will give the research analyst an understanding of your perspective on the prevalent market conditions.

2. Research Purpose

Explain why the research is necessary and state the key question you need to be answered. Also, include what decision you will make based on the findings. This section provides the overarching aim of the study.

 3. Research Objectives

Clearly state the research objectives that you want to achieve. This can include other questions you want to answer or specific information you want to gather. Use words like “understand”, “evaluate”, “assess”, and so on to enumerate your research objectives.

 4. Scope

Define the scope of the research, including the audience segment, geographic location, and timeframe for the research. Also, mention any measures or action standards that will be used to evaluate the success of the project. This will help the research team to better understand the parameters of the project.

 5. Methodology

Provide suggestions and rationale for the research methodology that you want to use. Include any expectations you have about data collection techniques, sample size, and survey length.

If you don’t have any specific instructions, you can leave this section blank. An expert research analyst will be able to offer the best approach based on the other information you provide.

 6. Budget

Provide a budget for the research project. This will help the research team determine the project’s feasibility and identify any potential limitations.

 7. Timeline

Provide a timeline for the research project, including key milestones and deadlines. This will help to ensure that the project is completed within a specific timeframe.

 8. Deliverables

Clearly define the deliverables that you expect from the research project, including the format and level of detail of the final report. They could take the form of written summaries, recordings, charts and graphs, dashboards, infographics, and other such collateral.

 9. Stakeholders

Identify the stakeholders who will be involved in the project, such as internal team members, external partners, or clients. Include all those who will see the report and use the findings to make decisions.

 10. Limitations

List out any limitations or restrictions the research analyst needs to keep in mind while conducting the research. These could include legal or regulatory requirements in a particular region or industry. Also be sure to include any cultural, demographic, or geographical considerations.


By including these 10 key components in your market research brief, you can ensure that your research is well-defined and focused. Doing so will also help the research analyst get a better understanding of your objectives and expectations.

A poorly written brief can fail to meet your objectives and cost you a lot of time and money. But putting in a little spade-work before you fill in your research brief can help you communicate your requirements in a clear and concise manner.

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