Writing a Market Research Brief: Deliverables, Outcomes and Constraints

Posted by  D&M Research Team

POSTED ON  February 24, 2022


This post is part of a series designed to assist you in capturing and sharpening all the background information and business intentions that any research agency would require to deliver a focused and effective proposal.

In your market research brief, we recommend adding sections on deliverables, anticipated actions (business or marketing decisions), and timing and budget constraints. Details of each are outlined below.

Deliverables and anticipated actions

This is crucially important and too often neglected. This section should outline what the business expects to be delivered in detail, how the business and/or marketing intends to use the research results and what decisions will be based upon them.

The deliverables are usually a straightforward list of expected milestone activities, meetings or reports and might include any of the following:

  • Inception/scoping meeting
  • Creation of questionnaires/topic guides
  • Scripting and hosting
  • Fieldwork (data collection)
  • Analysis and significance testing
  • Coding of open-ended questions
  • Cross tabulations of all key variables
  • Advanced statistical methods
  • Detailed report including key insights and recommendations
  • Presentation of the research findings

The anticipated actions should detail all the activities, marketing or otherwise, that the business would reasonably anticipate executing as a result of having the findings and insights that the research delivers. This will help the agency to formulate its recommendations by understanding what the business is and is not anticipating. Any alternative courses of action, if established before the research, should also be stated so that the research is structured accordingly and will provide the necessary answer to enable an actionable marketing decision.

Timing and budget

Any timing and/or budget constraints are critical for the agency to design solutions that are likely to be adopted by the client, as the type and size of the study will very much depend on the budget and time available.

Although in some cases budgets are withheld to try and extract optimal value, it is our experience that stated budgets always lead to more practical, sensible and competitive approaches, as the agency is challenged to ensure that all the research dollars work as hard as they can. Agencies want to deliver to the brief and will always try to do so within budget. Not having a budget can lead to a waste of both your and the agency’s time and money.

This section should also contain a detailed project timing plan providing details of things like: research briefing meetings, availability of any stimuli, when results are needed by, what and when
additional stakeholder presentations are required by, etc. If appropriate, state why the results are required by the nominated date as this can help the agency to understand the urgency if that exists.


In this section you can provide any other information that might be relevant or useful for the agency to prepare a proposal, like:

  • Market Overview
  • Brand Background
  • Media Schedule
  • Past Research Findings

This is the last post in our series on writing a research brief. We hope it has been informative and helps you with preparing your next research brief. Please feel to contact us should you require any assistance with your next project.

For our complete guide to writing a research brief, download our FREE printable Research Brief Guide by completing the form below!

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