Have you ever faced a situation where a researcher has not exactly given the results that you require? Have you ever discussed research as what you want precisely and been disappointed to find that there is a disparity in your expectation and the outcomes? This is because of a failure in communication, that is particular an insufficient brief.
This is where we exactly wish to discuss research brief.
A research brief is a statement that comes from the sponsor, who sets the objectives and background. This is to enable the researcher to plan the research and conduct an appropriate study on it. Research Brief can be as good as a market research study and is very important to a researcher.
It provides good insight and influences on the choice of methodology to be adopted in the research. It also provides an objective to which the project links itself.
It is a short and non-technical summary of a discussion paper that is purely intended for decision-makers with a concentration on the paper’s policy-relevant findings.
Components of a Research Brief
Some sponsors deliver the brief orally by developing many detail points at the time of initial discussion with the researcher. On the other hand, the brief can also be completely thought through and committed to a paper.
This is very important when many research agencies need to submit proposals. Whether the research brief is oral or written, it should pay attention to the following points:
- Problem Background – This is a short record of the events which has actually led to the study. This provides an insight into the researcher a better viewpoint and understanding of the objective of the project.
- Problem Description – The researcher requires details in depth to perform the research. When the scope of the research is described properly, the research process gets easier. It becomes helpful for the sponsor to monitor the progress of the research.
- Market Analysis – The researcher needs to know the geographical areas of the research. Hence this should be part of the research brief.
- Objective Statement – The object of the researcher should be put statement. The researcher should gather the details from the sponsor and then provide a view of what has to be achieved.
- Time and Budget – The research brief should mention the time and budget constraints of the research.
Importance of Research Brief
Now, why is research brief important? It is like the way you set a foundation for a building; research brief provides a strong foundation for the research process.
Writing a research brief is important to the success of any market research project. However, it can be difficult to craft the perfect brief that meets the necessity of both the client and the researcher but eventually leads to the desired outcomes.
It helps a researcher to identify a problem to be researched, the exact background of the problem, the required details to address the problem, time and budget constraints within which the research is supposed to be designed.
Example of Research Brief
Keeping the above points in mind, let us take a small example of the way to write a market research brief.
To write a market research brief, it clarifies the research requirement and also makes sure that the ideas are well articulated. It helps to write a better research proposal, conduct user research, and achieve the desired outcome.
Describe the problem that is required to solve. Include applicable background and the challenge during the research.
Business and Project Objectives:
Explain the business objectives. For example: to increase sales/profit. Try to be specific as you can.
Also, describe the purpose of research and the expected outcomes. What is the decision that you require to make?
Market research objective typically follows from the above two objectives. Hence you will need to summarise the aim and information of the research. This will help to mention the questions required for answering.
Here, you will need to consider the participant who will sign-off and act on the research outcomes listed.
Research Methods, scope, sample, and guidelines:
Here, you will explain what is required. This will help you to focus on what is important and also have a piece of knowledge of the research investment. Here, more focus is given on the scope of the work and type of research. The inputs and the sample are also analyzed.
Here, you will require to define the delivery part of the research.
Ways to prepare Research Brief
Having discussed the basic of research brief, the following points will give you a brief idea of the ways to prepare yourself to write an effective research brief.
- Start with a summary of the current situation. Also, define in clear words as what you are already aware of. It would be more useful if you could include more details on your thought about the responsibility for the project on you and the research agency.
- After a summary, set up the business and research objectives. For business objectives, you need to mention the overall strategy and what is the importance of the current research. For research objectives, list the issues and topics that are likely to discover. List the problems to solve. Based on the research agency design, define clearly the business and research objectives. Having a clear objective will help you to assess the quality and also focus on the research agency’s report.
- Next, you may suggest about the ways about data collection. You can decide on a suitable research methodology that you think will be best fit the project.
- List what the outcomes of the project and the deliverables are. Like for example, you might just want to advise on survey design. For this, statistically robust data would be ideal. Or sometimes, you might write a full report with data, interpretation, recommendations, etc. Whatever it is, be clear as what is required. Suggest a timetable and mention the deadline to receive proposals and other deliverables.
Research Brief Template
Given below the template for research brief:
Research Brief: Project Name
In this area, give the background of the research brief.
#2 Business objectives
In this area, define the business objectives. Ideally, for a better understanding and readability, it would be good if the points are bulleted.
#3 Marketing objectives
In this area, type your marketing objectives. In case you have any other kind of objectives apart from marketing, you could change the section title.
In this area, define the research target here. Here, name all the target groups that will be a part of the research and the reason for it. Capture any other applicable details of the target group.
In this area, mention the Budget information. Mentioning a range of budget is fine. Also, indicate an upper limit in case you have any.
In this area, mention the timeline of the research. The approximate time as when this work would be over. Also, when can you provide the final analysis?
In this area, mention the report requirements. For example, whether a detail report is required or just a presentation.
#7 Contact information
In this area, mention the contact information for questions or clarification. It could be Client company name or Individual name, title, e-mail id, phone number, and mailing address.