How to Write a Marketing Research Brief | Philip Sugai | Skillshare

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How to Write a Marketing Research Brief

teacher avatar Philip Sugai, Dr. Philip Sugai, Professor of Marketing

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Class 1: Welcome!

    • 2. Class 2: The Research Problem

    • 3. Class 3: The Question, The Brief & The RFP

    • 4. Class 4: Example Problem Walkthrough

    • 5. Class 5: Example Research Brief Walkthrough

    • 6. Class 6: The Project Assignment

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About This Class

Have you ever tried conducting research only to have it go turn out much worse than expected?  Or have it balloon way beyond your initial expectations in terms of time, money or scope? Or are you concerned that your current research challenge may do this?  If so, this class will help you avoid these mistakes and significantly increase your chances of research success. In this class, we’ll walk through a step-by-step process to create a marketing research brief that you can use as the basis for any Marketing Research project, or to develop a Request for Proposal (RFP), or serve as a guide for any type of research project large or small including surveys, reports or even a thesis. By the end of this course you will be able to create your own Research Brief and Request for Proposal (RFP) based on this, or help a client to create one of these for you to work with. This class is geared towards anyone who needs to conduct research for their work or school and is interested in creating an effective blueprint for research success.  Additionally, the skills taught in this class can also be used by a freelance researcher or consultant to help guide your clients to provide the proper information to you in order to ensure a successful research project.

Meet Your Teacher

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Philip Sugai

Dr. Philip Sugai, Professor of Marketing


I joined the Global MBA faculty within Doshisha Business School as a full-time faculty member in September, 2013 where he currently teaches Marketing, eMarketing, Marketing Research, and Sustainable & Responsible Marketing. I'm also a Visiting Professor for Stanford University, where I teach an undergraduate course on Innovation in Japan at the Stanford Overseas campus in Kyoto. Prior to joining the Doshisha University faculty, I taught at the International University of Japan in Niigata from January 2002, where I also served as Associate Dean and Dean of the IUJ Business School for six years.

I've currently written two books. My most recent book is called The Value Plan and outlines a step-by-step process for creating marketing strategy. I also wrote The Six Immutable Laws of ... See full profile

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1. Class 1: Welcome!: hi and welcome to this. Still share course How to write a marketing research brief. My name is Philip Suit Guy, and I'm a professor of marketing here. It does she she University's Graduate School of business in Kyoto, Japan. The goal of this entire course is to help you create a blueprint that will serve as a guide for any research project that you undertake. Either is an executive, a researcher or a student, and what we'll do is we'll take that blueprint or research brief and transform it into an RFP, or request for proposals that you can use to hire an outside researcher agency if you choose. While the contents of a research brief are relatively easy to understand, the hardest part of any research project is coming up with a very clear research problem that will actually be the focus of our first video that comes after this one. The video after that will help you actually work with that research problem and transform it into a research question, research brief and ultimately, an RFP. The lessons after that will walk through step by step, how you actually create your research problem in research brief using a riel case Example. Finally, the last video will summarize everything and introduce your course project. I'm really looking forward to working with you in this class and seeing the results of all of your work in the form of an RFP and even better, actually seen you use that RFP to create outstanding research. Thanks for joining. And I'm looking forward to seeing you in the next video. 2. Class 2: The Research Problem: Hi and welcome to this next video from the skill share class. How to write a marketing research brief. My name again is Phillips a guy, and the purpose of this lesson is to help you understand the most important part of any research project, which is the definition of the research problem that you'll focus on solving and proving that it's truly worth spending time, energy and money upon after years of sponsoring research projects when I was an American, express through until today where I teach MBA students from all around the world, I can honestly say that what separates good research from bad research is the problem that's used as the foundation for whatever type of research is conducted to find a good research problem, Then you'll need toe walk through two critical steps. Step one can be easily accomplished by spending 30 minutes to an hour to confirm that the answers to the problem you're interested in researching remain unexplored, undiscovered and unknown. Even today. The reason that this first step is so important is that if someone's already conducted this research, you're simply wasting important Resource is repeating the work that someone else has already done. While there may be many ways to complete this step, the easiest way that I know of is to simply conduct a Google search and then a follow up Google scholar search to confirm that the answers to your problems really are still unexplored, undiscovered, an unknown even today. Of course, if you have access to proprietary databases, that's even better. But because Google and Google Scholar are powerful enough within 30 to 60 minutes, you'll be able to breeze through this first step from anywhere that you have Internet access. Once you've confirmed that there are no existing studies that have already looked into the problem that you've identified, the second step will help you dig a little deeper to help you confirm that this truly is a good research problem. To do so, you'll need to be able to answer yes to six additional questions about this research problem, which are as follows. Question one. Is this a feasible research problem? To answer? Yes, here means that you and your team really do have the ability to solve this problem in terms of either its size, cost scope and the research process you'll need to undertake to answer it. Question, too, is in an interesting research problem. To answer yes, here means that the solution to this problem will be of real interest either to your organization and sometimes even more importantly to the outside world. Question three. Is it a novel research problem to answer? Yes, Here means that not only is this problem unexplored, undiscovered and unknown as we walked through and step one, but the solution that you're looking for is unique and different from how anyone else has already looked at this issue for academic research. This is the important role of the literature of you, where your main challenges to show that a clear gap exists between our current knowledge and the answer that your problem will help us all. Fine question four. Is this an ethical research problem? To answer yes. Here means that in working to answer this problem that you won't breach any ethics or laws such as accessing private information without consent, misleading research participants or respondents, or causing harm in any way from your research endeavors. Question five is this irrelevant research problem. Being relevant means that solving this problem will address an actual current Niedere issue facing you or your organization together. These five elements have been called Finder by Holly Cummings Brower at all in their 2000 and seven book Designing Clinical Research. And because I found that leaving off with Finer doesn't get researchers over the final barrier to ensuring that they have a good research question, I always ask questions. Six. Is this problem really, really even today? To answer? Yes, here means that your problem truly exist today, and until now no one really has been ableto understand its causes or figure out an effective solution. So a good research problem that can be understood to be riel and finer and the opposite of this or a bad research problem fails across one or many of these points so that it's not really not feasible, not interesting, not novel, not ethical or it's not relevant or worse yet what I've seen in many organisations is that research is commissioned just to prove that a senior executive or a company is right. This is absolutely the wrong way to do research as it goes against the very definition of what research is meant to do, which is to establish, fax and reach new conclusions. So to summarize this video, a good research problem is both riel and finer. Its results remain unexplored, undiscovered and unknown, and the results that you will ultimately achieve aren't biased by any pre existing requirements. If you're interested in defining your own research problem now, please feel free to download and use this worksheet that I've created for you as a guide that wraps up this video on defining the research problem. In the next video, we'll walk through the process of turning this problem into a research question and research brief. 3. Class 3: The Question, The Brief & The RFP: Hi and welcome to this next video. The question. The brief and the RFP in this video will walk through the process of building a clear research question from your original problem statement. Building this into a complete research brief and translating that into a request for proposal or are P we left off in the last video with a fully vetted research problem that was both real and finer. The next challenge is to define the exact question that your research will focus upon to understand that problem, where, as a research problem, serves as the foundation to support why your research should be conducted in the first place. The research question helps to focus on the answers you aim to collect to help solve this problem. So to turn your research problem into a research question, it's vital to clearly define exactly what you want to learn about your research problems through research. With that, it's now time to create a comprehensive blueprint for the research you'll conduct to answer this research question, which is called a research brief. Fundamentally, a good research brief is used to build clarity both inside and outside of your organization for why how, when and at what cost you'll conduct your research. This brief serves as an easy to understand and easy to follow research guide. The thing that you're trying to prove is that not only are you conducting this research to answer your own question or to solve a problem, but by doing so, you'll help your organization move forward in implementing its overall strategy and vision . While there are many variations on style and formatting of research briefs, all of them must contain at least the following information. The problem statement. The first issue a research brief must address is why this is an important problem toe understand within the larger context of affirms, overall strategy or plans, this section should explain the product, service or audience that is the focus of the research and concludes with a clear outline of a research question that is interesting, important and original. The purpose of the research This section explains the reasons for the research to be undertaken and the outcomes you expect to achieve or decisions you expect to be able to make. After you've completed this research effort in this section, you should be able to clearly explain why this research is necessary and important today and worth the investment in time, energy and resource is that completing it will require research objectives. This section outlines in clear and concise terms exactly what this research project aims to achieve. These objectives will serve as benchmarks for how you evaluate the success of your research efforts. So be sure to take ample time to make sure that these air complete and that you really are able to achieve procedure or methodology in order to fulfill the objectives outlined above . This section explains exactly how you intend to conduct this research, including whose data you will use, which is typically called the research sample, the type of data that you will collect and whether it will be quantitative quality or a mix of these. How you will analyze this data and with what specific research tools expected deliverables . The exact requirements for what will be delivered at the end of the research process are included in this section. Topics such as reporting requirements, update meetings and presentations should be included here. Time free. A clear start and ND must be given for all research projects. Please ensure that you have taken full consideration of the objectives, procedures and delivery bols prior to finalising your delivery dates. Budget. A discussion of budget is essential internally and is often helpful when managing outside agencies. When conducting an open RFP, I strongly recommend toe openly include this information. These seven sections serve as the foundation for any research brief, and once you have completed these and obtained approval to move forward with this research project, the next and final step is toe. Either implement your research following this blueprint or to transform this into a request for proposal or RFP toe. Hire an outside agency or consultant, and what you're asking by putting this out for RFP is for experienced researchers or agencies to help you better define and focus your overall research efforts. So in RFP is simply the research brief rewritten to collect bids from outside vendors. Toe help you complete your work. The benefit of creating an RFP in this way is that you're able to enter into a collaborative discussion with research providers about the details of what you hope to accomplish and significantly limit any disappointments that the agency or vendor delivers results that don't live up to your original expectations that wraps up this video on the research question Research brief and RFP. In the next video, we'll walk through an example of a research brief that conserves your guide for creating your own research. Brief for the course assignment. Thanks for watching, and I look forward to seeing you in the next video. 4. Class 4: Example Problem Walkthrough : Hi and welcome to this next lesson from the skill share class. How to write a marketing research brief Now that you understand the contents of a research brief in this video and in the next, I'd like to walk you through a brief example to help clarify any points that may not have been clear in the previous videos. In this first example, walk through video will work through worksheet. Want to confirm that you really have a good research problem for this example? Let's imagine that I'm working in a sports apparel company, and I've been watching news reports being published on the negative impact that sports related products like sneakers are having on the environment. At the same time, my company has been ramping up its environmental efforts, but customers air consistently, throwing away more and more trashy tear. I'm wondering about the mechanisms that are driving these behaviors but can't find any existing research that helps me to clearly understand this phenomenon in the context of my company and the products that we make. Since I work for a multinational company, I'm interested in doing this research not only within the United States but also seeing if there are clear differences in other major markets around the world within which we work, including the United Kingdom and Japan. With this foundation, let's walk through the problem identification worksheet where I'll write the initial problemas follows. My company makes more money from selling more sneakers and sports related attire. But the more we sell, the more waste that our customers produce. I'd like to conduct research to understand how our customers view their consumption and disposal behaviors. In light of all, the environmental message is that they're exposed to to complete step one. From this worksheet, I need to take about 30 to 60 minutes on Google and Google Scholar to confirm that the solution to this specific problem remains unexplored, undiscovered and unknown. Because each skill share video is limited to five minutes maximum. I'll summarize my research for you with a few screenshots instead of walking you through the entire process to complete step number one. I searched on Google for terms like growing waste growing consumption and found reports by the World Bank, which I then read, which led me to reports from the O. E C. D. That helped me to understand the larger issues related to the current trends and waste. I entered the same search query into Google Scholar and found this article on global perceptions of You Waste, which isn't directly related to sports attire but helped me to understand how researchers in a different sector we're going about understanding the issue of waste. I looked through other articles to, but I couldn't find information on consumer perceptions about waste. So I did another search for consumer perceptions of ways, which helped me find one article on consumer perceptions for sustainability. Again, this wasn't a perfect match, but it helped me to understand that other researchers air definitely exploring customer perceptions and working to understand how their beliefs and sustainability influence their behaviors. Finally, I found this one article that talked about the Saltman metaphor elicit ation technique, which, after reading it, convinced me that this would be a very interesting research method to use to understand customer perceptions and beliefs about the waste they produce. So returning back to the problem identification worksheet, my time on Google and Google Scholar helped me to answer yes to the Step one challenge so that I could now move into step to walking through each question. I can now say that, yes, this is a feasible research problem to focus on because I found other researchers have work to understand both customer perceptions about sustainability and about an entire industry like you waste in the past. I can answer yes to being an interesting research problem because organizations like the O . E. C. D. And World Bank have put significant effort into this issue. And no one has yet to come up with a clear answer for exactly what I'm looking to understand. I can also say yes to this being a novel research problem and that I could find research in related industries. But no research on this important issue has yet been published. And now that I understand how the Saltman metaphor elicit ation technique works, I can also see that I can conduct this research into how my customers think without any ethical issues or concerns. As long as I clearly explain the process that I will follow and get their consent in advance, I can also say yes that this is a relevant research problem in that this issue is directly facing my company and industry, and finally as the recent news articles have shown me. Even within the last week of doing this research, a number of news articles on the impact of sneakers and sports attire on waste have been published. Based on this analysis, I can confidently complete this first worksheet and move to the process of writing my research brief based on the fact that I now have a good research problem to begin writing this research brief, I would most likely need to do a little more background research on the issue of waste. How my company approaches this issue internally and to the public, and also how we are currently interacting with our customers about this issue. The next video. We'll walk you through the process of writing a research brief after you've completed this extra background research and help you turn this into an RFP that you can advertise publicly. Thanks for watching, and I look forward to seeing you in the next video 5. Class 5: Example Research Brief Walkthrough: Hi and welcome to this next lesson from the skill share class. How to write a marketing research brief. Where will now continue our example from the last video to move from a good research problem to a complete research brief and RFP For this exercise, I've written a full research brief example that is available for you to download as part of the course contents. Please feel free to print this out and follow along to transform our past work into a research brief as shown in the research Brief outline worksheet. The first element of a research brief is the problem statement. So here I've written the following problem statement that first outlines the bigger issues of global waste and how it's expected to grow and the relationship that this has on our business. I wrap up the problem statement section with a clearly defined research question specific to my company. This leads to section to the research purpose which focuses me, my research team or vendor, and my senior management on the exact reason why we're doing this research in the first place. You can see here that I'll use this research to help guide future actions that my company takes in implementing its communications efforts around sustainability. I then move on to section three the research objectives where I outlined four clear objectives that will serve as benchmarks for how we judge the overall success of our research project. I specifically use the fourth objective to tie the results of the research that will be doing back to very clear business activities by my company. I found that including information like this in a research brief helps to focus both the research that we're doing and the analysis of the results that we receive on actionable steps that we can implement going forward after the research is done, Not having these included sometimes leads to extra work and difficult questions about. Okay, so what do we do with these results that simply including such actionable steps from the beginning, can help you to avoid? Then I continue to explain the procedure that I'd like to follow in Section four, where I outlined the research sample that we'd like to use the research method, which, for this example, is the Saltman metaphor elicit Asian technique procedure that I had found and fell in love with in my initial research, and I also explain the type of analysis and again the actions that I intend to take from these analyses here in this section. Then I outlined the delivery bols that I expect to deliver or if I'm working with an outside agency to receive that include the meeting updates, schedule the report, size, length and contents, and finally, how we will communicate these results. Next. I outlined the complete timeline with a week by week breakdown of the activities that either I or the agency will follow. And finally I clearly discussed the budget and what it is meant to include once I'm able to obtain approval within my company for this research. Using this research brief, I can then easily translate this document into a full request for proposal. In my RFP, I would include all of this information and then additionally, ask for more information on each research vendor, including their capabilities and track record, as well as their recommendations for other research approaches to achieve my intended objectives within the budget and time constraints of this project that wraps up this video and our overall discussions on how to write a marketing research brief in the final video of this course, I'll wrap up this course and introduce you to the course assignment. Thanks for watching, and I look forward to seeing you in the next video. 6. Class 6: The Project Assignment: Hi and welcome to this last video from the course. How to write a marketing research brief now that you've gone through all of the contents that I've prepared for you and seeing how these can be applied to a case example Now it's time to apply these to your own research project to create your own riel plus finer research problem and turn that into a research question. RFP And if you'd like a request for proposal. So the project for this course actually asks you to do just that. Please walk through worksheet one and worksheet to. And if you have any questions along the way, please don't hesitate to ask me. I'm really looking forward to seeing the results of all of your work. And, even better, I'm looking forward to hearing that you've had an incredibly successful research project. Thank you so much for watching. I look forward to seeing you in the next course