The Research Brief

August 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

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The most important brand management task to obtain the right information out of an investigation is the research brief


A research brief is a document created by the brand manager that states the information required from the defined target. A good brief usually provides a good base for the agency to develop a great questionnaire. A poorly developed brief leads to an uncompleted questionnaire that doesn’t collects the right information and requires lots of reviews prior to the investigation being launched.

A good research brief usually contains:

  • General Information
  • Background
  • General Objectives
  • Specific Objectives
  • Type of research
  • Action Standards
  • Target Group
  • Signatures

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1.- General Information:

Often contains the basic information of the claimant:

  • Company Name
  • Brand Name
  • Category
  • Project Title
  • Manager’s Name
  • Required Documents and Deadlines

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2.- Backgrounds

This, usually a paragraph contains a small overview of relevant information regarding the doubt’s origin and past research studies that have been done in the past and could contribute (or avoid) redundant questions on the survey.

My experience is that a very detailed backgrounds supports a redundant-free study. Usually the main facts shared are:

  • Sales Figures.
  • Problems Identified
  • Brand Knowledge Figures
  • Past Studies

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3.- General Objective & 4.- Specific Objectives:

An objective should state:

  • Who is involved
  • What are the desired outcomes
  • How will be measured

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Great terms included in an objective are: To explain, to identify, to describe, to contrast, to solve, to list, to recognize, to illustrate, to interpret, to predict, to evaluate, to report, to classify.

Avoid using: to know, to understand, to appreciate, to have awareness, etc (non-specific).

REMEMBER, objectives must be Measurable

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5.- Type of Research:

More information on my Marketing’s Research Post

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6.- Action Standards:

A.S. are the actions that will be taken after including into considerations of the study results

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7.-Target Group

The target group is the audience that you want to run the study with. An accurate study with the wrong target can lead to horrific decisions. Assuring that the correct target group is defined will guarantee that the result are a representation of the consumer behaviour.

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8.- Signatures

The document must be signed by all managers that approve and directs the company decision-making.

My experience is that a study that doesn’t contain a written approval of senior managers could miss an important pre-approval of the action standards and the relevance of the overall study to the future of the brand.

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