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If you're a freelancer working on a market research project, you know too well that the client's success depends on you. As such, you have to arm yourself with the right skills and marketing research proposal sample PDF to deliver the best to them. You may have done similar projects before, but there's no harm in going through what you already know. Who knows? You may learn one or two things in the process and become even better.

So, where do you start from, if you're working on a marketing research project? 

Of course, it all begins with writing a marketing research proposal example, and every freelancer knows this. However, reality strikes when you start writing one. The first step to writing a marketing research proposal example is to understand what it is. The proposal focuses on offering a product or service that solves a particular problem. In your proposal, you have to convince the client that a certain project needs to be addressed. The freelancer has to identify an issue of concern for the client, and then resent a solution that best fits. Therefore you as a freelancer must be thorough in your analysis and very persuasive in your presentation. While you may have written a market research proposal example before, it's always different with every project. Therefore, it can still be challenging to write a market research proposal sample even if you've done one before.

But does that mean it's hard to break? Of course, not. With the right tips, you can always walk through it easily. All you need to do is follow the right guidance and research as much as you can. Information gives you the power and it does so even when writing a good marketing research proposal. Before we look at some of the golden tips to writing a marketing research proposal of a kind, we need to understand something little about this document.

So, what's a marketing research proposal? The marketing research proposal is a document that acts as the rationale for undertaking a marketing research project. 

Thus, the marketing research proposal sample PDF has to be persuasive, thorough in its analysis and should be written in a non-technical language as much as possible. Marketing research proposal precedes the marketing research meant to determine the four P's of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion.

Marketing Research Proposal Template
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Here are some important tips on how to write a marketing research proposal that will impress your client.

1. Outline the purpose and scope of research in your marketing research proposal

The first step in drafting a marketing research proposal is to ensure that the document states the question the study will attempt to answer. You can also say it attempts to solve the problem the research will be identifying. Like, what's the purpose of the research? What does it seek to find out at the end of the project? This question forms the basis of the objective. Again, since the document may be read by someone who's not familiar with what the research covers, you have to outline the objectives of the research clearly, for them to understand. Think like a third party as you write and as you go through the entire market research proposal PDF.

Besides reporting the problem, the market research proposal sample also includes a detailed background which provides the context as to why the ultimate goal is essential. Here, you need to convince your readers that whatever the research seeks to address is relevant and that there's need for it. The client has to be engaged enough to agree with that indeed that problem is not good for business. Your proposal can also work to point out a problem they already knew, but make it seem more serious than they thought it was. Show the client the consequences of not addressing the issue you have highlighted. It's not just about listing the objectives, but also letting the readers know what prompted the research.

The marketing research proposal example should consist of estimated details of the solutions (for example, if the cost is a factor of success or failure, you can include an estimated amount.) A reasonable timeline with significant milestones outlined (or even a Gantt chart) may be necessary if the research is of a considerable scope). The only thing you as a freelancer should never forget to do is to remain as realistic as possible. State a timeline that is not over-ambitious. Instead have details of how every milestone will be achieved and why the timeline given best fits it for success.

2. Evaluate the Marketing Environment

Your market research proposal example should evaluate the client's marketing environment. You have to go deep inside it and understand the weaknesses, the challenges and the best techniques that guarantee success. Here, you need to give an overview of the client's marketing environment.

The environmental issues include:

  • Cultural issues: attitudes and demographic trends.
  • Technology: the internet trends, data, competitive infrastructure factors: pricing, service and speed.
  • Economic concerns: unemployment and the competition. Present an analysis of what the competition is doing that your client is not.
  • Which techniques have they implemented that is working for them and which ones are not?

You can also evaluate the global marketing environment if the products are sold to different countries, bearing in mind different cultures, currencies and other factors play a huge role. What suggestions can you make that will favor the clients business? Take time to show the client how much insight you have of both the local and global marketing environment. This will capture the client's attention and make them see you as the right freelancer to work with.

3. Sources of data in the marketing research proposal

Where is your client going to obtain the data from? Your marketing research proposal should answer this clearly. Data forms the basis of a research, and, therefore, the proposal must clearly highlight the main data sources. Usually, there are two sources of gathering data, namely primary and secondary sources.

  • Primary data sources provide firsthand information about something. They include interviews, online or face-to-face surveys, focus groups, and customer feedback. For a marketing research, customer reviews form the best primary data source. Customers usually give the best opinions about products, and these opinions give insight as to the previous market performance of those products.
  • Secondary sources provide information that has already been published. They include government publications, online searches, trade organizations, magazines and clipping services. Secondary sources act as an alternative when the primary sources are not available.

Make sure your marketing research proposal includes all your client's data sources, both primary and secondary. In this section, you have to be very clear and detailed. Thoroughly describe all the data and their significance. Make it clear with data collection methods will be included in your marketing research proposal. Use specifics to detail to the client how you intend to approach the potential survey or research candidates. Describe how you intend on ensuring the accuracy of data and if there will be any costs attached. Provide as much information as possible in this section.

4. Methodology in the marketing research proposal

Now that we have the data, which data analysis methods is the research proposing? You need to highlight this clearly in the marketing research proposal. Usually, you can choose to use either descriptive or statistical data analysis techniques.

Descriptive data analysis techniques include constructing tables of means and quantiles, measures of dispersion e.g. Variance, and cross-tabulations that can be used to evaluate contrasting hypotheses.

Statistical data analysis involves performing various statistical operations on the given data to come up with estimations and later test the evolving hypothesis.

Whichever measurement techniques you settle on, the marketing research proposal needs to maintain objectivity. This section of the proposal lays out the methods used to interpret the data. Here, you need to be very specific when highlighting the data analysis techniques to avoid any form of generalization. Ensure that you point out the exact techniques you are advocating for. And as you discuss your data analysis, take time to find out if a third party can understand your suggestion the exact way you intended it to be.

If you're talking about descriptive data analysis techniques, try to mention the specific type of analysis the research proposes.

Qualitative parameters include anecdotal evidence, a compilation of consensus opinions or even measuring the emotional intensity of respondents. Qualitative analysis uses figures to measure the data correctly, offering specific outcomes for the hypotheses being tested.

If an alternative research option is available, it should be explained and justified in the marketing research proposal. Discuss in-depth the strengths and most probable limitations of your research methods. Offer the client a blueprint for your methodology in approaching research data. Ensure that you are as thorough as possible to ensure that the client not only has confidence in what you are presenting but in its outcome.  

Explain how you came to settle on one methodology and left others. You can do this by describing the implications of different methods of data collection. How will you be evaluating the data collected? How will you account for the possible errors, holes in data, or inaccuracies? Your marketing research proposal should have all the necessary details without leaving any question left unanswered.

Marketing Research Proposal Template Sample
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5. Getting the format right in your marketing research proposal

When it comes to writing a marketing research proposal, you have to get the format pretty right. As a freelancer, you wouldn't want to disappoint your client, and so, you better do it well. If you don't know the right format to use, just check online for some marketing research proposal templates.  How professional you appear in the eyes of the client is very important. Remember that you may not be the only freelancer who is sending the client a proposal in that regard.

There are numerous online resources where marketing research plan templates can be downloaded. These templates are very reliable as they give the required format but still allow you to modify it to look as you would love (for example, adding your company logo and changing fonts). This is to say that the marketing research proposal template allows you to personalize it so that it is not the same as any other. The advantage you will have with these online templates is the opportunity to resent a professional proposal that fits any standard. The marketing research templates also guide you on the different clauses that are required (and those that aren't needed, you can edit them out!)

So, don't get stuck simply because you don't know the right format to use. Get help online.

The other side of market research

A big problem of market research is that conventional tools are unable to assess the impact of the marketing investments on the target audience's behaviour. This problem is because it's unable to track the steps from when the customer sees the product to when they decide to purchase it. Metrics like awareness and attitudes from existing customers.

The marketing proposal is meant to showcase your ability as a professional to market yourself and your client. If you can convince your client that they need your expertise, then they will see the need to have you as part of their team. 

Many people think a particular sports car is one of the best, but they won't buy it even if they can afford it. The flip side may also apply; they may not think much about a product or advert but still go ahead to make the purchase. These differences make market research somewhat unpredictable to the ultimate customer experience. You as a freelancer must exhibit the understanding of how the consumer thinks and reacts to different adverts and products. 

Showcase to the client the experience you have in capturing the attention of the consumer and how you can turn that attention into sales. If you are able to achieve this with your marketing research proposal, then you will have sealed for yourself many more deals to come.

Even so, we just have to rely on the research outcomes even if the client feedback is not 100%. At least with the little information, we can get an insight into the market. The outcomes will give you a more accurate insight needed to penetrate the market for success.


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