Developing a Methodology Brief: You never know who’s going to read a market research report. Perhaps it’s your client’s insights team, or it may be folks who work in finance or marketing. If you’re not sure, it’s probably all of them, and not everyone will understand the purpose of the report if they were not looped into the initial project launch meetings.
One of the most important phases of the project launch is the methodology brief. Developing a methodology brief outlines the structure of the research project and explains the motivating factors behind the research itself.
The methodology brief pulls all key stakeholders onto the same level and explains why the research is being conducted.
Defining the Research Objectives
The first part of the methodology brief focuses on developing the big picture: Why are we doing research?
The reasons might be found in the RFP, but it’s important to work together with the client early-on to learn the motivating factors behind the research to develop actionable objectives. An example of a research objective may be: Determine awareness and impact of pre-event brand advertising on consumer behavior. That objective provides clear direction for both PortMA and the client team on a specific area on which to focus.
Proposing data collection methods
After that, the second part of developing a methodology brief includes the proposed data collection method(s).
Here we define the types of respondents we are expecting to sample. We also define the key segments to be used in the analysis. Using the example above, one segment would be consumers who saw brand advertisements prior to attending the event. This provides a foundation for the research report and links back to the objectives.
Presenting the data collection tool
Subsequently, the third step is including a proposed draft of the data collection method. This may be a survey, discussion guide, or both. The ability to receive client feedback before launch is invaluable because it demonstrates our commitment to quality data collection.
The two parties work together to fine-tune the draft so the research is ready to launch at a moment’s notice.
Laying out the measurement timeline
Finally, we provide the next steps with a proposed calendar so everyone has a chance to review whether or not the delivery schedule fits their timeline. Again, with multiple stakeholders involved in the research, it’s crucial to ensure that our work meets everyone’s expectations while developing a methodology brief.
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