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4 Elements of a Good Market Research Proposal

Seth Richtsmeier
Seth Richtsmeier

Market research proposals aren’t as simple as they may seem. Maybe you’re struggling to write your market research proposal, or simply want to make your proposal become even stronger.

Content marketing, especially for a freelancer, can be broken down into a digestible science, and there are four components that will make your market research proposal truly great.

As long as your proposal includes these four elements at the very least, consider yourself good to go. Not sure how to write them? We’ll break down everything you could possibly need to make your market research proposal great.

1.  Define Your Objectives

What in the world are you doing? For the objective element, narrow down exactly what you’re interested in. Be specific and really let the client know your intentions.

Think about what you hope to gain from your research, and furthermore, determine why this research is important. Who does it impact? Why are you the perfect person to conduct this project?

What you propose in the objectives section of your market research proposal will change the course of your project. It’s important that both sides (you, and the client) have a clear understanding of what exactly you aim to do. This will ensure that everything goes smoothly once you get started, avoiding any confusion.

You’ll thank yourself later for doing this up front!

2.  Provide Specifics of Your Approach

You may think that you’ve already covered your approach within the objective element, and you’d be right. However, you want to have a separate section of your market research proposal dedicated to the approach so that you can really hammer out the details. Address items such as:

  • What will be your specific methods of conducting research?
  • Will you be conducting focus groups? If so, how many?
  • How many team members will you need, or can you do this alone?

Determine precisely what you’ll need and how you’ll be conducting it. The more specific you are, the more likely the client will be to hire you. They need someone to fit their needs, just as you need someone to fit yours. Address the tiniest of details here so both sides can determine a good fit.

3.  Determine What the Project Will Cost

“When money talks, there are few interruptions,” Herbert V. Prochnow claimed.

The cost of performing market research will be a key part of your proposal. This is where your client will likely pay most attention, which means you’ve got to reel them in. The cost element is imperative for crafting a great proposal.

You deserve to be paid for your work, there’s no question about that. However, it’s important to consider what will be the most cost-effective way for you to be paid. Do you want to be paid hourly, paid upfront, or in staggered deposits? All of these are viable options.

Come up with your expense budget and know that part of this will be addressed in your objectives. Since your client will already be thinking about money, you can include this on the front page of your proposal, in your initial email, and so on. Come up with a price point that not only works for the client but for you too. And don’t sell yourself short!

4.  Propose a Deadline

As a freelancer, you know that meeting deadlines is crucial. If you don’t have a deadline, your life can become messier than it already is. Freelancers thrive on deadlines because it gives them a schedule with dates as goals.

Present a deadline in your proposal that works for you but can be earlier or later depending on your client’s needs. This gives them flexibility to move it around based on the demands of their schedule. Prepare to be adaptable.

If you’ve already talked to the client about a deadline, this piece of the work is already done! Get it into this element of the market research proposal and explain why the deadline works for you and your research.

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