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A brand new opportunity has emerged on your business radar, and it could propel your company at a captivating and profitable direction. It might be a new product or service line, a set of untapped consumers or perhaps -- keep your voice down now -- a potential merger with a bigger competitor.

Before you get too far ahead of yourself, you are aware that it's smart to completely vet this opportunity by commissioning a market research report. At a certain point -- probably following your staff has completed gathering the necessary qualitative and quantitative data -- you need to set out your expectations for your written report. The best way to approach this job ought to get their blood flow, too.

Issue Three Dictates
If your marketing staff is new to the job, they are probably going to love your top three directives:

Tell a narrative. Tell a visual narrative, with plenty of graphs and graphs. Keep it brief.
They may not think they heard you ; after all, you didn't say you want a market study report, did not you? And are not most reports long, voluminous and sometimes dull products?

Inform them make no mistake: you expect a thorough effort that assesses each angle of the new business opportunity. You want the report, as they say, to"see around corners" However, there are valid reasons that push your directives.

Tell a Story
The most compelling market study reports tack on a story -- about why that new product or service line holds this claim, why that group of untapped consumers could benefit from the offerings or why merger would be a smart investment.

Like all great stories, this one may begin with an anecdote or concentrate on a single person -- that the"main character" -- that could serve as your ideal customer. Telling the story of your study through her or his eyes, and with plenty of dynamic quotes, should flow directly into how pursuing this new opportunity would advance your business goals. This is a crucial part of the story, too, since the opportunity wouldn't even be worth considering if it did not conform with your business strategy.

At this point, you may want to share with your employees the experience of a renowned manufacturer of a men's fragrance that was prepared to embark on a marketing effort -- targeted to men. Then the industry research revealed that women, not men, make the majority of these purchases, and also the finding changed the effort.

Inform a Visual Story
As much of the quantitative data as possible ought to be consigned to graphs and charts on the market study report, not the actual written content. Numbers are easier to read, and appraise, when they're displayed in a graph instead of tucked into a dense paragraph, in which the reader can struggle to translate their significance.

This point underscores the following reality about market research reports: you might believe it's being written for your benefit and that of your staff. And for today, it may be. Your viewers may also incorporate your business accountant and attorney. However, some day, if it is appropriate, new stakeholders may read the report, also, and graphs and charts will make it much easier for them to digest.

Of course, you can always overdo a good thing. Only relevant charts and graphs -- or those that advance the basic story -- should be included in the body of the market research report. Ancillary information ought to be relegated to the appendix -- which document repository that comes at the end of a document.

Keep it Brief

By focusing on a compelling story and relying on artwork, your staff must find it a lot easier to tackle your third party cardinal rule. They should know that you will gauge the value of the campaign on its quality, not the range of pages. (It's up to you if you would like to inform them that lots of market research reports operate from between 10 and 50 pages.) It Is Going to also help if they:

Use bullet points when they can. * Read one another's job and"peer reviewed" for clarity and concision.

Challenge every paragraph to the relevancy test. In other words, if a paragraph doesn't advance the fundamental narrative, hit it.

You will hesitate to call it an"outline," however you need to convey to your employees which the real worth of the report will ride on its organization. So if they don't like the sound of establishing a incremental progression of this report, then turn them loose on PowerPoint, which will force the problem (in a fantastic way). In the long run, they may decide that this format -- rather than a newspaper report -- is the very best one for their own findings.

As liberating as this may be, most market research reports hew to tradition, and necessity, by adding:

A section on the study objectives. A section on the research procedures. An executive overview. Detailed findings also, perhaps, the consequences. Told in a lively manner, the intriguing finish ought to get everyone's blood pumping.