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7 Components of a Market Research Proposal

by George Kuhn

Posted at: 5/9/2023 12:30 PM

person typing on computer - market research proposal

A market research proposal is the first and most critical step in your project or choosing a market research consultant .

It gives you all of the information you need on the process, approach, and most importantly: the cost 💸💸.

You can also tell a lot about a market research company from the interactions you have before signing on the dotted line.

In this article, our market research company shares everything you need to know about market research requests for proposals.

It will teach you what to look for, what the process looks like, and the key components of an RFP document.

Article Contents

What is a Market Research Proposal?

  • Market Research Proposal Components
  • What a Proposal Tells You About a Market Research Company

Looking to submit a request for a proposal to a market research company? Contact Drive Research by emailing [email protected] or completing an online contact form on our website.

A proposal for market research is a document that works as a template for the research team and client, determining the steps to take in proper order. What’s more, they ensure the project runs smoothly and follows a key set of steps. 

Market research proposals typically include the following:

  • Objectives: The purpose of this section is to clearly define the key goals of the market research project. Like any other project, when there are no objectives, things can get messy–fast. Labeling the project objectives works to avoid this and ensures the rest of the proposal makes sense. 
  • Type of approach: While the objectives section is the most important, the approach section has the most details. Going over each step of the entire process is critical for this point, as it almost acts as a map of how the project will go. 
  • Project timeline: Just as it sounds. Including a timeline in a market research proposal is necessary to ensure the client is aware of how the project will progress. Additionally, this helps to keep the research team aware of deadlines and goals. 
  • Estimated cost: Pricing will always be included in a market research proposal. Usually, costs for a project will be a fixed price. Like many aspects of market research, costs depend on different variables within the project. 

Another key detail to point out here is that proposals are especially important because there are so many different types of market research methods to choose from. 

While the four elements listed above are essential in a proposal for any type of research project, their details will vary based on the type of research being conducted. 

A research team that’s well-versed in multiple industries will be able to craft an effective research proposal that’s unique to their client. 

Below, we’ll expand on the points mentioned above.


Free Resource: Download Our Free Market Research RFP Template

Market Research Proposal Components 

A market research proposal includes a set amount of key components. Each section offers essential information and should always be reviewed to ensure you are selecting the best market research agency for the job.

Looking for assistance in creating a market research proposal to send to agencies? Here is your ultimate guide to writing a market research RFP .

Below are the key components of a market research proposal:

Proposal Component #1: Objectives

This is the general recap of key questions that need to be answered in the market research.

It should address your expectations, what you want to learn from the market research, and what you plan to do with the results.

In this section of the proposal, the market research company should communicate how well they listened and understood the key objectives of your project from the prospecting meetings.

This is an important component of a market research proposal.

It is important both sides have a clear understanding of what the general goals and objectives of the research are.

Your objectives will shape survey or interview questions, and guide the final results. Do not hesitate to discuss any comments or concerns when you receive the proposal. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: As with any market research project, a proposal will contain clear project objectives. This includes project expectations and how the data will be used. 

Proposal Component #2: Approach

In this section of the market research proposal, the firm should outline the approach.

This approach should set the table for the types of methodologies of choice and most importantly, why they are the best options for the client.

Here the proposal may talk about approaches to market research such as:

  • Hosting 2 online focus groups followed by an online survey.
  • Conducting 15 in-depth interviews (IDIs) followed by an email survey.

Whatever the methodology is, the firm should spend some time discussing the value of each methodology and why it was chosen over other options.

For instance, online surveys offer the best return on investment (ROI) for a client. This is because online surveys are cost-effective , offer a quick turnaround, and capture quality data.

This is part of the story we share for our market research case studies . All great market research companies have a patented process.

💡 The Key Takeaway: For this section of the proposal, the approach will detail what type of market research will be used and other relevant information.

Proposal Component #3: Design

Now that the approach is laid out, the market research company should get into the details here.

The design phase of the market research proposal outlines the structure of each of the market research instruments.

This component of a market research proposal may include:

  • A moderator's guide for a focus group
  • A survey document for an online survey
  • An interview guide for an IDI

This section should explain some of the questions the market research company is considering asking, how long the survey or interview will take, what populations the market research will be targeting, and so on.

For example, if the market research company is proposing focus groups, the proposal will discuss the location of the groups, honorariums, recruitment methods, and more.

This is the crux of the market research proposal. The detail is in the design and it's where the market research company can shine.

The design component is where they can show their expertise and experience. This is where the pretenders are separated from the contenders.

💡 The Key Takeaway: In this section of the proposal, further details about the chosen method of research are provided. This step is essential when it comes to giving clients peace of mind about their projects. 

Proposal Component #4: Fieldwork

During the fieldwork section of the proposal, this is where your organization will read about the number of groups, the number of survey completes, or the number of interviews.

You may also learn about how the firm proposes cutting the audiences or creating quotas .

Here the market research firm should also share how the project will start with a soft-launch email survey before fully launching fieldwork.

Additionally, in this section of our market research proposals, we also share with our clients that they will receive a live data link that they can access 24/7 with a passcode.

This gives our clients up-to-the-second data when their project is active.

To give you a preview, here is an example client portal created for online surveys.

online survey data portal - drive research

💡 The Key Takeaway: The fieldwork section covers how the feedback will be gathered for the client project. Additionally, this is a chance for the team to discuss how demographics will be handled. 

Proposal Component #5: Reporting

The reporting component is another key section of the market research proposal. This is where your team will read about the analysis and reporting plans of the market research company.

It should give you a mental picture of how the report will be structured.

This would most likely include:

  • An executive summary
  • Recommendations
  • Infographic
  • Customer persona
  • An appendix of question-by-question results

Depending on the complexity of the project, the market research firm should also touch on some advanced analytics such as TURF analysis , text analytics , regression , correlation , or any other non-traditional form of reporting.

Below is an example infographic you might receive from a market research company, like Drive Research.

Example Infographic for Market Research Client of Drive Research

Example Infographic of a Market Research Report

💡 The Key Takeaway: This section covers how the received data will be analyzed and reported. It covers how the data will be arranged and interpreted by the team.

Proposal Component #6: Timeline

In one of the final sections of the market research proposal , the market research firm should highlight the timeline.

This not only includes a total start-to-finish estimate in weeks (or months) but a breakdown of each section.

Our market research firm often finds Gantt charts work very well for these timelines. The breakdown here should include kickoff, set up, design, fieldwork, and reporting.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Including a timeline off provides additional peace of mind for clients. This section simply details the due dates for project steps. 

Recommended Reading: How Long Does Market Research Take?

Proposal Component #7: Costs

Lastly, the market research project proposal must highlight the expenses. This total cost is often what our clients (and any human being) want to jump to first.

We typically either include this on the cover page or at least in the email sent to the client. The cost should give some details on how it came to be.

For instance, the cost of market research could be based on hourly rates and the time expected to complete each task.

The scope should also talk about the hard pass-through costs such as incentives or rentals of panels.

💡 The Key Takeaway: An authentic market research proposal will always include cost. This keeps both parties informed and aware of the best pricing strategies. 

What A Proposal Tells You About a Market Research Company

Aside from project cost, there are a few other important factors in choosing a full-service market research supplier .

Here are a few things to consider when reviewing a market research proposal from agencies and firms.

How quickly do they turn it around?

Understanding the estimated project timeline showcases how fast the market research company can move. More importantly, it reflects how much of a priority your project is for them.

If they are taking a week or longer to produce a fairly straightforward and simple proposal, they may not be considering you as a priority client.

Speaking from experience, the research industry moves fast. A week is an eternity in business as far as our market research company  is concerned.

How clean and professional does it look?

The layout and format of a market research proposal will give you some insight into what their reporting, infographics, and deliverables will look like.

A sloppy thrown together proposal is a sign of bad things to come. Remember, this should be the phase where a third-party market research firm is trying to win you over.

If the first document you receive from a vendor is not up to your standards, it is likely not the firm you'd like to move forward with.

How flexible is the market research company?

Are they willing to work with you on scope, process, and cost if your budget requires it?

If they show some flexibility and are willing to make adjustments as part of the proposal process, it is a sign they will be easy to work with throughout the coming weeks.

At our market research company , we like to act as an extension of your team. In the proposal phase, we try to do everything we can for your team to meet your goals.

How consultative is the market research partner?

Market research companies often get a bad rap for being laser-focused on charts, numbers, and analytics. They sometimes fail to see the bigger picture: How can clients use this data to improve everyday business operations?

While we can speak for other firms, we can certainly speak behind the mission of Drive Research.

Sure, we love statistics and data as much as the next analyst. However, every market research project includes a level of consultation to assure our clients are walking away with actionable insights.

Here are a few ways we add consultative elements to the market research process:

  • If a prospective client asks for a quote for phone surveys, but we know online surveys are the fast and more cost-effective option, we'll share pricing for both phone surveys and online surveys. We always have our clients' (and participants') best interests in mind.
  • Our proposals often include detailed information about the market research process such as where we sample survey respondents, project work plan, key deliverables, and more.
  • Our market research reports include actionable recommendations for how our clients can use their unique data to improve sales, marketing, operations, and other areas of their business.
  • Every project ends with a debrief meeting where our team reads the report page-by-page to assure all parties have a full understanding of the data.

How responsive are they?

If you send an email to a prospective market research vendor asking them a question about the scope or price, it should not take days to get a response.

Think of it this way, the service is likely not going to get better once they close the project and have you as a client.

The best service you will get from any company is when they are trying to get you to sign the dotted line. Sad but very true.

For more context about choosing a market research company, watch this short 60-second video.

Final Thoughts

A market research proposal may seem simple enough. 

And while this type of document isn’t difficult to construct, it contains many moving parts–which all depend on the needs of the client. This is why it’s crucial to have the proposal handled by a team of trustworthy experts!  

Aside from containing the necessary information, an effective market research proposal will be handled by an equally effective market research team. Covering everything from key objectives to costs, a well-written proposal is the first step to a successful market research project.

Need a Market Research Proposal? Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a full-service market research company. We provide both qualitative and quantitative research services to organizations across the world.

If you are interested in receiving a market research proposal from Drive Research, contact us today!

  • Message us on our website
  • Email us at [email protected]
  • Call us at 888-725-DATA
  • Text us at 315-303-2040

Author Bio George Kuhn

George Kuhn

George is the Owner & President of Drive Research. He has consulted for hundreds of regional, national, and global organizations over the past 15 years. He is a CX-certified VoC professional with a focus on innovation and new product management.

Learn more about George, here .

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Focus Groups

How to Write a Market Research Proposal

The market research proposal is an important first step in near all studies. First and foremost, a skeleton that details a study’s direction, goals, and focus, such proposals are typically the first point of reference for management. While the proposals make or break a project’s funding, there is one other strength no research team can ignore: direction.

Critical for any undertaking that involves research, direction helps with both the pragmatics and concepts of near all studies. Market research proposals are vital for outlining both. They also explain the potential returns or results a study can yield. Ideally, the proposal should convince outside readers while informing research and development teams.

Language is important for writing a proposal, as is organization. A lot of detail goes into the typical research proposal, and sometimes there is no clear place for essential odds and ends. Luckily, there is a general organization, or logic, that most research proposals adopt. This allows readers to quickly absorb details, jump to pertinent sections, and digest its conclusions.

While not mandatory, using these structures add a cohesion that makes reading these papers more convenient and cohesive. Length, detail, and overall complexity are all factors when considering how a research proposal should be organized. Similarly, weigh the study’s goals and potential returns. Not every proposal necessitates the same sections. In fact, simple studies can do without a lot of sections that more involved or longer studies require. That mentioned, never write off these critical five elements of your research proposal.

Overview, Definition, and Terms

Important for summing up the study’s incentives, intents, and overall feasibility, overviews prep readers for the project’s strengths. Like everything else in a proposal, clarity is also all-important. Definitions and terms are vital. Overviews are also excellent for showcasing market conditions, opportunity, goals, and overall impact to ROI. While very important, always make sure to focus on the client. Their edification should be at the forefront of any proposal writer’s mind.

Hypothesis and Goals

While referenced in the overview, extrapolation about a project’s actual agenda goes a long way. Near everyone reviewing a research proposal will search for a hypothesis. While fine to reference in the overview, an outright hypothesis will always predominate the research proposal and its direction. Be clear as possible!

The hypothesis itself, however, explains the goal’s prospective burdens, costs, and returns. Also explain how these different elements combine to form a whole level of different parts. Perhaps most intrinsic is the order of said goals, as well how they compliment each other.

Realizing goals requires exploring a range of target segments that can appreciate the product, content, or whatever else. Exploring these different targets includes any range of periphery methods, not to mention actual possibilities. What is vital, however, is a full explanation as to why the target is pertinent.

Methodology and Conditions

The logical extension, research proposals must detail methodology. Include practices and conditions, study types, analysis standards, and other crucial aspects. Make sure extrapolation focuses on the actual methodology, however. Pragmatic intricacies can be glossed over, but that really depends on the reader. Researchers will typically want to know about the whole process, while management typically focuses on efficacy and ROI. can offer deliverables within 48 hours, the fastest in the industry. Establishing a clear timeline  is still critical though. Product and content dev teams typically need to keep informed. A common timeline really encourages such cohesion, not mention also keeps MR better aware as to the product or content’s direction. Along with setting a schedule, timelines also helps inform team members of their objectives and schedule. Such a cohesive view both informs researchers as reminds them of the importance of each task.


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Market Research Proposal Template

Used 7,240 times

Reviewed by Olga Asheychik

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Title of the research

Prepared for: [Client.Company]

Prepared by: [Sender.FirstName] [Sender.LastName] [Sender.Company]

What is a market research proposal? A market research proposal is a document that sells your services to potential clients by showing them what they can accomplish by hiring you to complete their project or research study. It includes a summary, objectives, existing knowledge, intended outcomes, target demographics, data collection methods, a detailed research methodology, a project timeline, proposed budget, ethical considerations, and further outcomes.

Through this market research project, [research title] , we aim to provide more information for [client] regarding market trends in the area. The following summary will give an overview of the causes, processes, and possible effects of the market research proposal detailed below.

Based on our conversation with [Client First Name] with [Client Company] , we know that your goals for this research include [objective] and [objective] We will use a variety of qualitative and quantitative processes to collect and analyze the latest market data. This process will allow you to assess the potential market for your new product and how best to advertise it.

The primary client objectives for this research involve:

  • Defining the target market for [Client Company] ’s new product
  • Developing the marketing strategies for this project
  • Defining the marketing objectives for each individual marketing strategy

2. Objectives

The overall purpose of this market research study is to develop a marketing strategy for [Client Company] ’s newest product. Specific objectives to be addressed as a result of the study are:

  • Determine which features are most important to the target market to develop marketing strategies that communicate these benefits to clients.
  • Determine brand awareness for existing [Client Company] products, creating a better understanding of the existing customer pool for your new product.
  • Understand messaging preferences for target customers and what triggers them to buy.
  • Create marketing objectives for the new product.

3. Existing knowledge

Based on our initial prospecting call with [Client First Name] at [Client Company Name] , we know that this product will complement an existing product line. This line’s most successful target market is women between the ages of 20 and 40 with an annual household income between $50,000 and $75,000.

Other companies in this industry have successfully launched similar products that are currently selling well with your target demographic. Last year [Client Industry] revenues topped [$dollar amount] .

By researching what features clients most desire in [Client Company] ’s new product, you will have a better understanding of their triggers. You can tailor your marketing strategy to highlight these features and tell the story of how they benefit target customers, capture new customers and build market share.

4. Intended outcomes

Based on our experience, we believe that the study will allow [Client Company] to:

  • Gain an understanding of existing brand awareness among the target audience
  • Gain an understanding of how the new product meets client needs
  • Gain an understanding of how much target customers are willing to pay for the new product
  • Identify any potential competitors already on the market

You can use these results to tailor your marketing messages and chosen marketing channels to better target your desired market. By better understanding how your product meets customer needs, you can develop ad strategies to communicate its benefits.

5. Target demographics

Our research process will begin in-house with [Client Company] ’s marketing team. We will evaluate annual reports, sales reports, research and development reports, and other existing data to confirm that our target market is correct.

Based on our initial call and background research, this study will target 200 individuals from households of different sizes within your service area. From our initial research, we have determined that this study will likely target women between the ages of 20 and 40 with an annual income of between $35,000 and $100,000, but specifics will be determined following interviews with [Client Company] . Focused research methodologies will be used to determine what features of the new product they find most beneficial as well as their current level of awareness of [Client Company] and their preferred marketing channels.

6. Data collection

To meet the objectives of the project, we will perform the following data collection methods. Data collection methods will be suited to the project at hand and will include:

  • Focus groups
  • Collection of social media data
  • Surveys via the Internet, phone, or email
  • Intercept surveys
  • Client interviews
  • Mystery shopping
  • Long-range, in-home consumer tests
  • Distribution of samples
  • In-person promotions

Focus groups are a proven method for gathering data from your target sample. We will conduct up to five focus group meetings consisting of no more than 10 participants. In our experience, smaller groups allow us to collect data from more participants, and they are easier to control.

Each focus group will last for about an hour, and participants will receive a $5 gift card for their time. Focus groups will be conducted in our conference rooms.

We will also conduct a randomly distributed mail survey to collect data from a representative sample within your service area. The survey will also be made available online. Customers who receive the mail survey will be given an access code to take the survey online, and their responses will be kept separate from general online responses to maintain a random sample.

To capture additional responses, we will display QR codes in targeted locations to promote the online survey. We suggest offering an incentive to people who take the survey such as an entry to a prize drawing or a coupon from [Client Company] .

Along with focus groups and surveys, we recommend conducting intercept polls of people in the desired target market shopping near retail chains that currently carry [Client Company] ’s products.

7. Approach

This research study will include a blend of qualitative and quantitative research methods, primarily utilizing the data collection methods listed above. Since your objectives include [objective] our research methods have been tailored to reach your desired demographics. In our previous experience, we have found that this demographic responds well to our proposed methodology.

The study will provide beneficial data to your company by focusing on the following key topics:

  • Objective focus area 1
  • Objective focus area 2
  • Objective focus area 3

Potential limitations to the study methods include survey fatigue. Most companies include customer satisfaction surveys at every customer touchpoint, and people are less receptive to taking a survey. This has made it more difficult to capture user opinions using traditional survey methods.

To counteract survey fatigue, we will supplement survey data with a mix of qualitative and quantitative research. We will gather information from industry reports, online interactions, social media metrics, and in-person research to generate accurate and useful data.

To reach younger members of your target demographic, we propose offering digital engagement tools including livestream question-and-answer sessions and a dedicated social media page on which they can submit feedback. We can also set up a project-specific website to conduct user engagement. Our tools allow us to see the IP addresses of each user, so we exclude fake or irrelevant responses.

8. Reporting

Our project manager will keep in touch with [Client Company] regularly throughout the project. We will conduct weekly progress meetings via phone or video conferencing. At these meetings, we will discuss completed tasks, gather any outstanding data, and discuss the next steps in the process.

Written reports will be provided at the end of each task detailing the research methodology and the outcomes of each phase of the project. At the end of the project, a detailed report will be submitted containing a summary of the project and detailed results. We will submit the draft report to your project manager in Google Docs for any edits. Once the project is completed, we can present the report to your internal project team so they can best understand the results.

We will provide a printed copy and a PDF of the final report.

9. Timeline

Based on our call with [First Name] at [Client Company] , we know that you would like this study to be completed by the end of September. Since you plan on using the results to develop your marketing budget for the next fiscal year, we will complete your project within your desired time frame.

The following timeline details data collection times, the specific period of research analysis and the date of final deliverables. ‌‌We have developed this schedule based on our understanding of your needs, but the final timeline will be discussed during project kick off.

Task 1 Task description

Task 2 Task description

Task 3 Task description

10. Proposed budget

Task 1 [Cost] Description

Task 2 [Cost]

Task 3 [Cost]

‌‌Final report [Cost]

Reimbursable expenses [Cost]

Total [Cost]

11. Ethical considerations

[Company name] follows all ethical considerations regarding market research and test subjects. Each participant will be told that their participation in this research is voluntary, and they will be told how we plan on using their data. We will provide them with a form explaining this information and assuring them that their data will remain confidential.

Each participant will sign a form stating that they understand these terms. To protect each participant, we will not collect any personal data other than standard demographic information that can be used to inform the study.

If any additional data is collected, we will not sell this information to a third party or use it in any other research studies. It will be collected solely for the purposes of this market research project.

12. Further outcomes

This market research study will give [Client Company] a better understanding of your target market. It will provide insight into what your clients expect from your new product and how to best market it to members of your target demographic.

The study may also highlight other data including existing brand awareness and brand perceptions you can use to further tailor your ads.

13. About us

Our company was founded by market research experts with [XX] years of experience conducting similar studies. We use proven methodologies to collect data and distill it into easily digestible reports. We encourage our employees to stay up-to-date on the latest research techniques and analysis software.

14. Project team

Team Member

Bio – [Project Manager Name] has [XX] years of experience managing research studies for clients in many industries. She has a Master’s Degree in Market Research from [University] and is a Certified Research Expert.

Her experience includes similar studies in the industry which her client used to boost their market share by %. She is a well-known speaker at industry conferences and is well versed in the latest data analytics software.

Bio – [Team Member Name] is a data analyst with [XX] years of experience. He has worked on [XX] projects in [industry] and is a Certified Research Analyst. He will assist with data collection and analysis and provide technical support for all online components of this research study.

15. Previous successes

[Example Company] used our market research results to improve their understanding of client needs and used the information to develop a new marketing strategy. As a result, they achieved a 25% growth in revenue and reduced inventory backlog by 30%.

[Client Name]


16. Acceptance and terms and conditions

Care to rate this template?

Your rating will help others.

Thanks for your rate!

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Marketing research is at the heart of addressing the four P’s of marketing: product, price, place and promotion. That is, the product must satisfy a need, be priced at the right level in a place where it will be seen by the right people and promoted to generate sales. The proposal is a rationale for undertaking a research project and as such it must be persuasive, written in non-technical language and thorough in its analysis.

Purpose and Scope

The marketing research proposal’s primary function is to state the question that the research will attempt to answer. The proposal may attempt to determine how to introduce a new product or to find out why sales are lagging with an established product. In addition to stating the objective, the proposal should include a descriptive background that provides the context of why the ultimate goal is important. If cost is a factor -- and it usually is -- the proposal should include an estimate. A timeline with major milestones or Gantt chart might be appropriate if the proposed research is of significant scope.

The Marketing Environment

Marketing research must include an overview of the marketing environment. Environmental factors include cultural issues (demographic trends and attitudes), technological issues (the internet and data interchange), competitive factors (pricing, service and speed) and economic concerns (competition and unemployment). Even the global market must be considered since the product may be made in a faraway land and compete with imports from other offshore locations.

Data Sources

Data can be gathered from primary or secondary sources. Primary sources include interviews, focus groups, surveys -- either face-to-face or online -- and customer feedback. Customers and prospective customers answer questions, discuss likes and dislikes and provide opinions about existing products; this information can illuminate prior market performance. Primary sources can be expensive or hard to obtain, so secondary sources provide alternative sources of information. Secondary sources include government publications, online searches, magazines, clipping services and trade organizations.


Data analysis can be descriptive or statistical. Whatever measurement techniques are used, the researcher must be careful to maintain objectivity. In this section of the proposal the researcher must lay out the methodology that will be used to interpret the data, including a blend of research from primary and secondary sources. Qualitative aspects might include anecdotal evidence, measurement of the intensity of emotions from respondents, compiling consensus opinions from multiple inputs and the like. Quantitative analysis using figures can measure data precisely, offering exact outcomes for the hypothesis being tested. Alternative research methods should be explained to justify their inclusion.

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Thomas Metcalf has worked as an economist, stockbroker and technology salesman. A writer since 1997, he has written a monthly column for "Life Association News," authored several books and contributed to national publications such as the History Channel's "HISTORY Magazine." Metcalf holds a master's degree in economics from Tufts University.

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Free Market Research Proposal Template That Wins Clients

Do you want a completely editable market research proposal template that brought more than $133 million in sales to companies worldwide in 2022 alone? Add, delete, or change sections as you see fit, make it your own, and improve your market outreach fast and easy.

Market Research Proposal Template Slide 1

A look at everything in this Market Research Proposal Template

Stunning cover.

The first thing your client sees when your proposal shows up in their inbox is a nicely designed cover. As a business owner, you understand how hard it is to gain the client's attention, so the goal is to start the proposal with an attention-grabbing image.

You can change everything, from the text, logo, and background image to make it a better fit for your needs.

Stunning Cover

Pre-Written Introduction Section

There is no better way to explain your market research plan to your potential clients than with our pre-written introduction section. It consists of a meeting summary, proposed research that includes everything from social media to focus groups, and a structured breakdown of your services. You just need to add a few client specifics and that's it.

Like everything else in this sample proposal, it's 100% editable - the colors, the text, images, layout - everything.

Pre-Written Introduction Section

Processes and Timelines

Explaining to the client the structure of each of the market research methodologies you are going to use can be difficult. You want to give enough detail about your data collection methods and how you generally conduct market research but not so much it seems overwhelming.

Fortunately, we created a plan of action already sectioned to fit the amount of information needed to design a perfect proposal. Just make a few adjustments to suit your exact process.

Processes and Timelines

Case Study Example

A client success story is a powerful tool in convincing your clients to close the deal. It gives you the perfect opportunity to show them that you understand their goals and objectives and have a way to make them come true. In this market research proposal template, we've set out an example case study.

All you need to do is replace our example with one of yours and use the structure we've used.

Case Study Example

No matter if your pricing strategy includes charging hourly, monthly, or optional up-sell services, like special images and videos, you can do it all with this automatically calculated pricing table. The final steps are simple - just enter your numbers and a short description, and both your market research proposal and quotes are ready for your client's eyes.


Next Steps with Digital Signing

Any business will eventually be tested in handling increased customer traffic. Lessen the strain of paperwork by choosing a digital signature over traditional mail. The 'Next steps' tab will allow you to explain your process after signing and offer a line for the customer to give their electronic consent.

All digital signatures are legal and compliant. When your client signs, you can see their digital signature certificate in your Better Proposals account.

Next Steps with Digital Signing

Pre-Written Contract

Whether you're just starting a company or you're a seasoned professional, Terms and Conditions will probably slip your mind when you're discussing some new market research projects. To ensure your business is still protected, we have added fully customizable T&C's at the end of this template.

Pre-Written Contract

Take Payment from Your Client

Getting paid - it's the hardest thing to do in business. The sooner and the easier you can get that money in your account the better. Using our integrations with Stripe, PayPal and GoCardless you can take payment from your client the moment they sign your proposal and then if needed, start a subscription.

Take Payment from Your Client

Don't take just our word for it

Here is what some of our 10,000 users across the globe have to say

Sara K.

Sara K. CEO & Founder

Shade O.

Shade O. Business Owner

Brent R.

Brent R. Marketing and Advertising

150+ other free proposal templates just like these are also available inside Better Proposals

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How To Write Market Research Proposal: Tips and Best Practices

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Entrepreneurs and companies need to get critical information about their industry or specific market landscape to help ensure their business becomes a success.

This is where market research plays a role. But to be effective, proper steps must be outlined through a market research proposal.

If you’re a business owner or a marketer, you must learn how to write a market research proposal correctly . So here’s a handy step-by-step guide on how to do just that. Plus, we’ll throw in a free template to help you get started.

Table of Contents

How To Write a Market Research Proposal

When drafting a market research proposal, you can adopt various styles depending on the industry or business. But to put forth a more organized proposal, it helps to adhere to proven structures and follow these steps.

1. Start with an overview

It’s always wise to open with an overview to give the readers of the proposal a general idea of what the market research is all about, as well as set their expectations. If you don’t want to use the term overview, you can also go with an executive summary or an introduction.

You can do a simple overview consisting of one to three paragraphs. Or if the situation calls for it, you can also present your executive summary with supporting information that may include any or all of the following:

  • Definition of terms. List the terms that will be used in the market research proposal. Make sure to define them properly.
  • Market conditions. Give an overall picture of the current market conditions. Explain the industry’s state and the competition level, as well as mention relevant economic or even political factors.
  • Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis. You can also present market conditions through a SWOT diagram, which summarizes everything neatly.
  • Feasibility. If you want to cut to the chase, state the overall feasibility. You can also consider including the potential ROI (return on investment ).

2. Define the objectives

When writing a market research proposal, define the project’s goals as clearly as possible. You can begin with a larger, encompassing objective and then break it up with its corresponding parts. 

If you are dealing with multiple goals, make sure to explain how each separate objective relates to or affects one another.

Remember that clearly defined goals will guide the execution of the market research project – from the budget to the types of surveys or questions you will use.

writing a research proposal marketing

3. Outline the execution

Market research can be accomplished in various ways, but there needs to be a clear plan for executing it.

Outline your methodology and approach to getting the information you need. As far as methods are concerned, you can choose from options like organizing focus groups, deploying online surveys, or holding interviews over the phone or face-to-face.

You should also consider if your approach is multi-faceted. Will the surveys be done once or through a series of batches? Will you follow up on the first wave of interviews with email surveys? 

Never forget to include the rationale for choosing your methodology. Factors to remember include costs, logistics, and timeline.

4. Explain how the results will be analyzed and reported

Market research proposal creation would be incomplete without including the mechanics for analyzing and reporting the results.

You must present a concrete plan for how the market research data will be collected and safely stored. 

Next on your list is to explain how the data will be analyzed. Of course, what comes after is the reporting part. It’s more than just presenting the facts. You should also include your interpretations and, more importantly, your recommendations.

5. Discuss the timeline, costs, and conditions

Market research takes time and isn’t free. So, you’ll need to define your timeline and expected costs clearly.

It’s also important to tackle the terms and conditions of the market research project. The more transparent you are, the more you can prevent misunderstandings in the future.

Download the Market Research Proposal Template

When drafting a market research proposal, you can accomplish things faster using a reliable template. 

Sign up now for a free account at Fill to get a market research proposal template. It’s just one of several templates that we offer for free.

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Market Research Proposal

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Market Research Proposal

It’s not enough to know how to draft a market research proposal. You also have to be aware of common mistakes people commit when preparing these proposals.

  • Lack of details. When you already know how to create market research proposals, you use certain structures and templates repeatedly. But sometimes, you forget to add elements that make your proposal look legit instead of being an apparent copy of another.
  • There is not enough review and fact-checking. We’re not talking about simple spelling and grammar errors. We’re referring to the information you included in your market research proposal. Are they up-to-date? Are the sources considered trustworthy?
  • There is too much hype. Be careful not to get caught up in the excitement of your proposal. Remember that you are dealing with business people. Be realistic and be clear about the goals. The last thing you need is to promise something you can’t deliver.
  • Disorganized presentation. You can follow a decent structure when writing your market research proposal. But if you don’t organize the information you present in each section, you will you’re lose your reader’s interest.
  • Underestimating visuals and diagrams. Yes, it’s showing real data is important, but you can be more persuasive by strategically using visuals, graphs, charts, and tables in your proposal. 

Using Fill to Create Your Market Research Proposal

Now that you know how to write a market research proposal, it’s time to put your learnings into practice immediately.

Create an account at Fill and grab a free market research proposal template today.


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Marketing Research Proposal Template

Easily customize this marketing research proposal template and send it online to impress your clients and get more proposals signed.


Prepared For Vladimir Duglas

Prospero team

[email protected]

We want your business to get maximum and relevant exposure. Knowing your buyer personas, your competitors’ strategy, and your optional distribution channels will help us build your Go-To-Market strategy. What does your market look like? My plan is to arm you with the most up-to-date knowledge possible about the market that you are in. Who your competitors are and what they are doing matters. How others are performing in your market could give you an idea of what to do – and what not to do. The goal of this marketing research project is to provide a detailed market analysis for your business that includes market and competitor research, keyword research, an SEO plan, and the most successful avenues for ad campaigns in your niche.

When it comes to marketing research consultants, I’m the person you want to turn to. Here’s why: 1. My background in marketing is extensive. I’ve worked for [x] years in the field, and have experience in both traditional and online marketing. 2. Want to see some of my work? Check out these marketing campaigns I’ve been in charge of, and see for yourself. [link to portfolio here] 3. I take into consideration all avenues of marketing that might be profitable for you, not just a select few. 4. My main goal is to provide you with knowledge of the business landscape where you live. Knowledge is power. You can’t get where you’re going if you don’t have a map.

Here’s a breakdown of the deliverables we’ve discussed and their cost.

Here is a list of the suggested milestones we meet for this project.


What’s Next

We’re going to make this process for you as hassle free as possible. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me via email or phone. After we’ve agreed on this document, you and I will schedule our first meeting. In that meeting we will discuss your business – what problems you solve, who your ideal customer would be, and where you have concentrated your marketing efforts so far. Work begins as soon as the first payment has been cleared! I look forward to working with you.

1. The payment structure: 40% up front, 60% after project completion. Methods include PayPal, Bank Transfer and Credit Card. 2. The client will provide any previous marketing materials, including overviews of past ad campaigns and the resulting numbers, in order to gauge past successes and misdirects. 3. The client will provide the names of up to 5 competitors to be researched. 4. Any requested work outside the scope of this agreement will be charged at [price]/hour. 5. Business day count begins as soon as the initial meeting has concluded. 6. In case of project cancellation after the work has started, the client will pay for work hours already completed.


Vladimir Duglas


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