While data collection and results analysis can be highly in-depth and time-consuming processes to complete, they still only mark the beginning of your market research project. The next step is writing a market research report, which is a tough skill to master. The report must effectively communicate your research findings such as consumer trends, market trends, and competitor behaviour surrounding your target audience.
A market research report is a summary of research findings and insights uncovered during the data collection and analysis processes. Research reports usually contain information about a company’s competition, industry trends/opportunities, and recommendations for next steps based on the research questions being addressed.
A good research report helps guide decision-making and highlight market opportunities. You should be clear and concise but also detailed and comprehensive, keeping in mind that stakeholders must be able to interpret your findings with ease. This is no easy task, which is why we have listed our 5 top tips to get you started for writing a successful market research report.
Use language stakeholders can understand
Your market research report will be presented to many stakeholders, not all of which will have a strong understanding of market research terms, so it is important that you write in clear, simple language.
Do not assume stakeholders will understand without explanation, for example, all diagrams should be clearly labelled and accurately describe what they are displaying. It is helpful to imagine you are writing the research report for a reader who has no prior knowledge on the topic to ensure you are explaining your findings comprehensively.
Report on insights through storytelling
Writing a seamless research report is not only easier to read but also ensures you have covered all necessary elements. Work chronologically to unpack your research — What is it about? What did you discover? What should you do next? Your research report should build upon your “story” the further it reads and further support your final recommendations.
Share insights through visual reporting
Visual elements such as diagrams and charts deliver numerical information more clearly than writing. They also help to break up text and keep the reader engaged with the research report and can be easily referenced during presentations. Similarly, images and icons can be used to draw attention to certain findings and make formatting more presentable.
Turn data into actionable insights
Data is meaningless to stakeholders unless it is interpreted and presented with a set of actions or “next steps”. Your goal is to explain how the data you have collected can drive smart business decisions and why these decisions are the best course of action. Outline step-by-step connections to ensure all readers can clearly understand the relationship between data and action.
Avoid vague reporting
It is important to keep your research report brief, including only the most substantial points you want to communicate. All reporting must be supplemented with firm evidence and written in an assertive tone to convey certainty of your findings. Keep recommendations clear and concise, without straying too far from your main points — writing that goes off on tangents can distract from your main points.