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How to Write the Introduction of a Marketing Research Report
Marketing research is used to rally employees, chart the direction of a company and set goals for the future. This all starts with a solid introduction to the marketing report, which must be detail-rich but not meander from core points. The introduction should grab the intended readers' attention and clearly say why the research was done and what it means. There are a few outline steps to keep you on course as you attempt to put strategic points into paragraph form.
Identify goals. Answer the question: Why is this research relevant? Think about what the company does versus what the research says. Make notes on any details which could raise questions about the way the company does business, is staffed or is equipped to compete against other companies.
Avoid nuance. Be as direct as possible when writing the first sentence. This will set the tone of the report and get the company's employees raising questions immediately as to how they can tweak business.
Talk in statistics and with knowledge of market demographics. For example, state, "Sales in 2011 grew 47 percent among those aged 16 to 24. However, the same age bracket in a recent survey said it was looking for a product with more features."
Embrace competition. If the market research shows the company is dominating, say so. If the market research shows the company is falling behind competition, admit it. The goal is to use the information to foster growth under any circumstance.
Add raw figures. Identify the company by a number of employees and include a dollar amount for gross sales in the most current completed year along with how that compared to the prior year.
End with goals. Within just a few sentences, sketch out some starting points for board room discussion about where the company could be advertising, how it could refine its products or whether it could change its approach.
Keep it brief. If you've gone longer than a three- or four-paragraph introduction, start editing. The intro's job is to lead people into the rest of the report, not repeat everything they are about to read.
David Hunt became a professional journalist in 2001. He's covered courts and politics for "The Florida Times-Union" and "The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review." He also was a copy editor at "The Meadville Tribune" in northern Pennsylvania. Hunt received his Bachelor of Arts in literature from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2001.