Market Research Request For Proposal Free Template

Writing a Market Research RFP

Are you on the hunt for a proposal, quote, or estimate from a qualified market research company – but, don’t know how to properly request this information?

We’ve got you covered with our free market research RFP template.

Market research is a broad term that covers many types of methodologies, therefore it is helpful to clearly identify project goals, objectives, and specifications when requesting the help of a third-party research firm.

This free market research request for proposal (RFP) template will help outline the core components you’ll want to include, if possible.

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You may not have all the answers or project logistics figured out right now. You might not even have all of the information outlined below at the time of creating your market research RFP.

Perhaps you are a manufacturing firm looking to conduct a non-customer survey with 1,000 responses but are unsure what geographic or markets are relevant to you.

Perhaps, you haven’t even made it this far.

All you know is you are experiencing challenges within or outside your organization and are looking for a market research company to present specific methodologies that would be best for your goals and budget.

Any or all information you have is great!

Market Research RFP Template

The market research RFP template by Drive Research is helpful as an initial structure for any organization looking to get started with marketing research or those who know exactly what they want.

This request for proposal sample can and should be tailored to best articulate your organization’s needs from the research.

Example Picture of the Free Market Research RFP Template

Download a free, editable market research RFP template. 


Market research RFPs are not one size fits all. However, this template will provide your organization with a process and document to follow to send to prospective market research firms

A market research request for quote or proposal most commonly includes the following details:

  1. Cover Page
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Background/Introduction
  4. Project Goals / Objectives
  5. Choice of Market Research Methodology
  6. Geographies/Markets of Study
  7. Participant or Respondent Criteria
  8. Project Timeline
  9. Level of Reporting
  10. Budget
  11. Evaluation Criteria
  12. Submission Requirements

1. Cover Page

The cover page of a market research request for proposal typically includes the following information:

  • Project Name
  • Company Name
  • Company Address
  • Main Contact Name
  • Telephone Number of Main Contact
  • Email Address of Main Contact

2. Table of Contents

A table of content of contents is more helpful for market research RFPs that are lengthier or have more context. For the sake of this blog post, our market research company will share what we find is most helpful for larger requests.

  • Background/Introduction
  • Project Objectives
  • Market Research Methodology
  • Target Geographies
  • Participant/Respondent Criteria & Quotas
  • Project Timeline
  • Level of Reporting
  • Budget
  • Elements of Proposal
  • Evaluation Criteria
  • Submission Requirements
  • Contact Information

Below we will outline each of these points to demonstrate why these components are helpful to include in your market research request for quote (RFQ).


3. Background/Introduction

The background or introduction section of your RFP should include a short synopsis that answers questions such as:

  • Who is your company?
  • Where are you located?
  • What is your mission statement?
  • What products or services do you provide?
  • What are your main differentiators from competitors?

Not only is this helpful for the market research firm to learn more about you are your organization, but this also will help indicate what type of industry or sector they will potentially be working in.

In knowing this, the market research company can better recommend what methodologies to use.

For example, there are a series of market research options specific to banks and credit unions.


4. Project Goals/Objectives

The next section of a market research RFQ is outlining the specific goals and objectives for conducting market research.

Again, understanding these specifications will allow your potential research partner to recommend the best approach to market research. It is important to be as specific as possible here.

  • What are your expectations from market research?
  • What data and feedback would you like to see in order to drive decision making?
  • What would you like to do with the results of the marketing research?

This is one of, if not the most important section of a market research request for proposal. The more defined objectives you have, the better aligned and well structured the research study will be.

When looking for a marketing research company, it is important to find a firm you can remain on the same page with from project kickoff to completion.


5. Choice of Market Research Methodology

The choices of market research methods are endless – and really, the choice is yours.

Our national market research company receives request for quotes where the organization knows exactly what approach they’d like to take.

Whether this is as specific as a company saying, I would like to conduct a focus group or, a company asking for a hybrid research approach (Wave I of in-depth interviews followed by a Wave II of an online survey).

There are also times in which organizations come to our market research firm not knowing what approach is best for them. That is perfectly okay!

It can be helpful to schedule a short call with the market research company to explain your research objectives, specifications, and challenges. This will allow the third-party research firm to recommend a methodology that is most aligned with the needs of your organization.   


6. Target Geographies/Markets

Often times when conducting market research, organizations have a specific target market or geography from where they’d like to recruit participants. With this information, a market research company can better understand the cost of recruiting for your project.

Is it a national audience, or an audience specific to your community?

This insight is most helpful when needing to conduct in-person research such as focus groups or in-person interviews due to costs associated with travel expenses, facility rental, and other components of qualitative research.


7. Participant/Respondent Criteria 

The next portion of a market research request for proposal will explain who your target audience is. Because market research can answer many business challenges, there are a number of different audiences to choose from.

For example, an organization experiencing low employee retention may choose to conduct employee surveys. In this case, the “target audience” would be their staff.

If surveying customers, what type of contact information do you have?

If your organization has access to a full CRM or customer database with email addresses and phone numbers – great!

If not, sharing this within your research RFP will be helpful for the market research vendor to determine what recruitment methods they will use (social targeting, geofencing surveys, etc.).  

Lastly, if there are any specific quotas required, this is where you will want to include that.

For example, do you need a specific number of males vs. females, or a specific number of responses from a certain age demographic?

This information will also affect the recommended research approach and final cost.


8. Project Timeline

As with most things in life, timing is everything. The same goes for a market research study.

In your market research request for proposal, clarify when you need the study to be completed by. If there are deliverables that need to be completed by a certain date, such as fieldwork or reporting, it is best to share this now.

The timeline of a market research study will determine the scope and methodologies chosen within a research proposal.

For example, it is faster to complete an online survey than it is to conduct a focus group. Each methodology has its own individual recommended timeline, therefore it is best to choose one that fits within the means of your own.

How long does market research usually take? More on that here.


9. Level of Reporting

There are market research companies, such as Drive Research, that offer a variety of reporting packages.

Determining the level of reporting that is necessary within your market research RFP will allow firms to select the perfect package for you, rather than send over several different levels of analysis and pricing.

Perhaps, you just need a high-level summary of the findings. Or, you are looking for a more detailed analysis in which includes several deliverables such as:

Our market research company believes the more detail into a research report the better, however, it is completely up to you and your team as to how much information you would like.


10. Budget or Budget Range

Not surprisingly, this is a crucial component of any market research RFP or estimate. Your budget will guide all recommendations of the research proposal provided by a third-party vendor.

A project budget will determine the research methodology, approach, timeline, analysis, and reporting. It’s hard to provide a finite number as to how much market research costs, being that every project is different.

There are a number of factors that go into determining the cost of market research, therefore it is essential you provide a close estimate to what your budget or budget range is for potential vendors.

The idea of sharing a project budget with potential vendors makes some organizations a little hesitant. Read this blog post to learn why it's more of a benefit to you in the long run: Should I Share My Project Budget with a Market Research Company?


11. Evaluation Criteria

The process of requesting a market research proposal will help your team determine who the best partner is for your objectives.

However, you may receive many, many proposals with little time to evaluate the distinction between agencies.

Adding a section for evaluation criteria will help your team understand more about the qualifications and past projects of a market research company.

Criteria for evaluation may include case studies with similar industries, expertise and technical skills (survey data cleaning and coding), cost of market research services within your budget, and more.  


12. Submission Requirements

At the end of your market research RFP, it is a great benefit to add key guidelines for the selection process.

In this section, you can include things like, how and where market research companies can submit themselves for your consideration.

You’ll also want to give potential research partners a window for when they can ask open-ended questions regarding your project and a final deadline for when their market research proposals are due.

CTA Graphic for the RFP Template

Editor's note: This post was originally published in December 2019 and has been updated to include an editable RFP template.


Contact Drive Research for a Proposal

Drive Research is a national market research company in New York. Our market research clients span across the United States. We work in a variety of industries to help our clients with a full range of quantitative and qualitative market research projects.

Would you like Drive Research to bid on your RFP or RFQ? Contact us today.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at info@driveresearch.com
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

emily carroll about the author

Emily Carroll

A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Coordinator. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

Learn more about Emily, here.


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