No good market research study is complete without a report. Not all reports have to be 100 to 200 page PowerPoint documents. It seems like management is more stretched than ever before when it comes to time, so reading a long report could prove very burdensome. This has resulted in the growth of more digestible reports such as executive summaries, toplines, infographics, and bullet point takeaways.
In this post, we'll discuss key pieces of an executive summary in a market research report. Although executive summaries are abbreviated, they can still cover quite a bit of content and key takeaways. Here are 4 items.
Here is a highlight of some of the items you're likely to see in a market research executive summary from our market research company.
Think back to your kickoff meeting for the market research. Remember those 5 or 6 key objectives and key questions you had? Make sure your executive summary answers those questions for your team. This makes the creation of themes relatively straightforward. Circle back to the proposal, kickoff meeting notes, or just simply revisit your objectives throughout the project asked by your team to create these themes. Each theme can easily be separated into paragraphs or separate pages of a report.
Although the narrative used to answer your themes is helpful, your executive summary must also include those key statistics, numbers, and facts. These can be built directly into your narrative or be shown as a separate call out box on the page (e.g. 2 in 3 thought this, 68% of our customers were highly satisfied, etc.) You won't find a good executive summary without some reference of key data points.
In addition to the general statistics and takeaways, a good market research company will dig a layer deeper in the data. This includes referencing key takeaways and differences among categories and sub-groups. In the executive summary you may read or view some breakdowns of differences by age, gender, location, title, company size, etc. (depending on whether it is a B2C or B2B study).
Our market research company often talks about not stopping with the data. The value lies in the next steps taken. The action items. The recommendations. Any executive summary should not only summarize the themes, key statistics, and discuss cross-tabs but it should also include recommendations. These recommendations are the "now what?" They assist organizations with implemations and changes around strategy and marketing.
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