Research Proposals

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Research proposals

Having taken all this care in initial selection it is imperative before actual commissioning that a formal research proposal or design be requested. The subject of briefing so that there can be expectation of a realistic proposal from which can be judged the capability of the consultant, and the probable standard of the ultimate research findings, is a subject in itself and cannot be elaborated here, but it is a cardinal rule that the more precise the brief, particularly in terms of the information requirements and the intended use of the research yield, the higher the probability that the research design, and ultimately the research programme and its results, will be satisfactory.

On the first two or three occasions when marketing research is being commissioned, it is important to obtain at least two quo-tations. On subsequent occasions the client may have developed sufficient confidence in a particular agency for this to beunnecessary. However, assuming that alternative quotations and research designs have been submitted, it is necessary to compare them. No research design is acceptable unless it spells out clearly the objectives and parameters of research, the anticipated research yield, the proposed form of the final research report, the research methods and the time and cost needed to achieve the specified results. Only when this has been done with a high degree of precision, is it possible for the research sponsor to judge whether the proposed design promises to meet his end requirements.

The guidelines indicated here, and much more beside, were originally set out in a chapter entitled" 'Make or Buy' in Marketing Research" in Aubrey Wilson's book: The Assessment of industrial Markets; published by Hutchinson (xgo$). Only additional discourse has been contributed here, but if plagiary can be seen as flattery, perhaps the original author's indulgence may be gained.

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