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Challenges in Writing a Research Proposal in Marketing

Published under Knowledge Cell On19 Jun 2017

Are you facing challenges in writing a Research Proposal in Marketing? Deadline is approaching fast, and you don’t know how to start writing the proposal? Well, this article is written to benefit thousands of students like you who want to write a proposal in marketing urgently but don’t know what they should do next?

Whether you are a graduate student or doing your Ph.D., conducting research is an integral part of being a scholar-practitioner with credibility to effect social change. Market research is at the helm of addressing the seven P’s of marketing: Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical Evidence. Writing a Research Proposal is the first step towards writing a paper or an academic assignment.

A research proposal is a statement of intent that maps the objectives and goals of the research to take place. It is a rationale for undertaking a research project, and it should be persuasive and thorough in its analysis. The principle function of the market research proposal is to state the question that the research will attempt to answer. If you have written a paper in Marketing, you may face several challenges in creating an excellent Research Proposal.

You may ask questions like “where can I get information on how to write a Research Proposal in marketing,” “how can I urgent write a research proposal in marketing without compromising on the quality,” etc. In the next few sections, you will get answers of all of your questions about writing any research proposal in marketing.

We Share our Insights to Overcome the Challenges in Writing a Marketing Research Proposal

Challenge 1 - Identifying the right topic

The proposal attempts to determine the objectives and scope of the research. Identify the subject of your research and craft an explanatory abstract to serve as an introduction. Define the organization strengths and weakness to narrow down the problem area you would like to focus on in the research. The title should be clear, concise, and summative of the research you propose to undertake.

Your research topic could range from consumer buying behavior, to brand awareness amongst consumers. Or it could be something related to marketing communications or a mere comparative analysis of two brands. Your research topic is the foundation on which everything else rests, so it is crucial to choose it carefully.

Challenge 2 - Writing an appropriate problem statement

The foremost statements you need to answer before conducting the research are:

1. “The problem is…”

2. “The purpose of the research is….”

While writing the problem statement outline the basic facts of the problem, explain why it is important, and pinpoint a solution as quickly and directly as possible. Start by describing how things should ideally work assuming the problem does not exist. Succinctly summarize the problem you intend to solve.

Highlight the financial impact of the problem on your organization and back it up with assertions. Use Gantt charts, for example, to throw light on the problem. Propose a solution once you’ve explained the problem and its importance.

Lastly, focus on the benefits of the solution including the non-tangible benefits it will bring to the organization. Conclude with what you’ve described in the problem statement and the approach you intend to take in the body of the proposal.

Challenge 3 - Finding relevant data and statistics from credible sources

Develop a summary of the industry experience and capabilities of the chosen organization to help you identify and develop the research question it attempts to address. Define the research methods and data collection methods you intend to use in a hypothesis. The hypothesis should be no longer that two to four sentences.

The hypothesis should also include the strategy for conducting the research. These could be survey method or developing a case study. The survey method mentions the demographic area covered in the research. Samples and statistical data should be relevant to the chosen demographic regions to make the research more credible.

The type of research determines the source of information. Interviews, surveys, focus group interviews, questionnaires, and customer feedback forms the primary source for data collection. While, government publications, online searches, magazines, trade bulletins, etc. constitute the secondary sources for information.

Data should be further divided into qualitative and quantitative sections to discuss the need for depth and breadth of information. Evaluate the strategy and data collections methods against alternative methods to determine the suitability for the particular market research.

Challenge 4 - Structuring the Content

Introduction: Includes the Problem statement of the research proposal. Provides a succinct summary of the problem and the solution it aims to address. It summarizes the entire project outlined in the research. You can use the section to mention the people associated with the project.

Objectives: Discuss in detail the purpose and goals of the research to highlight the specific need of the project.

Existing Knowledge: This section talks about the existing scenario in the organization and acts as a pointer for recommended changes. Use the section to demonstrate your understanding of the market as well as point out the loopholes in the existing situation.

Intended Outcomes: Talk about the targeted changes you wish to implement in this section. Include what you think will be the likely outcome of the research.

Target Demographics: Contains a detailed overview of the targeted market and the regions you aspire to reach through your research. It forms the most important aspect of the proposal and includes how you ensure the research reaches the proper demographics.

Data Collection: Elaborate the data collection methods employed in your research. Also, include the approach to the potential survey and the proposed timelines for the same. Mention the ways you will ensure accuracy in the data samples.

Research Methodology: Pan out the strengths and limitations of the research in this section. Use it as a blueprint to describe the approach of research you plan to conduct.

Timeline: Include the supposed time frame for conducting your research analysis and conclusions.

Cost: Breakdown the proposed budget to the minutest level possible. Make sure to include all possible cost considerations.

Ethical Considerations: Address how the project will adhere to factors like waivers, confidentiality, data security, privacy and consent of participants, and resources used to complete the research.

Outcomes: Provide the benefits of the potential results in this section. Also, acts as a conclusion summary for your research.

Challenge 5 – Referencing

A good quality research proposal gives due credit to included citations and document sources accessed for the research. Include citations at the end of each page and list it alphabetically (depending on the required referencing style) in the reference section at the end of the research proposal. Use an appropriate style such as Harvard, Chicago, MLA, APA, etc. to list the references. You can also use Reference generators like CiteThisForMe to understand the referencing and in-text citation styles.

Conclusion

Although a Research Proposal carries a weight of just 15-20% grade, it sets the tone for the Dissertation and the entire research study. Don’t undermine the importance of Research Proposal just because it carries lower marks as compared to the Dissertation. The tips mentioned in the article will help you overcome the challenges in writing the paper and scoring a high grade at the University.