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What is Included in a Market Research Executive Summary?

by Tim Gell

Posted at: 6/29/2020 3:06 PM

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.

The secret to executive summaries is all in the name. What you are viewing should be concise and effective enough to earn the approval of even the busiest executive. Communicate the highlights and cut the fluff.

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 5 items included in a market research executive summary. Click each title to skip to that section.

  • Key Statistics
  • Significant Cross-Tabulations
  • Recommendations
  • Next Steps with Research

Still in the early stages? Here is what you can expect in a market research proposal for an upcoming project.

What is Included in a Market Research Executive Summary?

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.

Walking through the main themes is a key step in a market research report readout. Read about this and other essentials in a research debrief here.

2. Key Statistics

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 callout box on the page.

For example, highlighting a key statistic within a report may look something like:

  • 2 in 3 respondents are aware of [X Company].
  • 68% of customers were highly satisfied with the products provided by [X Company].

You won't find a good executive summary without some reference of key data points.

If the study is qualitative in nature, such as in-depth interviews or focus groups , adding supporting quotes are a great option for breaking up the text in your themes.

These quotes are pulled verbatim from transcripts to back a finding much like a statistic would.

3. Significant Cross-Tabulations

In addition to the general statistics and takeaways, the best market research companies will dig a layer deeper in the data. This includes referencing key takeaways and differences among categories and demographics. 

In the executive summary, you may read or view some breakdowns of differences by:

  • Company size

These breakdowns may vary depending on whether it is a B2C or B2B study.

Don’t worry if you don’t see an exact data cut you were looking for. A good market research partner will provide as many additional runs and follow-ups as your business needs.

The information you seek may even be available elsewhere in the report or another deliverable like a banner run .

4. Recommendations

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 implementations and changes around strategy and marketing .

5. Next Steps with Research

In addition to implications for your business, a market research firm should also offer ideas on future research possibilities. Market research is often most valuable when it builds on or complements other studies you’ve done.

Chances are your business will learn something new from a study that warrants further investigation. Who better to help brainstorm this follow-up research than a trusted market research partner? You can expect to be presented with customized ideas for a variety of methodologies.

There should also be no pressure involved with these research suggestions.

A good market research company will play the role of an advisor here, not a salesperson. The goal of this component in the executive summary is to get your team thinking about where to go from there.

You can expect a wealth of additional information in a full market research report. Here are four types of insights we like to include in our reports.

Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a national market research company headquartered in Syracuse, NY. Interested in learning more about our market research services or have a question about an upcoming project?

Contact our team through 1 of the 4 ways below.

  • Message us on our website
  • Email us at  [email protected]
  • Call us at  888-725-DATA
  • Text us at 315-303-2040

tim gell - about the author

As a Research Analyst, Tim is involved in every stage of a market research project for our clients. He first developed an interest in market research while studying at Binghamton University based on its marriage of business, statistics, and psychology. 

Learn more about Tim, here .

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Market Research Report Executive Summary Template

Market Research Report Executive Summary Template

Market research is the secret sauce behind successful business strategies. But let's be honest, reading through a lengthy market research report can feel like a daunting task. That's why ClickUp's Market Research Report Executive Summary Template is a game-changer!

With this template, you'll be able to:

  • Get a quick and comprehensive overview of the main findings and key insights from your market research
  • Understand the market size, growth trends, competitive landscape, and customer behavior at a glance
  • Make informed business decisions and develop winning strategies based on actionable recommendations

Don't waste time sifting through pages of data. Get the executive summary you need to drive your business forward with ClickUp's Market Research Report Executive Summary Template!

Benefits of Market Research Report Executive Summary Template

When it comes to market research reports, the executive summary is the gold mine of information. Using the Market Research Report Executive Summary Template can provide you with numerous benefits, including:

  • Saving time by condensing the key findings and insights into a concise format
  • Enabling quick decision-making with a clear understanding of market dynamics and potential opportunities
  • Facilitating effective communication with stakeholders by presenting the information in a digestible and visually appealing manner
  • Guiding business strategies and investment decisions based on accurate market size, growth trends, and customer behavior insights
  • Streamlining collaboration and alignment among teams by providing a centralized and standardized summary of the research report.

Main Elements of Market Research Report Executive Summary Template

ClickUp's Market Research Report Executive Summary Template is the perfect tool to create comprehensive market research reports with ease.

  • Custom Statuses: Use custom statuses to track the progress of your report, such as "In Progress," "Pending Review," and "Finalized."
  • Custom Fields: Utilize custom fields to capture important data points, including market size, target audience, competitors, and key findings.
  • Different Views: Choose from a variety of views to analyze and present your research, including Table view for data analysis, Board view for visualizing key insights, and Calendar view for tracking important milestones.
  • Collaboration and Review: Collaborate with your team by assigning tasks, leaving comments, and requesting reviews directly within the document.
  • Integration: Seamlessly integrate your market research data with other tools using ClickUp's wide range of integrations, such as Google Sheets and Excel.

How to Use Executive Summary for Market Research Report

When it comes to creating a market research report executive summary, following these steps will ensure that you capture all the essential information and present it in a clear and concise manner:

1. Understand your audience

Before diving into creating your executive summary, it's crucial to understand who will be reading it. Consider the key stakeholders and decision-makers who will be reviewing the report. Tailoring the content and tone of your executive summary to their needs and preferences will make it more impactful and effective.

Use custom fields in ClickUp to gather information about your audience and their preferences.

2. Summarize the research objectives and methodology

Start your executive summary by providing a brief overview of the research objectives and the methodology used to gather the data. This will give the readers a clear understanding of what the research aimed to achieve and how the data was collected and analyzed.

Use a Doc in ClickUp to outline the research objectives and methodology.

3. Highlight key findings and insights

Next, focus on the most important findings and insights from your market research. Identify the key trends, patterns, and data points that are most relevant and impactful for your audience. Present these findings in a concise and easy-to-understand format, using charts, graphs, or bullet points to enhance clarity.

Use the Gantt chart feature in ClickUp to visualize and present your key findings.

4. Provide actionable recommendations

After presenting the key findings, it's important to provide actionable recommendations based on the insights gathered from the research. These recommendations should be practical, feasible, and aligned with the research objectives. Clearly communicate the potential benefits and outcomes of implementing these recommendations to convince your audience of their value.

Use tasks in ClickUp to outline and assign specific action steps for each recommendation.

5. Include an appendix with detailed data

While the executive summary should be concise, it's essential to provide access to the detailed data and analysis for those who may need more information. Include an appendix at the end of the report that includes additional charts, tables, and supporting data that can be referenced if needed.

Use the Docs feature in ClickUp to create an organized and easily accessible appendix for your market research report.

By following these steps and utilizing the features in ClickUp, you can create a comprehensive and impactful market research report executive summary that effectively communicates key insights and recommendations to your audience.

add new template customization

Get Started with ClickUp’s Market Research Report Executive Summary Template

Business executives and decision-makers can use the Market Research Report Executive Summary Template to quickly understand the main findings and key insights from a market research study.

First, hit “Add Template” to sign up for ClickUp and add the template to your Workspace. Make sure you designate which Space or location in your Workspace you’d like this template applied.

Next, invite relevant members or guests to your Workspace to start collaborating.

Now you can take advantage of the full potential of this template to create an impactful executive summary:

  • Use the Market Size View to provide an overview of the current market size and potential growth opportunities
  • The Competitive Landscape View will help you analyze the key players in the market and their market share
  • Use the Customer Behavior View to understand the needs and preferences of your target audience
  • The Business Strategies View will provide recommendations on how to leverage the market insights for business growth
  • Organize sections into different statuses, such as Market Size, Competitive Landscape, Customer Behavior, and Business Strategies, to keep track of progress
  • Update statuses as you complete each section to keep stakeholders informed of progress
  • Monitor and analyze the executive summary to ensure it effectively communicates the main findings and key insights.

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13 Task 10: Write an Executive Summary

Learning Objectives

By the time you complete this section, you will be able to:

  • Identify the key components of an executive summary in a marketing report
  • Draft a complete and concise executive summary

Writing an Executive Summary

First of all, before you begin writing, ask yourself some key questions about executive summaries.

  • What are the criteria for your executive summary in this assignment?
  • What is the purpose of an executive summary? What do you want the reader to think, do, or feel as a result of reading the document?
  • Who is your audience? If someone wrote an executive summary outside of a classroom setting, who might the readers be?

Now, consider the example executive summaries below.

Executive Summary Example 1

This report provides an analysis and evaluation of the current and prospective profitability, liquidity and financial stability of Outdoor Equipment Ltd. Methods of analysis include trend, horizontal and vertical analyses as well as ratios such as Debt, Current and Quick ratios. Other calculations include rates of return on Shareholders Equity and Total Assets and earnings per share to name a few. All calculations can be found in the appendices. Results of data analyzed show that all ratios are below industry averages. In particular, comparative performance is poor in the areas of profit margins, liquidity, credit control, and inventory management.

The report finds the prospects of the company in its current position are not positive. The major areas of weakness require further investigation and remedial action by management. Recommendations discussed include: improving the average collection period for accounts receivable· improving/increasing inventory turnover· reducing prepayments and perhaps increasing inventory levels

The report also investigates the fact that the analysis conducted has limitations. Some of the limitations include: forecasting figures are not provided nature and type of company is not known nor the current economic conditions data limitations as not enough information is provided or enough detail i.e. monthly details not known results are based on past performances not present.  [1]

Executive Summary Example 2

This report was commissioned to examine why the sales volume of Choice Chocolate has dropped over the past two years since its peak in 1998 and to recommend ways of increasing the volume.

The research draws attention to the fact that in 1998, the market share of Choice Chocolate was 37%. The shares of their key competitors such as Venus and Bradbury were 22% and 18% respectively. The size of the chocolate market then was $36 million. Over the next two years, although Choice Chocolate retained its market share the volume of sales in the whole market decreased to $29 million. Further investigations reveal that this market shrinkage coincided with an increase in health awareness amongst consumers who regard the milk and sugar ingredients in chocolate as negative; moreover, since the second half of 1999, an increasing number of rival ‘health candies’ had appeared on the market. These claimed to offer the consumers a healthy alternative. These factors appear to be the major causes of the decreased sales volume of Choice Chocolate.

Slim Choice is the latest chocolate range put forward by the R & D Department of Choice Chocolate. The report evaluates this range and concludes that it would be an ideal candidate to meet the challenge presented by the market and could satisfy the new consumer demand since it uses significantly reduced milk and sugar ingredients and is endorsed by renowned health experts. According to 97% of the 2000 subjects tested recently, it also retains the same flavour as the original range.

It is recommended: that Choice Chocolate take immediate measures to launch and promote Slim Choice alongside its existing product range; that Slim Choice adopt a fresh and healthy image; that part of the launch campaign contains product endorsement statements by renowned health experts; that Slim Choice be available in health food shops as well as in traditional chocolate retail outlets.  [2]

What do you notice about the content of these executive summaries?

How is an executive summary different from an introduction?

  • Excerpt from Woodward-Kron, R. (1997) Writing in Commerce: a guide to assist Commerce students with assignment writing, (Revised edition), Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, The University of Newcastle. ↵
  • Summary text from: ↵

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How to Write a Powerful Executive Summary [+4 Top Examples]

Caroline Forsey

Published: August 31, 2023

Whether you're an entrepreneur looking for investors for your small business or the CEO of a large corporation, an executive summary can help you succeed and is a critical component for long-term growth.

Executive summary with examples

A short, attention-grabbing executive summary is an essential part of your business plan . Done correctly, it will ensure your company becomes or remains a key player in your industry. In this post, you’ll learn what an executive summary is and how to write one that engages investors, customers, and general audiences.

Executive Summary

An executive summary is a brief overview of a long document, such as a business plan, proposal, or report. It's a section that grabs readers’ attention and summarizes critical information from the document, such as the problem or opportunity being addressed, objectives, key findings, goals, and recommendations.

Some documents that may have an executive summary include:

  • Business plans
  • Research documents
  • Project proposals
  • Annual reports

Ultimately, the executive summary is meant to inform readers of the most important information in the document, so they don't have to read it all and can get caught up quickly.

example of executive summary for marketing research report

Free Executive Summary Template

Use this executive summary template to provide a summary of your report, business plan, or memo.

  • Company & Opportunity
  • Industry & Market Analysis
  • Management & Operations
  • Financial Plan

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Executive Summary vs. Business Plan

All business plans have an executive summary, but not all executive summaries belong to business plans.

A business plan includes a company overview, your company's short-term and long-term goals, information on your product or service, sales targets, expense budgets, your marketing plan, and a list including each member of your management team. In this case, the executive summary is the first section of the business plan that convinces readers that it’s worth their time to read the whole thing.

Business plans are very detailed and comprehensive, and can be as short as a dozen pages or as long as 100 pages. However, a CEO or investor might not have the interest or time to read your full business plan without first getting the general gist of your company or goals through an executive summary.

Executive Summary vs. Mission Statement

Mission statements and executive summaries are typically both found in business plans, but they serve different purposes.

A mission statement defines your organization’s purpose, values, and vision. It’s your company’s north star and communicates your core identity and reason for existence. On the other hand, an executive summary provides a high-level overview of the document.

Ultimately, your mission statement provides direction for developing your business plan, while your executive summary describes your business plan to executives and shareholders.

Executive Summary vs. Company Description

Like mission statements and executive summaries, company descriptions can also be found in business plans as well as the “About us” page of your website . It provides an overview of your business, including essential details like company history, what your company does, unique selling points, goals, management team, and overall value proposition.

Executive Summary vs. Objective

An objective is a specific goal or target that your company takes aims to achieve its overall goal. It is a concrete, measurable outcome that guides your business’s actions and decisions. Objectives are usually set at the strategic level and are typically aligned with the company’s mission, vision, and overall strategic plan.

Company objectives are often included in executive summaries, but are not the sole focus of them.

What is the purpose of an executive summary?

Writing an executive summary may not seem that necessary. After all, you can find the same information just by reading the rest of the document.

However, the executive summary serves many purposes for your document and those who read it. Here are some of the benefits of having one:

  • It saves your readers time. CEOs and investors often have limited time to review lengthy documents. An executive summary allows them to quickly grasp the main points, key findings, and recommendations without needing to read the entire document.
  • It provides clarity and conciseness. By providing a condensed overview, executive summaries help to distill complex information and present it in a manner that’s easy to understand.
  • It helps with document navigation. For longer documents or reports, an executive summary provides a roadmap for readers. It helps them navigate through the document by signaling the main sections or topics covered, improving overall document usability and accessibility.

To write an impressive executive summary that effectively embodies all the important elements of your business plan, we've cultivated a list of necessary components for an executive summary, as well as an example to get you started.

Follow Along With HubSpot's Executive Summary Template

Executive summary template from HubSpot

Click to Download

How to write an executive summary.

A good executive summary tells your company’s story, contains in-depth research, conveys information with an appropriate tone, is void of clichés, and follows your business plan’s structure. These elements will ensure your executive summary is effective, informative, and impactful.

1. Tell your story.

When investors or CEO's read your executive summary, they should understand what your business is about. This is one of the first elements of your business plan, so it should set the tone.

In your executive summary, be sure to tell your story and include an overview about what your company does and why you do what you do. You can also briefly highlight important details about your company’s management.

For instance, you could talk about your founder or CEO’s qualifications and motivations. You can also provide a high-level summary of your company’s business operations and any management methods or best practices that you abide by.

You’ll also want to explain the problem or opportunity that is being addressed, and how it is valuable to investors and customers. Think of this like an elevator pitch . If someone stopped reading and you only had the executive summary to explain your company, what information would you include?

2. Highlight important data.

An executive summary, while short, should include plenty of research.

Highlight the most important findings and insights from the document, including any critical data or statistics discovered in your competitor analysis . While your business plan will flesh out the details, it's important to include your key findings in your executive summary.

You should also provide a basic rundown of your target market, how you plan on addressing their needs and pain points, and how you will reach them.

Additionally, you should include key financial information. The main points you should cover are the overall budget, the price per product/service, and your financial projections.

3. Pay attention to your tone.

Although the tone of your executive summary should be professional and concise, it should also be true to your company and target audience. Aim to convey a sense of authority and credibility while remaining accessible and engaging.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Focus on presenting information objectively with facts and evidence.
  • Don’t voice your personal opinions or use subjective statements.
  • Strive for clarity and simplicity in your language and ensure that your message is easily understood.
  • Avoid unnecessarily complexity or convolution.
  • Don’t use hyperbole or excessive claims.
  • Use strong verbs, active voice, and concise language to make your points effectively.
  • Aim to resonate with the reader’s interests and concerns.

By striking the right balance between professionalism, clarity, and engagement, you can effectively deliver your message and compel the reader to take action or make informed decisions based on the summary.

4. Avoid cliché language.

With any style of writing, it's best to avoid clichés. Clichés can convey the wrong message or be misunderstood, which is something you want to avoid when someone reads your executive summary.

Additionally, clichés tend to overpromise and under-deliver. For example, including something like “The Best Restaurant in Town” isn‘t true because you’re untested as a business. Your executive summary should reflect the truth and who you are as a company.

To avoid clichés while writing, it’s essential to be aware of their presence. Familiarize yourself with common clichés and be mindful of them as you write. Some examples include:

  • “Thinking outside the box”
  • “Innovative solutions”
  • “Cutting-edge technology”

Instead of relying on these overused phrases, be descriptive and embrace the uniqueness of your brand when writing your executive summary. For instance, there’s no need to vaguely refer to your product as a “game-changer,” when you could explain how it benefits your target audience instead. Show, don’t tell.

By staying true to your voice and delivering an honest message, you can keep your writing fresh and your audience engaged.

5. Write it after completing your business plan.

An executive summary is a summary of your business plan. However, it‘s hard to write a summary when you haven’t written your business plan yet. That's why your executive summary should be the final thing you write.

By saving this step for last, you’re able to gain a thorough understanding of the entire plan, including your business’s goals, strategies, market analysis, and financial projections. This enables you to accurately depict the most important aspects in your summary.

If you write you executive summary first, you’re more likely to miscommunicate the essence of your business plan to executives and shareholders. Sure, you may have an outline prepare, but not having all the information can lead to inconsistencies or inaccuracies in your summary. You also risk including irrelevant details or omitting important details that come up during the planning process.

Ultimately, writing your executive summary last ensures that precisely represents the content and findings your plan.

If you don’t have a business plan yet, don’t worry; we have a comprehensive business plan template to help you create one quickly and effectively.

Featured Resource: Business Plan Template

how to write executive summary: use business plan template from hubspot

Download Your Free Template Here

Now that you know how to write an executive summary, let's dive into the details of what to include.

What to Include in Your Executive Summary

Your business plan should convey your company‘s mission, your product, a plan for how you’ll stand out from competitors, your financial projections, your company's short and long-term goals, your buyer persona, and your market fit.

Ultimately, an executive summary should provide a preview for investors or CEO's, so they know what to expect from the rest of your report. Your executive summary should include:

  • The name, location, and mission of your company
  • A description of your company, including management, advisors, and brief history
  • Your product or service, where your product fits in the market, and how your product differs from competitors in the industry
  • Financial considerations, start-up funding requirements, or the purpose behind your business plan — mention what you hope the reader will help your company accomplish

How long should an executive summary be?

While there is no hard and fast rule for the exact length, executive summaries typically range from one to three pages. However, it's important to note that the length should be determined by the document it accompanies and the content itself rather than a predetermined page count.

At the end of the day, your executive summary should engage the reader and highlight the most important points of your document while avoiding unnecessary details.

Feeling at a loss? Download a free template below that will take you through the executive summary creation process.

Executive Summary Template

executive summary template from hubspot

Download Your Free Executive Summary Template Here

In this free executive summary template, you’ll be able to outline several pieces of information, including:

  • Introduction: Explain what your executive summary contains.
  • Company & Opportunity: Explain who you are and your biggest opportunities for growth.
  • Industry & Market Analysis: Explain the state of your industry and your target market.
  • Management & Operations: Explain who your key leaders are and their roles.
  • Implementation & Marketing: Explain how you plan to deploy your product to the marketplace.
  • Financial Plan: Explain your company’s finances. Change the verbiage depending on whether you’re writing to investors or a general audience.
  • Conclusion: Summarize what you’ve covered.

Ready? Download your free executive summary template .

To understand more tactically how an executive summary should look, let’s review a few examples.

Executive Summary Examples

1. connected.

executive summary example: connected

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example of executive summary for marketing research report

  • Part 1: Ultimate Marketing Strategy Template – The Executive Summary

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Part 1 Ultimate Marketing Strategy Template – The Executive Summary

The Executive Summary

What is the executive summary in your marketing plan, tips for writing your executive summary, what should you include in the executive summary, a description of your business and the people involved in your team.

  • A description of the key market trends and the products/services you are marketing 

A description of your customer base, where you will find them, and how you will target them via specific marketing activities to reach your goals

A summary of the financial planning and projections of the project to manage budgets , a summary of the overall objectives of the project and the strategies you will employ to achieve them., what’s next, downloadable template.

You’ve developed an innovative, sought-after and appealing product or service that answers consumer needs and fills a much-needed gap! You’re now at the point where you need a solid marketing strategy, specifying your wider brand goals and objectives, and a comprehensive marketing plan to detail the specific activities you will engage in to get you there. 

Whenever you start a new business, launch a new product, or seek to increase your customer base — you need a marketing strategy. A handy, all-encompassing document that relays your wider brand aims and goals.

Building brand awareness, attracting leads, diversifying your target customer base and improving your competitive advantage are all examples of core marketing goals.

A marketing strategy acts as a roadmap to guide your marketing efforts. To take your business from idea to reality, grow it to the next level, or develop it for other markets, so you can appeal to a broader range of target consumers.  

Your marketing strategy will help you to:

  • Understand your customers’ needs
  • Tailor your products to address these needs
  • Discover the language you need to use to communicate effectively with your customers
  • Access your competition, consider your competitive advantage and your unique selling points (USPs)
  • Establish which distribution and communication channels will give you the best results
  • Produce the right content at the right time to maximise the effectiveness of your marketing efforts

The ultimate aim of a marketing strategy is to finesse your aims and objectives, provide a clear understanding of your brand and its future direction, and share these with your team.

With your marketing strategy in hand, you and your team will have a clear route to market your business effectively. It also adds weight to the viability of your product/service, and you can then use it to approach investors and lenders for funding.

Marketing strategies are complex and multifaceted. In this series of articles, we will explore each facet in-depth. Together, the blogs in this series will guide you through the process of creating a marketing strategy that will take your business to the next level.

In part 1, we start with the executive summary.

The executive summary is the part of your marketing strategy that outlines the most important findings from your research. It is a summary of the entire marketing strategy. It offers a high-level overview of your overall brand objectives, marketing goals and marketing activities. It’s succinct, yet clear. 

Your executive summary is between 1-2 pages long. And you write the executive summary last, after completing all the other sections of your marketing strategy. You may be wondering why we have chosen the executive summary to feature as part 1 of the series; it’s because the executive summary always comes at the beginning of your marketing strategy. It’s designed to stand out, grab the reader’s attention and provide the most vital information on both your short-term and long-term plans. 

It outlines your most important goals, actions and research findings conclusions. It allows the reader to understand where your business is heading and how it is going to get there, quickly. 

A strong executive summary will:

  • Outline your goals
  • Reveal the most important findings from each section of your plan and how they relate to achieving your goals
  • Use concise language that is easy to follow
  • Have a positive and interesting angle

Tip #1: Start capturing ideas to include in your executive summary from the very beginning of the planning process. As you brainstorm these with your team; get a bolt of inspiration after reading blogs or attending events; or capture an activity, mindset or tool that’s interesting and adopted by a brand you admire — note these down on a blank document. 

Anything that relates to your bigger strategy, like key activities, communication channels or ideas to boost promotion, pop under the executive summary heading of the document. These ideas are likely to form the basis of your entire marketing strategy.  

Tip #2 : A marketing strategy is a dynamic document . Therefore, it changes as your brand, product and/or services, market and competitors change. Your executive summary should reflect this by housing any key updates or revisions to its previous version. 

Many brands are going through this process now as they navigate through the changes to their business amid the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s likely that the executive summary and wider marketing strategy will once again need to be modified to navigate through the post-Covid business landscape.

Tip #3: Think of your executive summary as the blurb of a book. Briefly explain high-level critical information in the form of key takeaways for each of the main headings of the marketing strategy. A marketing strategy is often a long, in-depth and multifaceted document. Having a clear and concise summary of these takeaways enables the reader to devour the most important information quickly.    

The executive summary for your marketing strategy must show prospective readers the main points of your brand’s story, marketing strategy, as well as information about the wider marketplace, product and/or services and your business’s direction.

Your executive summary should include the following information:

Here, it’s all about telling your story. Provide a short overview of the history of your brand, including the size of its current customer base (if there is one), its structure, sales figures, along with the skillsets/expertise of the people involved and their relevance in helping you achieve your goals.

Include other professionals involved with the operation too, such as your suppliers, accountants and marketing experts.

Our company, XYZ Corporation, was founded in 2005 and has since grown to become a leading provider of software solutions in the technology industry. With a current customer base of over 500 companies, we have established ourselves as a trusted and reliable partner. Our team consists of highly skilled software developers, project managers, and customer support specialists who have extensive experience in the industry. Their expertise and dedication are crucial in helping us achieve our goal of delivering innovative and efficient software solutions to our clients.

A description of the key market trends and the products/services you are marketing  

Here, you are delving into your marketplace and specific industry sectors to explore the core trends shaping and impacting them. What factors are influencing their evolution? How are they innovating? Who is listening and engaging? 

Describe the product or services clearly and concisely. Outline their unique selling proposition (USPs). These highlight the reason/s people will buy your product or service over your competitors’ offering.

In the rapidly evolving healthcare industry, there are several key market trends that are shaping the landscape. The increasing demand for telehealth services, the adoption of electronic health records, and the focus on personalised medicine are some of the significant trends we have identified. In response to these trends, our company, XYZ Corporation, offers a comprehensive telehealth platform that enables healthcare providers to deliver virtual consultations and remote monitoring services. Our platform incorporates advanced features such as secure video conferencing, data encryption, and integration with electronic health records systems, making it an ideal solution for healthcare organisations looking to embrace telehealth.

Describe the characteristics of your target audience(s) and how you identified these.

Explain where you will find them and how you will target them. Note your promotional strategy, i.e. the communication channels and implementation of software or specialists to support your marketing activities and materials, along with the main objectives of these and their associated timelines.

Detail what the core marketing priorities are and specify whether these relate to key business activities, such as the launch of a new product/service or entry into a new marketplace. Outline your distribution strategy, explaining how you will deliver the product or service (e.g., online through downloadable content or conference calls, by post for a physical product or in-person when offering specific types of service).

Our target audience consists of small and medium-sized businesses in the retail industry, specifically those in the fashion and lifestyle sector. Through market research and analysis, we have identified that these businesses are seeking an affordable and user-friendly e-commerce platform to expand their online presence. To reach our target audience, we will utilise digital marketing channels such as social media advertising, search engine optimisation, and content marketing. Additionally, we will partner with industry influencers and attend trade shows and conferences to establish brand awareness and generate leads. Our main objective is to acquire 100 new clients within the first year of launching our marketing campaign.

Support both short-term and long-term marketing activities with clearly defined financial information. This should outline the associated budget attached to each activity and the metrics used to measure its success. 

Our financial planning for the marketing campaign includes a detailed breakdown of the allocated budget for each activity. We have allocated $50,000 for digital advertising, $20,000 for content creation, and $10,000 for attending industry events. These budgets have been carefully calculated based on industry benchmarks and our projected return on investment. To measure the success of our marketing activities, we will track key metrics such as website traffic, conversion rates, and customer acquisition cost. Our financial projections indicate a 20% increase in revenue within the first six months of implementing the marketing campaign.

This is effectively an overview of the executive summary.  As succinctly as possible, explain your overall objectives and the strategies you will use to achieve these.

Our overall objective for this project is to increase brand awareness and market share in the highly competitive technology industry. To achieve this, we will implement a multi-channel marketing strategy that includes digital advertising, content marketing, and strategic partnerships. Our key strategies include creating engaging and informative content to position ourselves as thought leaders in the industry, leveraging social media platforms to reach a wider audience, and collaborating with complementary businesses to expand our reach. By executing these strategies effectively, we aim to achieve a 15% increase in market share within the next year.

Extra tip: The executive summary should also include any other main takeaways from the subject headings contained within the marketing strategy. For example, if under your SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis section, you have recently trained your team on how to use a new piece of technology, this is now a USP that differentiates you from your competitors. House this in the executive summary. 

One important tip when writing an executive summary for a marketing plan is to write it last. This might seem counterintuitive, as the executive summary is typically the first section of a document. However, by writing it last, you ensure that it accurately reflects the content of the entire marketing plan. This approach allows you to summarize the most critical information and key points effectively. Writing the executive summary last also helps you maintain consistency throughout the document. As you go through the process of crafting the marketing plan, you may refine or tweak certain aspects. Writing the executive summary last allows you to include these updates, ensuring that it aligns with the rest of the document.

Another valuable tip is to take notes of the important parts of your marketing plan while working on it. Jotting down key ideas, standout results, or essential strategies will help you when it comes time to write the executive summary. These notes act as a reference point, ensuring that you don’t miss any critical information while summarising the marketing plan. Additionally, taking notes helps you stay organized and focused on the essential aspects of your plan. It can be easy to get lost in the details when creating a marketing plan, but having clear, concise notes will guide you in writing a concise yet comprehensive executive summary.

The executive summary of your marketing strategy provides a concise overview of the entire marketing actions of your brand.  It provides you and your team with a roadmap for executing the strategy. It also provides investors with a way to easily evaluate the project and quickly decide if it’s worth their investment.

Let’s look at your wider marketing strategy. After you’ve started brainstorming your executive summary, we’re going to look at the bigger picture, which includes: your marketplace, your target audiences and buyer personas, your strengths and weaknesses, your competitors, your products and services, and your specific marketing activities.

We have created a template for this guide with the tips above included. It can be downloaded here or you can access the google doc version here .

Check out the rest of our Ultimate Marketing strategy series for guidance, insights and tips:

  • Part 1: Executive Summary
  • Part 2: Market Research
  • Part 3: Target Market
  • Part 4: Competitor Research 
  • Part 5: Unique Selling Points (USPs)
  • Part 6: Positioning and Pricing
  • Part 7: Marketing Promotion and Distribution
  • Part 8: Budget: Offers and Giveaways
  • Part 9: Marketing Goals and Conversions
  • Part 10: Marketing Metrics: Measuring, Modifying and Monitoring

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How to Write an Executive Summary for a Marketing Plan

Table of contents.

example of executive summary for marketing research report

A marketing plan is essential when you are launching a new business or product. This plan guides your marketing activities, which can include building brand awareness, establishing your competitive advantage, growing your customer base and attracting new leads.

Marketing plans can be complex because they provide a lot of detail about your overall marketing goals and supporting activities. That’s why it’s important to also write an executive summary for your marketing plan.

What is an executive summary for a marketing plan?

As the name suggests, an executive summary provides a high-level overview of your marketing plan. Its primary purpose is to reduce complex topics and projects within your greater marketing plan to the basics and show your short-term and long-term goals. In one or two pages, it describes the key results of your marketing research and provides an overview of your brand objectives, marketing goals and related activities. 

A marketing plan executive summary is usually one or two pages that provide an overview of the marketing plan.

How to write a marketing plan executive summary

The executive summary should cover the main parts of your marketing plan, as well as information about your company and brand, your products or services, the market, and your overall direction. While the marketing plan is typically written in sections separated by subheadings, the executive summary is usually written as a series of paragraphs, with each paragraph focusing on one section of the marketing plan.

Here’s how to write your executive summary and what information you should include in each paragraph:

1. Write an introduction.

Your executive summary should begin with an introduction that briefly explains what the reader can expect. It provides valuable context and will make the subsequent points easier to understand. Concisely explain the project, the purpose of your marketing plan, and the key benefits it provides to potential customers. Keep the introduction simple, short and direct.

Example : This plan is presented for XYZ Company, which sells widgets for the IT industry. We’ve created a new widget for the healthcare industry, and our marketing plan will show that we have a unique opportunity to expand into a new market.

2. Describe your company and team.

Briefly describe your business, including its history, structure, customer base and sales figures. List the main people involved with the business, including their positions and responsibilities, their respective skills and experience, and their responsibilities with respect to achieving your marketing goals . Include relevant external service providers (e.g., accountants, marketing experts and suppliers) and your company’s name, location and contact information.

Example : XYZ Company has been around since 2010 and is based in Anaheim, California. We sell widgets for the IT industry, which are designed to increase energy efficiency and reduce operating costs.

3. Outline market factors and trends.

Describe the marketplace and industry sectors in which you sell your products and services, and the main trends that affect them. List the factors that influence the market, the innovations that are taking place, and the main drivers or players involved.

Example : There are several large companies and a few smaller specialty companies that sell similar widgets to the IT industry. Innovations in this market can cause disruptions, but only when they provide significant benefits in cost savings or efficiencies.

4. Describe products or services being marketed.

Describe your products or services and explain their key features and benefits. Outline your products’ or services’ unique selling propositions to show how they differ from or are better than competitors’ offerings.

Example : We’ve created a new widget for the healthcare industry, which is outside our current market. This new product provides healthcare companies with greater efficiencies and cost savings not currently offered by existing products. Similar products exist in other industries, but there are currently no widgets designed specifically for the healthcare industry.

5. Define your customer base and related marketing activities.

Describe the key aspects of your target audience, as well as how you identify those customers. Briefly explain where you find your target customers and how you will reach them. Outline your promotional strategy, including its main objectives and related timelines. Describe your key marketing priorities and how they relate to specific business activities (e.g., entering a new market or creating new products). Explain what methods you will use to distribute your products or services.

Example : Our target market is large healthcare companies, including hospitals, clinics and manufacturers of healthcare devices. We plan to do a marketing campaign through direct sales and social media marketing. [Learn more about how to design an email marketing campaign you can include in your marketing plan/executive summary.]

6. Define any financial plans and projections.

Clearly define key financial information related to short-term and long-term marketing activities. Provide line-by-line budget details for individual activities and related metrics to determine their success.

Example : Our marketing budget for the year is $100,000, which will be spread over the following marketing activities.

7. Summarize your overall objectives and any related strategies.

Briefly describe the project’s goals and the strategies that will be implemented to achieve those goals. Conclude with a couple of sentences that will encourage the reader to review your marketing plan.

Example : We’ve developed a marketing plan that will help us to quickly reach key stakeholders in the healthcare industry and become the main provider of widgets to this market. We will use our experience in selling to the IT industry to showcase the benefits of our widget.

Additional tips for writing an executive summary

These tips should help you create an effective executive summary of your marketing plan:

Write the executive summary last.

The executive summary is a brief overview of your marketing plan. Write the complete marketing plan before you provide a summary of that plan. Once you have all of the information for your marketing plan, you can decide what’s important enough to include in the executive summary. 

Whoever reads the executive summary should come away with a complete understanding of your marketing goals. Tell your story. Explain what your company does and why you chose to do what you do. Talk about what matters to you, the people who are helping you meet your goals, and what you want to achieve with your marketing.

Telling your brand’s story will entice readers and encourage them to read the full marketing plan.

Take notes.

When you’re creating your marketing plan, make note of anything that stands out. This could include interesting statistics, memorable moments, key findings about your competitors, anecdotes from leadership, ideas to support promotion and newsworthy events. Check out what your favorite brands are doing, note anything interesting you’ve read in a blog or article, or recall an interesting tool or technology that you can apply to your business. These ideas can be inspiration for an engaging executive summary.

Do your research.

Your executive summary must contain key data and findings, including an analysis of the market and your competition, as well as budgetary and financial considerations. Your full marketing plan will provide more details, but the executive summary should contain important research data to get your reader interested in your marketing plan.

Watch your language.

An executive summary is a professional document, so you should write in a professional manner. However, the language should also reflect who you are as a person and as a company.

Your executive summary tells your story. What is your style? What is your audience’s style? The tone of this document should match the tone of your marketing material and your company.

Avoid clichés and hyperbole, as they come off as inauthentic and can rub readers the wrong way. Clichés tend not to match the reality of your situation, as they can overpromise on what you can actually deliver. Is your company the best in its category among all competitors? What determines “best”? Ensure any claims you make are specific and measurable.

Remember the marketing.

Keep in mind that the purpose of your executive summary is to market your business. The summary should concisely position what you’ve written in the marketing plan in a way that compels the reader to continue. Include a brief explanation of the most important and interesting information and the key takeaways that will matter to the reader. [Learn more about effective offline marketing tactics you could potentially include in your marketing plan.] 

Keep it current.

Your marketing plan should change over time, and so should your executive summary. Include any updates to your products, services or technologies, or any significant changes in your market and competition. For example, COVID-19 forced many companies to change their marketing strategies and business practices. Your executive summary should reflect the changes your company has made to its marketing plan to deal with the changes in the market.

Treat your executive summary as a living, breathing document that is subject to changes, just like your marketing plan. Write it with the expectation that it will change over time to reflect any serious changes in your business’s market.

Importance of the executive summary in a marketing plan

A marketing plan has several benefits:

  • It helps you understand the needs of your target audience.
  • It enables you to market your products to meet your customers’ specific needs.
  • It determines what content you should produce to support your marketing efforts.
  • It describes your competitive advantage and unique selling points.

The marketing plan is your guide to marketing your business effectively. The executive summary highlights the most important goals, actions and research results of your marketing plan. It is designed to grab readers’ attention and ensure they quickly understand where your business is going and how it plans to get there.

Additional reporting by Sean Peek.


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Top 5 Marketing Executive Summary Templates with Samples and Examples

Top 5 Marketing Executive Summary Templates with Samples and Examples

Organizations devise their marketing strategies based on historical data, ongoing trends, projections, and slight assumptions of customer behaviors. Irrespective of business size, niche, or industry, marketing plans are vital for all organizations to navigate their promotional efforts and grow their customer base.

But do you think everyone in your marketing team (not even the organization) reads these plans to a ‘literal level’ understanding?

Admit it, while you are drafting the next marketing plan, you are aware that it is lengthy and complex, and readers do not have much time (or concern) to read all the details. What they want is a glance overview of meaningful information in it. For that, you should give them — a marketing executive summary.

What is an executive summary?

A marketing executive summary provides a quick review of your company’s marketing plan and boils down its components to their core level. It summarizes essential information like your brand objectives, marketing objectives, goals, objectives, and critical actions in one or two paragraphs. One can also include the major findings of their marketing research. 

Importance of A Marketing Executive Summary

Executive marketing summaries are crucial for many reasons. Some of these are:

  • An executive summary outlines the benefits of a marketing strategy and attracts potential partners or investors. It helps them evaluate how the organization is considering using its funds or resources before investing. 
  • A well-written compelling summary interests the reader and encourages them to read further about the company marketing strategy.
  • It highlights the strengths of organizations and helps to win the confidence of readers — investors, stakeholders, customers, and employees.

Note: Keep the executive summaries as brief and straightforward as possible. They are for presenting the only crucial, intriguing, or critical information of the marketing plan in a short readability time, not the complete marketing plan.

Marketing Executive Summary Templates

Looking for a tool to help you draft a compelling, clear, and reader-heart-winning marketing executive summary? Stop your quest here. Utilize one or all of these pre-designed and 100% customizable marketing executive summary templates from Slideteam.

Template 1: Executive summary of an effective marketing plan

Use this executive summary template to present a condensed version or clear outline of your marketing plan. It includes all the essential elements that a marketing plan should have. This template will make grasping marketing plans a piece of cake with its simplified and easy-to-understand language. Download it right away! 

Executive summary of an effective marketing plan

Download this template

Template 2: Digital Marketing Report With Executive Summary

Use this presentation template to give clients and investors a succinct overview of digital marketing strategy. It contains a wealth of information for readers about your company's mission, your product, competitive strategy, financial predictions, short and long-term goals, customer persona, and market fit. Get it now!

Digital Marketing Report With Executive Summary

Template 3: Components of Marketing Strategy in Executive Summary

With the help of this executive summary template, you will be able to address the crucial components of a marketing plan. It allows you to create a sense of excitement and expectation among key members and persons responsible for the marketing plan’s success. You may quickly showcase your company and team information, market dynamics and trends, products and services, and marketing activities using this slide.

Components of Marketing Strategy in Executive Summary

Template 4: Marketing Agency Company Profile Executive Summary PPT

This PPT slide will help you start or expand your new advertising firm. It displays an executive summary of an advertising firm that includes information about the company’s history, services it offers, headquarters, and more. You can use it to present the details on products, statistics, honors, accomplishments, etc. All you need to do is add your firm information to our company profile template, which is designed to accommodate all the information you need to make an impression. Get it now!

Marketing Agency Company Profile Executive Summary Ppt Slides 

T emplate 5: Online Marketing Company Profile Executive Summary PPT  

With this captivating presentation that is sure to impress the audience, give your online marketing company a boost! The slide’s isometric graphics give a techy vibe that is ideal for the marketing presentations of a digital firm. Use this template to create professional-looking business profiles, proposals, presentations, or executive summaries. Download it now!

Executive Summary Online Marketing Company Profile PPT 

Template 6: Marketing and Business Development Action Plan Executive Summary PPT

This editable PPT template will help your organization set goals and suggests realistic ways to achieve them. Define the long and short-term objectives of your business, and analyze the funding requirements or set milestones with this PowerPoint set. The action plan lays out the measures to follow in order to achieve those goals and assigns particular responsibilities to people in order to keep them accountable for finishing them by the deadlines. Grab it today!

Executive Summary Marketing and Business Development Action Plan PPT

Template 7: One-page Restaurant Marketing Plan Executive Summary Presentation

A well-thought-out and actionable marketing plan is the foundation of your restaurant’s success and food business. Slideteam offers this one-page restaurant marketing plan executive summary PPT highlighting value proposition, pricing and positioning, marketing strategy, marketing channels, and advertising schedule and budget allocation. Download it now!

One Page Restaurant Marketing Plan Executive Summary Presentation Report

P.S. Utilize these marketing plan templates to create a strategic marketing plan to solve your company's issues while also maintaining profitability.

FAQs on Executive Summary

1. how do you write an executive summary for marketing.

When writing an executive summary for your marketing plan, follow the five steps below.

  • The executive summary will briefly touch on the key points of your company plan. This calls for writing the whole business plan before producing the executive summary.
  • Compose an interesting introduction. Depending on your target audience, "interesting" can mean different things. The introduction must be noteworthy to your company and draw the audience in.
  • Briefly discuss each important aspect of the company plan. Talk about your target market, management team, company description, and more.
  • Organize and edit your document. Put the most important information at the top of your executive summary. Check the document for precision and clarity. Eliminate jargon, buzzwords, facts that are repeated, terms, and statements that are not supported by evidence.

2. What should an Executive Summary include?

The following items should be in your executive summary:

  • An introduction.
  • Information on your service or product.
  • Customer Persona.
  • Competitive Analysis.
  • Budget and financial projections.
  • Team details.
  • Funding requirements.

3. What are the 5 Parts of an Executive Summary?

  • Project Overview: Describe the project, its goal, and the primary problem it was meant to solve or address in two to three sentences.
  • Background: Give a brief overview of the project's past and identify the specific occasion that sparked its inception.
  • Process: Talk about the departments involved, how and what they contribute, along with project duration. Emphasize how the group can deal with problems that arise throughout the execution of the project.
  • Conclusions and Results: Give a brief explanation of the project's outcomes and main conclusions, along with suggestions for how the organization might use them. Give a brief explanation of how the project handled the main issue or problem it was intended to address and whether it actually offered a solution.
  • Recommendations: Explain in a succinct manner how the conclusions and outcomes will be applied to the actual strategy. If a new policy or strategy results in changes, talk about how those changes will affect the company, the resources required, and other things like any new procedures, rules, or business directions that the change will entail.

4. What are 6 things you should include in an executive summary?

We have included every component that a fundamental executive summary must have. To suit your demands, you can change or add to some of its components.

  • When giving an introduction, remember who your audience is.
  • A bulleted list-style table of contents.
  • Outline the company's purpose and strengths.
  • Describe the issue or need and its significance.
  • Suggest a solution and describe why it is worthwhile.
  • Justify the solution by describing how it fits the company.
  • A compelling ending that reiterates the significance of the project.

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Writing a Marketing Research Report

Learning Outcomes

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the main elements of a clear, accurate, and complete research report
  • Explain the purpose of the Executive Summary
  • Outline the elements of an Executive Summary
  • Explain what makes a good oral report
  • Discuss how oral reports are different from written reports
  • List the different types of charts and tables that are used in research reports

The Research Report

What is the research report.

A research report is an oral or written presentation to management detailing a research project's objectives, methodology, findings, and recommendations. Typically, written reports are more detailed that an oral report, which presenters usually deliver in an hour or an hour-and-a-half.

Objectives of the Research Report T

he objective of a research report is to provide a clear, accurate and complete report of the research project. It should help clarify the research issues so management can use the findings as an aid to decision-making.

Good research reports are clearly written and presented. The authors avoid using unnecessary jargon. Experienced report writers know that their audience, while composed of marketers, may not be experts in all aspects of marketing research. Good reports present an honest, accurate, and unbiased review of the research objectives, methodology, and findings. And, good reports present a complete review of the data gathered. Reports should include appendices that show all data. It is very common for executives from the client's organization and its promotion agencies to study these data with great care to see if alternate conclusions can be supported.

Elements of the Written Report

While the elements of actual reports may vary slightly, a basic research report has three sections:

Section I:     Introduction

Section II:   Body of the Report

Section III: Appendices

Here is an outline of a standard written research report. Actual reports may vary somewhat from this outline:

Section I of the Research Report: Introduction

The first page of the research report is the Title Page. This page should include the following elements:

  • Title of the research project
  • Names, titles, firm, and contact information of the person who authorized and directed the project for the client
  • Names, titles, firm, and contact information of the people who prepared the report
  • Release date of the report

Transmittal Letter

The transmittal letter is a one-page letter or memo written by the lead person on the team that prepared the report. This letter is usually written on official letterhead, which includes the name of the marketing research firm responsible for the report and the name and contact information of the lead person from that firm

The letter serves as proof that the report was sent to the client. It:

  • States the specific subject of the report
  • Identifies the names of the people who authorized the project
  • Outlines key findings
  • Highlights recommendations
  • Outline the limitations of the report
  • Reports any discrepancies that might exist between the approved proposal and the final project
  • Thanks the client for the opportunity of conducting this research

Authorization Letter

This is a letter written by the client to the marketing research firm. This letter acknowledges receipt of the research proposal made by the market research firm. And, it authorizes the marketing researcher to conduct a research project. It is written on corporate letterhead. It includes the name, title, and contact information of the author. The fee structure and delivery dates for the research are clearly spelled out. The letter concludes with a statement that the client looks forward to the successful conclusion of the study and suggests a follow-up telephone call should the lead marketing researcher have any questions or concerns.

Table of Contents

The table of contents is based on the final outline of the report. It includes a list of the report's sections and sub-sections, and their respective page numbers.

Executive Summary

The executive summary is a short synopsis of the research report. Some might even call it the mini-report. It is typically no more than four pages long. It is intended to provide busy senior executives with the highlights of the study. An effective Executive Report includes the following elements:

  • The name of the study
  • The names of the people who prepared the study
  • The name of the client who authorized the study
  • Date of the report
  • Introductory statement that defines the research objectives and research question


  • Key findings
  • Conclusions and indicated actions
  • Limitations of the research

Section II of the Research Report: Body of the Report

The body of the marketing research report includes the following sections:


This section of the report reviews the objectives of the research. It summarizes the research proposal and highlights any changes to the research design that were agreed to after the client approved the proposal. Please Note: It is highly unprofessional for market researchers to change the research design without getting their client's expressed approval. 

This section covers a review of the literature and secondary research. And, if relevant, this section cites primary research sponsored by the client on similar issues.

In the case of Exploratory Research, this section lists the research questions. With Descriptive or Causal Research, the null and alternate hypotheses are spelled out.

This is the most technical section of the research report. It includes the following sections:

Research Design : This includes a statement of the type of research conducted: Exploratory, Descriptive, or Causal. Secondary research sources are mentioned along with a description of how primary data were collected. And, the authors should include a rationale for why the research design is appropriate for achieving the research objectives and answering the research questions. In an appendix, the authors of the report include any discussion guides, questionnaires or observation forms.

Sample Design : This section includes:

  • A statement defining the population of interest and the sampling frame[1]
  • Sampling units [2] included in the study
  • The sampling method used
  • The size of the selected sample
  • The response rate achieved

Details about the samples and calculations used in the sampling should be included in the appendices.

Data Collection and Fieldwork : This section reviews how the fieldwork was conducted. It states the number and types of fieldworkers, how they were trained and supervised, and how the accuracy of their work was verified.

Statistical Analysis :

A review of the statistical methods employed in the analysis. This section provides a rationale for these methods, but the actual analysis is not presented.

A glossary may be included to define any technical terms that might be unknown to experienced managers.

The findings section is the longest part of the research report. It is where the results of the study are reported in detail. This section should include supporting tables and graphs. Tables and graphs make the report easier to read and more memorable. To avoid overwhelming the reader, the findings should refer the reader to the detailed data, which should be in an appendix.

Limitations of the Study

No research design is perfect; they all have their limitations. Good researchers always state the limitations of their research. 

Conclusions and Recommendations

After the findings are presented, the researchers present their conclusions and recommendations, including conducting further research.

[1] A sampling frame defines a set of elements from which a researcher can select a sample of the target population. Source:

[2] Sampling units are the individual items—people or households—included in a sample.

Section III of the Research Report: Appendices

The appendices of the marketing research report include all technical materials and data related to specific parts of the study. These materials may be of interest to only a few readers. Materials posted in one of the appendices may not deal directly with the research objectives. 

The appendices include the following:

  • Discussion Guides, Questionnaires, and Data Collection Forms
  • Table for each survey question
  • Details on the statistical analyses performed and the sampling methods
  • Bibliography, if appropriate

Important research attracts the interest a managers. Good researchers and good clients are skeptical. After reading the report and attending the presentation, many executives may have serious questions. These executives often spend hours pouring over the appendices. They may raise questions about the validity, reliability, logic, and conclusions of the research. Good marketing research expect and welcome these inquiries.

Presenting the Research Report

Research reports are presented in writing and in oral presentations. 

Written presentations are far more detailed than oral presentations. Oral presentations are often done with presentation software like PowerPoint. Oral presentations cannot cover all of the details covered in the written presentations. There is simply not enough time to read the entire report at a presentation. Reading slides with multiple sentences is a sure way of boring your audience. PowerPoint slides should have few words. Each slide should focus on a single idea supported with a picture, table, or chart. Good presenters know what they want to communicate. They rehearse. And, they connect with their audience by making eye contact.

Tables and Charts

 Researchers use tables and charts to communicate their ideas.

Tables are a useful way of presenting numerical data.   The numbers are presented in vertical columns and horizontal rows. Tables can organize the data longitudinally or by cross section.

Cross sectional data divides the data into its component parts. Here us an example of cross sectional data:

Longitudinal data shows how the data changes over time. Here us an example of longitudinal data:

Cross sectional and longitudinal data can be combined in a single table:

A good table should have:

  • A title that identifies the data presented
  • A table number
  • A legend, if needed

Charts provide a graphic representation of data. Just like tables, a chart should have:

  • A chart number

Bar or Column Charts

Bar charts are used to present cross sectional data. The heights of the columns depict the size or magnitude of each section

Chart 1: Bar or Column Chart

Pie charts are used to present cross sectional data. They show the proportion of each section

Chart 2: Pie Chart

Line Charts

Line charts are used to present longitudinal data.

Chart 3: Line Chart


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