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The Ultimate Guide to Reporting for Lean Market Research

In brief

The ultimate deliverable of a Lean Market Research endeavor is the report. This report can take different forms like text document, infographics, video, slides etc. Whatever format it can take, a lean market research report should embed core components among its content. This is The Ultimate Guide to Reporting for Lean Market Research.

This post is a practical guide to how to make a lean market research report. It goes through the typical structure of a lean market research report, and it lists its main types.

What is reporting

First, what is reporting ?

First, Reporting stands for packaging the main outcomes of the conducted study in a more or less detailed way depending on the purpose of the conducted study and what was decided in Step1 (Define).

Hence, Reporting is key for successful market research.

Indeed, an average researcher with an excellent report can be very successful.

An excellent research with poor reporting can lead to a bad final product.

At the end of the day, the report is the essence of the conducted lean market research.

It’s often the major deliverable that the customer is expecting.

Let’s dive now into the major sections of a typical lean market research report:

The main components of a lean market research report

The main components of a lean market research report are the following:

  • Introduction
  • The research methodology
  • Global market structure
  • The main focus of the report
  • Business analysis models
  • Desk research
  • Primary research
  • Summary
  • Conclusion
  • References

Let’s take them now one by one.


The introduction contains mainly:

  • The general Framework about the market, product or service of interest eg product features & customer value
  • The Pain point tackled by the product
  • The pain point tackled by the conducted research
  • The current mbr target(s)

The research methodology

This section of the report contains:

  • General overview about the conducted research, for instance
    • Secondary research objectives and tools
    • Primary research objectives and tools
  • Analysis of the challenges and limitations of the adopted research methodology in an objective way

Global market structure

Global market structure section that contains

  • Market size
  • Market segmentation (techno, geo, usage)
  • Competition (market share, major players, major products)
  • Opportunities (offer vs demand, compet weak points, niche)

The main focus of the report

  • Improving customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • Achieve optimum pricing
  • Enter a new market
  • Advertising effectiveness
  • Launch a new product / product test
  • Financial Analysis: dcf, trendsVsTime, balanceSheet, businessPlan, ratios
  • Strategic Analysis (positioning, visionVsTime, targetAudience, businessModel, cashFlowSource, neededResources, partners..)
  • Marketing analysis: 4Ps (price, product, place, promotion)
  • Technological Analysis
  • Use of products
  • Attitude to products
  • Promotion / advertising effectiveness
  • Segment markets
  • Improve brand position

Business analysis models

Comes then business analysis models.

Business analysis models are easy to read graphs that summarize in a nutshell a given business idea, strategy, structure or vision..

Business analysis models can be embedded into different sections of the report or have a standalone section among the report.

This depends on the preferences of the reporter and the customer.

Examples of business analysis models are:

  • SWOT
  • Marketing mix 4Ps
  • Porter’s 5 forces
  • BCG’s matrix
  • Ansoff’s matrix
  • Product lifecyle analysis

Desk research

Comes then a major component of the lean market research report that is Desk research or Secondary research.

This section is sometimes called literature review as well.

Like business analysis models, desk research can have a dedicated section or can be embedded into the other sections of the report depending on the reporter and customer preferences.

Desk research contains mainly

  • Qualitative research
    • Articles & books
    • Online reports, blogs and magazines
  • Quantitative research

Primary research

After secondary research, comes naturally primary research.

Like secondary research, primary research can have a dedicated section or can be embedded into the other sections of the report depending on the reporter and customer preferences.

Primary research contains:

  • Qualitative research
    • Depth interviews
    • Focus groups
    • Ethnography and observation
  • Quantitative research
    • Face to face interviews
    • Telephone/online interviews
    • Self completion questionnaires
    • Online surveys


Comes then the summary section.

Summary section contains a general overview of the main findings and discussion that come out of the conducted research.

The Summary section contains in more details:

  • Main findings and recommendations
    • By end user
    • By geo location etc
  • Discussion
    • Primary vs secondary research findings consistency and differences
    • New raised questions


Comes then the conclusion.

In this part, the reporter can remind in a nutshell the main tackled pain point, conducted research and main outcomes.

The conclusion is also expected to identify the new questions raised by the conducted research as well as the questions where further investigations can be conducted.


Last but not least is the references section.

It’s so vital because many readers, especially the advanced ones, look at the references section at first.

Indeed, the quality of the used resources has a direct impact on the credibility and perceived quality of the conducted work.

For instance, a research that uses resources from top strategic and business analysis agencies or good quality magazines and journals will be seen as a high standard research by comparison to another one that uses ransom online blogs.

Pros Tips – The Ultimate Guide to Reporting for Lean Market Research

  • The final report should be in the mind of the researcher from the start of the study at Step1 (Define)
  • The final report should be built as a story leading to actionable recommendations
  • The story should be divided into a smooth stream of chapters
  • Each information added to the report should bring new elements to the story and a closer step to the end, if not, it should be removed
  • There is no single report adapted for all types of audiences: executives, sales people, marketers, scientists have generally deeply different backgrounds mindsets and languages that should be taken into account during reporting
  • The presentation and the file copy can correspond to 2 different slides
  • The presentation slide deck is generally shorter than the final file copy
  • The report should be very clean and empty of typos and flaws
  • Use a clear and simple language
  • Make it visual as much as possible especially if it’s slides based
  • Nowadays, market research reports are generally presented through infographics mainly in the form of slides and may be in written form as well
  • If the final results and slides are to be presented, it should be practiced numerous times until complete mastery of it
  • Leave opportunity for feedback and comments since it’s key for progressing and making better next time
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