Marketing requirements document
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Understanding the significance of writing a marketing requirements document would help you to not only discover the unmet needs of your customers, but it would also guide you in providing the solution, thereby, filling that gap. Perhaps, this is your first time hearing such a thing, but it would also be the beginning of creating a solution to many problems faced by customers. This article talked in detail about the marketing requirements document and the template. Join us as we get the ball rolling.

Understanding Marketing Requirements Document

An MRD, or market requirements document, is a strategic document created by a product manager or product marketing manager to help identify the market’s requirements or demand for a given product. In other words, A marketing requirements document (MRD) is a document that summarizes the desires and needs of the product that marketing believes a consumer would purchase. Hence, this is a critical document that assists the product or marketing manager in defining the demands of a specific product. It’s the first phase in product definition because before you can define any product, you need to know what the consumer wants and needs.

Typically, an MRD will include information about the product’s vision, competitive environment, business analysis, and revenue opportunities, as well as a list of features or at least high-level feature categories. However, it should not be confused with a product specification manual (PRD), as they are not the same thing. 

The PRD describes how to build a product and allows larger cross-functional teams to determine what to do with it (see our article on Product Marketing). The MRD, on the other hand, establishes the market opportunity that should be developed before the PRD. Hence, this process allows the PRD to be advised of the MRD’s effects. Furthermore, it ensures that the team can identify the client’s demands before determining specifications.

Having an excellent MRD does not always imply that you will have an interesting product. Having a poor PRD, on the other hand, frequently results in a poor product.

Your PRD should include the following information:
  • What is your ultimate goal?
  • Who are you creating it for?
  • What is the product’s value to your company and end-user?
  • How will your users interact with it?
  • What will the final product look like?
  • How will you ensure success after delivery?
Whereas your MRD should be used for the following purposes:
  • Specific characteristics of particular product types.
  • The vision of your product.
  • Revenue opportunities exist for each product.
  • The product’s competitive landscape.
  • A template that can be used for a future marketing requirements document.

Additionally, your MRD should make it clear how the package should be designed. It should also be posted online where it can be accessed from anywhere, for example, on a bulletin board, a file server, a secure internal database, or published in document format so all stakeholders may read it daily.

Now that you understand what a marketing requirements document is, let’s look at why you should create one in the first place.

Why Is It Necessary to Create a MRDs for Business?

Creating a marketing requirements document entails gathering information about the problem’s context, who experiences it, and when the experience occurs. Basically, there are so many fresh product and service concepts that picking what to build next might be challenging. As a product manager, you must, however, identify and prioritize which difficulties to handle. Product administrators typically have a marketing requirements template on hand for this purpose. Here are some of the reasons why an MRD is essential to your business:

  • Making an MRD will help to reduce duplication before investing time, money, and energy.
  • The MRD allows you to decide what is required to achieve, as well as which possibilities are worth pursuing.
  • MRD assures that you will focus on completing work that is consistent with your product philosophy and has the potential to impact your clients.

How to Create a Marketing Requirements Document (MRD)

Your marketing requirements document should answer all of the product’s major questions. In other words, it should eliminate any doubts about the consumer’s expectations and desires regarding the item and its possibilities.

Here is a step-by-step methodology for creating a market requirements document that answers all of the questions:  

#Phase 1: Comprehend the customers’ pain

To truly grasp the customer’s agony, you must first understand the customer’s business and the challenges they are experiencing. Don’t rely solely on what they tell you. Most of the time, that is only half the story.

So, understanding your consumers’ pain allows you to be certain that the products you offer will make their lives easier. This way, you’re alleviating whatever load or discomfort your clients were experiencing prior to the introduction of your items. As a result, once your products are out, they are warmly received by your target market. This will also make it easier for your entire team to come up with a suitable category design for each of your products.

Customers tend to focus on their immediate, short-term problems because they are the most pressing to resolve. Consider things other than their current needs. However, don’t go too far. For example, rather than five years from now, you’ll want to address issues that customers confront today and in the near future. Otherwise, you run the danger of having some of your products go unsold.

Among the questions to ask are
  • What are they going to do now? 

Understanding the current status will reveal opportunities. Thus, inquire about the customer’s current process. Chances are, you’ll perhaps begin to realise what they don’t — areas where a well-defined product can slot in.

  • Who are their clients? 

Get to know your customer to see if your gadget or service helps them serve their clients. How do they make use of the current product? What kind of anguish do they feel?

  • Examine the complete ecosystem: 

This encompasses anything that could interact with your product from all angles. This can be difficult at times, but strive for completeness since there are hidden jewels to be discovered.

#Phase 2: Know your rivals

Competitor products provide useful information about where the market is, but not about where it might go. It merely informs you of what clients are currently looking for. Resist the temptation to simply duplicate the needs of your competitors without understanding why they are significant. Sometimes competitors introduce features because one client requested them, rather than because the market deems them beneficial.

With this knowledge, you may see why you should not be alarmed by the presence of your competition. In fact, having competitors should be a strong indicator that you’re selling things that will be well received by your target audience.

Here are some findings concerning your rivals:
  • Current Product Offerings: 

Examine the current situation of the market to see what is available. Try to distil the features to their essence. Then, build on that.

  • Competitor Roadmaps: 

If you can get your hands on them, see where they’re going. Their roadmaps may or may not be customer-driven, but they should indicate where they believe the market is heading.

  • Examine trade journals and publications: 

Competitors may publish research or white papers on their methods to problem solutions. Trade associations may also issue projections that summarise industry trends. These are excellent sources of secondary market information and information on what your peers are doing.

#Phase 3: Determine the product’s essence

Now that you’ve gathered a plethora of data, it’s time to digest it and identify the essence of your offering. It’s a vital phase (similar to a mission statement) because this essence will serve as the foundation for your criteria. It also aids others in understanding your product concept. In one paragraph, you must summarise the essence of your product (think of it as an elevator pitch). Strive for purpose and clarity while focusing on specifics. To define your product’s elevator pitch, follow these steps:

  • Brainstorm Descriptive Words: 

Make a list of as many adjectives for your product as you can think of. Simply free-write for 15 minutes. Sort these words into similar groups. Examine the recurring elements. These are the elements you want your customers to remember.

  • Describe the problem: 

There is no better approach to figuring out what features to request than to describe the problem. Make statements that are consistent in language that is simple to understand. Try to capture the big picture of the customer’s pain.

  • Solve the Pain: 

Once you’ve defined the pain, you must find a way to alleviate it. Describe your solution in such a way that it alleviates the agony. Tell the reader how you intend to do it. Show them the advantages. Make your proposal the obvious solution to engage them.

  • Demonstrate Your Distinction: 

It’s one thing to alleviate discomfort. Solving it in a unique way, however, necessitates further effort. You began to alleviate the above-mentioned suffering, but now you must convince the buyer that your product is superior to your competitor’s. Let us talk about usability. Talk about the unique qualities you have. On the other hand, refrain from discussing price. Being less expensive is a sales strategy, not a benefit. Customers are looking for value.

#Phase 4: Requirements for the craft core

At this point, you should have a clear understanding of your client’s goals and needs. The following stage is to identify the key features that are “must-haves.” Each of these aspects is crucial to the success of the product. Discipline at this stage will determine your fate. Bring everything to a boil. Don’t add features just because they sound cool; they must be fantastic.

# Phase5: Definition of nice and haves

Every product has features that would be fantastic to have. These characteristics must be defined and prioritised. You might even obtain some if you have enough time. Keep in mind that you must assign a priority to every one of them. Every feature is prioritised. Your key features are absolute must-haves that will always supersede. Your nice-to-haves require the same level of focus.

# Phase 6: Develop the business case

By this time, you should have a business case. If not, why bother creating the marketing requirements document template in the first place? Include a business case summary in your marketing requirements at all times. Most engineers want to know that the products they create will be successful. I cannot emphasise this more. Making a compelling business case will improve your product and increase your team’s enjoyment of working on it. Furthermore, include information such as market size, sales predictions, average selling price (ASP), and gross margins

# Phase7: Submit for review

Reviews are an excellent way to determine whether your requirements have been understood. Send your specifications to a small group of people you know and trust. This first group should review your document to ensure its clarity and completeness. Remember, portray this review before sending it to other organisations. A trusted team of consultants that are aligned with your goals will ensure that there are no obvious flaws.

After your trustworthy advisers have examined it, you can distribute it to a larger audience. Expect to hear questions, remarks, or outright objections. This is normal and will improve your requirements paper.

# Phase 8: Repeat and clarify as needed

You will get closer to better requirements with each review. Again you may receive a lot of comments on certain portions while others are scarcely touched. This is quite normal. Continue to seek clarity. Continue to hold fast to your primary vision. This will come in handy when it comes to implementation.

Be open to evaluating and editing your marketing requirements document regularly from now on. Just because you have one now does not guarantee that it will remain effective for many years to come. It is your responsibility to ensure that your MRD remains effective and serves its purpose.

Create a Marketing Requirements Document Template

Understanding your market landscape thoroughly is critical for product leadership. Product managers monitor market trends, seek out new opportunities and prepare for threats. And it isn’t just a bunch of study and data gathering. Market research mixed with consumer feedback enables you to design and build a better product. In essence, you are acting as a market advocate for your customer.

Going through the above steps is an excellent place to start when creating a template for your marketing requirements document. It is, therefore, critical that a marketing requirements document template be created for your company. It’s like the solid foundation of a robust house, without which your ideas will fall apart. That doesn’t imply you can’t borrow for others, but an MRD will have a much greater impact if it considers the distinctiveness of your business.

Because this document comprises your clients’ goals and needs, you may be certain that they will be fulfilled. Follow these procedures while creating one to ensure its feasibility and success. You can use the PRD template you created to ensure that you capture all of the necessary information.

Challenges of Marketing Requirements Document

The typical approach of creating a long-form marketing requirements document template might be time-consuming. The MRD must be finalised before any work can begin in a waterfall method. And by the time it’s finished, the information contained within it has often grown stale. If you create a new MRD for each version, you may have to manually update and share it each time, which can be time-intensive.

That is why many teams utilise purpose-built product management software to work quicker and engage with cross-functional colleagues in real-time. You can establish a vision, collect personas and competitor data, write user stories, and connect the work to your strategic goals and initiatives using a tool like Aha! Roadmaps. You can also save time and promote consistency by using strategic planning templates (such as a marketing requirements template). Because all of the information is easily accessible, the entire team can stay focused on market and consumer needs, resulting in a more agile approach to product development.

Whether you develop a lengthy MRD or take a more lightweight approach, it is critical to define why customers desire your product or feature, who the solution is for, and what will be necessary for it to be successful. Then you may move on to the following step, which is defining how your new product or feature should be built. To do so, you can utilise a PRD template to ensure you gather all of the necessary information.

FAQ’s On Marketing Requirements Document

How do PRD and MRD differ?

An MRD is commonly confused with a PRD, however, they serve different objectives. A PRD outlines how a product should be produced, whereas an MRD defines what customers want and how it will be delivered.

Do marketers create needs?

Creating or satisfying needs? Marketing creates a need by persuading people that your product is not an option, but a necessity. Nevertheless, marketing also fills a need, reminding customers of their problems and urging them to take action.

What are examples of needs?

A need is something thought to be a necessity or essential item required for life. Examples include food, water, and shelter

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