Do you know what your market needs? When you’ve finished development on a product and its ready to be released to your customers, the only left to do is market it. Does this mean simply writing up a description of your product and putting it up on your ecommerce site? Not nearly.

Composing a solid marketing requirements document is an essential step in a product’s life. It will be used by engineers in order to write up technical specs, and it will be used to show investors exactly what all their money is going toward. For these reasons, a marketing requirement document needs to be both technically flawless and simple to understand. What else do you need to know about the business requirements of this important document?

Who is the Target Audience?

Sometimes there is so much excitement and work surrounding the development of a new product that it can be easy to forget the most important part: who is going to use it? You know that you must have your target audience honed in if you are going to market to them effectively. More importantly, you must know who your target audience is before you even start development, and you need to put that information in your marketing requirements document. Otherwise, you might end up with a product that nobody wants.

What Type of Marketing Requirements Document?

A new product needs a different kind of MRD than a new release of a product that already exists. Which type of product is yours? A new product If you are re-releasing an existing product, make sure to address any issues or bugs that have been resolved since the last iteration of the product came out. Also, what is the goal of the re-release? Is it a major update, or a new audience?

How Big Should It Be?

Remember that you want the end result of writing an MRD to be people actually reading it. Brevity is of the utmost importance. Your marketing requirements document will eventually make the rounds through your team. While a concise 5-10 page MRD is very readable, eventually it may feel like it doesn’t contain enough detail. In this case, try to provide outside sources for those who are interested, instead of mucking up the entire thing with footnotes and asides.  Consider using an MRD template, if you need a place to start.

Once you have written enough of these documents, you will likely develop your own type of template or a company-accepted format. Until then, incorporate these suggestions into your work for an effective MRD.