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What Is a Market Requirements Document?

K.C. Bruning
K.C. Bruning

A market requirements document (MRD) describes what changes customers would like to see in a particular product. It is used as a guideline by the professionals who are responsible for implementing the changes. The document is composed by an individual who represents the customers to the company. In essence, the person who knows the customers best uses the market requirements document to communicate with the person who understands the product best.

Most of the time, a manager who is involved in product marketing will write the market requirements document. This individual will need the cooperation of several departments, including sales, production, and research in order to write a complete report of requirements. The end result will often be essentially a blue print of the new product, with allowances eventually made for elements that need adjustment.

Businessman giving a thumbs-up
Businessman giving a thumbs-up

A market requirements document will include information about the market for the product and features the customer both needs and wants. The document will also take into account the activities of competitors. In many cases the MRD will describe the timeline and other details of the process towards roll-out of the new product.

There are several sections in a market requirements document. They usually start with a summary of the document, in addition to an outline of general goals and the purpose of the changes requested. It will also project when the new product will be ready and to whom it will be marketed. A key part of the document is the section which argues why the changes should be made and what benefits they will provide. This can include technical details about the product and support for a specific type of production.

A typical market requirements document will include information about what the customer requires and how the suggested changes can fulfill these needs. It will also outline how the competition has worked to satisfy customers and where they have succeeded and failed. These two pieces of information can help a company to decide what needs are not being filled and how to bring in customers by providing the features that fill the gap.

The market requirements document can be seen as a way to solve a problem. It starts by describing a need. Then it details why the problem exists and presents ideas about how it might be approached. Next the document outlines the steps to resolving the problem in a manner that satisfies the customers. Finally, it searches for weaknesses in the resolution via testing.

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