Market requirements document (MRD) templates
A deep understanding of your market landscape is essential to product leadership. The best product development teams are always tracking market trends, identifying new opportunities, and planning for risks. This type of market analysis combined with customer knowledge gives you valuable insight into how to build a product that meets existing needs.
A market requirements document (MRD) can be a useful tool for consolidating your high-level research. It includes key data points on market size, target customer characteristics, and the competitive landscape. Many product teams use some version of an MRD to validate and align on what is happening in the market — so you can gain an advantage over other solutions and deliver on your customers' needs.
MRDs are often created when initially launching a product. But it is worth revisiting your MRD periodically, especially when you are planning a big product enhancement. If your MRD is lightweight and flexible, you can cycle in fresh insights to keep the team engaged in thoughtful product planning. A well-crafted MRD can also inform your product requirements document (PRD) — a more detailed overview of your desired product functionality.
In this guide, we will dive into the standard components of an MRD — from the executive summary to the metrics strategy. If you want to get started quickly, try the MRD note template in Aha! Notebooks that includes helpful hints and instructions. You can also try the free downloadable MRD template for Word.
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Key components of an MRD
An MRD is intended to articulate the market opportunity, prospective customers, and your high-level plan for delivering your solution. The details you include should be based on any market and customer research you have conducted. Typically your findings can be summarized in these seven sections:
Executive summary: What problem are you trying to solve?
Vision: What makes your product or service unique?
Target market: How big is the opportunity or market size?
Personas: Who are you solving the problem for?
Competitor analysis: What alternatives currently exist?
High-level capabilities: What functionality must be included to solve customer needs?
Metrics strategy: How will you measure success?
Let's explore each component in detail below. You can also skip ahead to the MRD templates to get started on your own.
The executive summary is a condensed version of the entire document — with top-level objectives, customer challenges, and proposed solutions. It typically includes these sections:
Overview of the target market size, current market share, and important trends
Product goals that are specific, measurable, and time-bound
Opportunities and threats
Opportunities for success in the market and threats from competitors, market conditions, and other external factors
Primary customer problems you are solving
Proposed solutions to help address customer problems
Product vision represents the core essence of your product — where you are headed and why it is important. It sets a clear direction that guides product goals, initiatives, and decisions.
A simple, aspirational statement that captures the future of your product and why it matters
Factors that distinguish your product from other solutions in the marketplace
The target market section includes industry data and customer details to substantiate the market opportunity. You can use this section to capture information about both existing and potential markets.
The category of the market that your product is classified in — such as cloud services, e-commerce, and healthcare, among many others
The number of potential customers who would benefit from buying your product — often measured as an estimated revenue range. For example, you can calculate market size by multiplying the number of potential customers in your market category by their average annual revenue.
Refers to the percentage of sales in the industry earned by your product. Divide your product sales by total sales for the market (via industry data) to determine market share.
Key customer segments
Potential customer segments that will use your product — segmented by demographics, psychological attributes, geography, or behavior
Primary pain points felt by your customers
Fictional representations of your customers, including demographic information, goals, challenges, and preferences. See the Personas table below for more information.
Companies that offer similar products or services within the same market. See the Competitor analysis table below.
Channels available for communicating with your target market — such as email, website, and referral
Customer personas are fictional representations of the real people who interact with your product. Well-defined personas help you empathize with your customers, understand their needs, and build a better product. You can create a unique persona to represent each customer type.
A name that helps define who the persona is
A high-level description of their job, role, and interests
Years of experience in their role or position
Functions, tasks, and competencies as part of their role
Average level of school years completed
Their familiarity with your product — i.e. high, medium, low
Personal or professional objectives
External or internal factors that block progress towards their goals
Preferences related to products and services that solve their challenges
Dislikes related to products and services that solve their challenges
Trusts information from
Sources they receive information from and respect
Other people in their organization that they have influence over and share information with
The competitor analysis section outlines other solutions that offer similar products or services to yours. Understanding the other options available to your customers can help you differentiate your product in the marketplace. Complete this section separately for each major competitor.
Name of competitor
Their mission statement or high-level business objective
A summary of the organization and any distinguishing features (often found on the company's "About us" page)
Products or services they provide
A rough estimate of company revenue, if available
Their target customers and how they differ from your own
Areas in which they excel
Areas in which they are lacking (or for which your product excels)
Factors that make them unique or compelling in the market
Read more: SWOT analysis templates
This section of the MRD turns to your product's capabilities — how it will help customers solve the problems you have defined. At this point, avoid detailed design and development specifications. This is a high-level summary to help the product team align on what needs to be built.
Jobs to be done
The jobs or tasks that your customers need to complete
Current challenges faced by customers that your product will solve. If you are completing this section of the MRD for an existing product, you can include current difficulties that customers are experiencing with the product.
Functionality that customers want — based on customer feedback
This final section focuses on performance metrics and is typically tied to your business model. For a new product, you will look at high-level objectives and metrics. For a new feature set, you will zero in on the impacts of the new features.
Projected revenue of the product (or impact to revenue of new features)
Product pricing (or new pricing based on added functionality)
Key objectives and metrics
Desired long-term impact of your product or new feature set — including metrics for success
Get started with MRD templates
Below are both cloud-based and downloadable MRD templates to choose from. As you build your MRD, keep it concise — remember its purpose is to identify opportunities to stay competitive and meet customer needs. Make sure it is accessible to stakeholders and easily editable for any ongoing modifications.
These templates are a good start for smaller teams. If you find that you are looking for a more dynamic approach to defining market requirements, try using purpose-built product development software like Aha! Roadmaps — where you can set product strategy, define customer personas, capture feedback, and update documentation all in one place. Then, it is easy to connect it all to your product roadmap and day-to-day work.
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- Daily standup meeting
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- Meeting agenda
- Meeting notes
- Mind map
- Organizational chart
- Presentation slides
- Process improvement
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- Sprint retrospective
- Sprint retrospective meeting
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- Workflow diagram
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