As a market research recruiting firm, we recruit for all types and scopes of qualitative and quantitative studies. Often, we work hand-in-hand with nationwide qualitative research firmsto manage participant recruitment. Over the past few years we’ve noticed a shift in the complexity of research that qualitative research consultants are tasked with. Many studies require experts or C-suite executives, and more and more we are being asked if we can recruit experts for ongoing studies or one-time consultations.
Welcome to the world of Expert Networks. While expert networks have been around for years, they remain relatively unknown outside of investment and management consultant circles. This blog is a first in a series that will explore the basics of expert networks; highlight how expert networks can be utilized to maximize the effectiveness of market research; and show researchers how to connect with expert networks.
Expert Networks, a Primer
Expert Networks are pools of experts in various fields who are available for consultations or participation in market research. Management consultants and investors are the two industries that most often tap into expert networks to better understand and gain insight into a specific field or topic. Hedge funds and investors will often have a consultation with someone from an expert network who can provide more holistic insight into a category that would otherwise be difficult to access. For example, if an investment company was looking to invest in blueberry farms, they’d want to talk with someone who was vertically integrated in this industry to quickly understand the potential opportunities and risks. An investor, or team, wouldn’t likely have knowledge of this industry without consulting an ‘expert’ in this field.
For those working in consulting, having opportunities to speak with experts in a specific field, allows a more comprehensive overview of the industry or category. Such insight can be invaluable to consultants who are hired to provide strategic recommendations.
Tapping into expert networks isn’t limited to consulting and investing. As the concept becomes more familiar to those outside of these two industries, many others are realizing the benefit of having access to experts. For instance,news organizations may want to consult with an expert in a specific field before reporting on a story. Such consultation not only can help with accuracy, but to ensure the proper wording or phrasing is used when discussing a specific topic.
There is no limit to the types of experts that may need to be called upon. Most every type of industry has specialists and experts, and from time-to-time people outside such industries need insight into a given field.
Our next blog will cover how expert networks can be tapped to enhance market research.