How to engage industry experts

1. How industry experts can help

Before interview customers, it often helps to interview an industry expert.

You may not need any help from industry experts if you’re planning to develop a new product or service for a market segment you are already familiar with. But if you plan to pursue a market that is adjacent—or even totally unfamiliar—to your business, these experts can be extremely helpful. They can provide you with information on…

  • Key customers in the market segment, beyond the dry facts. Who is winning, who is losing, who is open to innovation, etc.
  • Which competitors you should watch closely, and how you might anticipate their moves.
  • Which technologies are now being used… or are likely to be used.
  • Important trends, e.g. global growth patterns, market discontinuities, regulatory matters, etc.
  • Most important: These experts can introduce you to key customers and other market players. Because this is their “home industry,” they can open doors to contacts unavailable to you.

Tip: It’s rare that a single industry expert has all the information you seek. Each expert will have a different “slant,” heavily influenced by his/her own experience. Plan on interviewing multiple experts to get a “360” view of your target market segment.

For tips on where to find these experts, see the next BlueHelp article, Where to find industry experts.


Keywords: industry expert, consultant, market research tips sheet, retired expert, expert network