How to engage industry experts

2. Where to find industry experts

Use Market Research Tips (a BlueTool) to find industry experts.

So who are the industry experts that can help your new-product team gain intelligence? In some cases, they are individuals that have retired, and become a “consultant.” These experts have deep experience and relationships… but be careful: If they retired long ago, you’ll be paying for stale insights. In other cases, these individuals are currently employed, either by active customers and suppliers to the market… or as market-specific consulting firms.

The best place to start your search for industry experts is at > BlueTools > Market Research/Segmentation > Market Research Tips Sheet.

In the third section of this BlueTools website, you’ll see hyperlinks to several sources. These can be grouped as follows:

  • Industry networks: These fee-based services, e.g. GLG and AlphaSights, maintain large pre-existing networks of industry experts. If the experts you’re looking for are already listed, the service will set up a phone interview between the expert and yourself. These services also have robust search capabilities… and can often locate and contract with unlisted experts outside their network.
  • Trade Associations: There are thousands of industry trade associations. Use the directory listed here to find an association that covers your target market. Then reach out to their home office and ask if they have any consultants they can recommend. They’ll often put you in touch with popular consultants active in their industry. In many cases, these are retired, well-respected individuals with excellent industry contacts.
  • LinkedIn: It’s generally not good form to use this service to promote yourself. But if you ask members of your LinkedIn network for recommendations on experts you might hire, they’re often glad to make the connection.

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