Typically, traditional market research methods involve collecting and interpreting the data acquired from surveys, focus groups, customer feedback, and industry reports. The results of this research are then used to influence product development, marketing strategies, and business decisions. Increasingly, however, this approach is being supplanted by the use of expert networks.
In the modern business world, expert networks are disrupting traditional research methods by providing faster and more accurate information about consumer behavior and industry trends and developments. By leveraging the skills of experienced professionals for clients, expert networks are able to boost real-time analysis and insights to inform business decisions.
Traditional methods of research will undoubtedly still have their place, and will probably serve as the source of primary data for analysis for some time, but expert networks now generally offer a more efficient and cost-effective alternative for companies looking to remain competitive in a dynamic and evolving market.
The Rise of Expert Networks
First coming onto the scene in the late 1990s, expert networks are (usually digital) platforms that connect businesses with experienced professionals from various sectors to benefit from their insight, advice, and expertise.
These experts can be former company executives, consultants, academics, or subject-matter experts in different industries and fields. Expert networks allow businesses to gain first-hand insights from experts in order to better inform their business decisions and stay ahead of the competition.
The platforms that connect professionals and clients have enjoyed phenomenal growth in recent years, partly driven by the increasing appetite for “on-demand” expert knowledge. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this growth as businesses increasingly turned to expert networks in order to navigate the disruptions and uncertainties that resulted from the crisis.
Limitations of Traditional Market Research Methods
Traditional market research methods including surveys, observational studies, focus groups, and industry reports have a number of limitations.
- One of the most significant limitations is that traditional methods usually rely on self-reported data which can often be biased, incomplete, or inaccurate.
- Surveys, focus groups, and industry reports can quite often be expensive as well as time-consuming as they rely on extensive planning and coordination.
- Another limitation of traditional methods is that using a specific sample size, may not capture the full range of consumer or customer opinion.
- Lastly, traditional methods of research can struggle to keep pace with today’s dynamic and ever-changing marketplace and so may not be useful in providing real-time insights or guidance on how to adapt to emerging trends.
The Advantages of Expert Networks
Expert networks come with a number of advantages for any business wishing to conduct market research. Perhaps the most significant advantage is that they give businesses direct access to specialized expertise and knowledge, quickly and efficiently.
Expert networks can also usually provide a broader range of insight and information than traditional market research methods. Companies can therefore consult with a truly diverse pool of experts and industry professionals in a shorter time.