LinkedIn is a professional social network that offers countless opportunities for networking; for keeping track of industry developments and connecting with those within. To make this even easier LinkedIn provides industry specific groups through which you can interact and in this blog we will be looking at some of the best groups available for Insight Professionals.
The mere membership of such groups ensures that the majority of people there have a shared interest and likely experience of market research and/or the insight profession providing you with a range of informed answers from people working in a variety of relevant fields with different perspectives. As with anything in life, the more you put into it the more you will get out of it. Simply joining a group is not enough to expand your knowledge base; you need to become an active contributing participant in order to glean insight from your peers.
So, what’s going wrong here and which questions should your market research agency be asking you to resolve?
Groups give you a platform to view the issues and opportunities currently at play in your industry and engage with people facing the same. It’s all about leveraging the knowledge of others to your advantage, but you have to remember that this is a mutual beneficial relationship.
The Market Research Professionals group on LinkedIn looks to unite those working in this industry and has done a good job so far with over 92,000 members. It acts as a meeting place to openly share and debate market research best practice allowing for the mutual professional development of anyone willing to get involved. As well as market research this group also encourages the discussion of broader concepts such as strategic planning and competitive intelligence.
Industries: Market Research, Competitive Intelligence, Strategic Planning
Founded: April 2008
You will find that some market research groups are more exclusive than others. This group requires individuals that have had at least 7 years of experience in the industry, so it may not be an option for you to begin with. Such a strict entry requirement ensures that those who are in the group are all knowledgeable in the area and have wisdom to share based on a wealth of experience. This group is aimed more towards those who are interested in non-traditional market research. They suggest that market research needs to change in the same way that consumers are changing, seeking to challenge existing methods.
Industries: Market Research, Analytics
Members: 31,945 (with at least 7 years of experience in market research)
Founded: September 2007
Market research is increasingly conducted in the digital realm and this group is dedicated to such practice. From online surveys, discussions and interviews to scrapbooks, smartboards and video feedback; there are a whole host of virtual market research methods available. This group facilitates the coming together of digital market research professionals and allows specialists in the area to share their expertise. With over 40,000 members you are sure to come across some interesting deliberations and you might even learn a thing or two.
Industries: Market Research (particularly digital market research)
Founded: November 2007
This group is open to all market researchers, regardless of their level of experience. Whether you are just starting out in your first market research role or have had over 20 years of experience this group will have something for you. It is the largest online community for market research and insight professionals and is operated as an open forum for anyone to talk perspectives, seek job opportunities and learn. This group may be particularly helpful if you are just starting out in market research and looking for somewhere to get some advice.
Industries: Market Research
Founded: January 2009
Future Trends is a far broader group that those previously mentioned spanning numerous industries and is arguably significant to everyone regardless of their job role. It can be hard to keep up with the insurmountable rate of change in business, technology, lifestyle, etc. This group seeks to make the changes more accessible and understandable. It advocates the discovery of news trends, new ways of thinking and corporate visionaries; those who always want to be a few steps ahead of whatever is current, the trend-setters, innovators and early adopters, those that embrace change before it has even occurred. This group has over half a million members and has been rated as a top group in two business publications: Startup Grind and Business News Daily.
Industries: Marketing, Brand/Product Management, Consumer Insights, Strategic Planning, Product Development, Innovation, Forecasting, Future Strategy, Trend Tracking
Founded: July 2008
LinkedIn groups provide easy access to a global wealth of knowledge when and where you want it. How you decide to use that knowledge is entirely up to you, but regardless consulting the opinions of others is often a wise move. It enables you to address problems in advance that may not have occurred to you otherwise and consider the wider opportunistic viewpoint.
With so many groups available it is difficult to know which ones, and how many, to join. You need to decide how much time you can realistically dedicate to keeping up to date with the groups. Perhaps one group will prove more than capable of acting as a sounding board for your ideas or maybe you want to be in more groups to ensure that you are kept informed of wider industry changes. Either way, LinkedIn has built up a wealth of groups for insight professionals that are just waiting for you to log in and start discovering. I hope that the guide to my preferred groups above gives you a directional head start. Good luck!
The original version of this article appeared on the FlexMR Insight Blog and can be accessed here.