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Market intelligence experts – which is better: own employees or external specialists?


Which solution brings more advantages: employing a professional or a team to analyse and research markets or establishing cooperation with an external market intelligence expert or agency? In what situation is it worth expanding a team? And when will external support be the best solution?

After making a decision of using the benefits offered by market intelligence , each company faces a challenge on how to organise the process of searching for information, collecting and analysing data and conducting market research. One of the issues to be considered is the relationship between the company and the market intelligence expert. Should it be a full-time or part-time employment contract or an agreement with an external specialist or firm?


Unfortunately, there is no universal solution to this problem. But it is possible to specify in what types of tasks each of these two approaches can bring the best results. The lists below are not complete, but they give an overview of the situations in which each of these options are recommended.


Employment of a market intelligence expert


Here are the tasks that an internal employee (or team) will perform better than an external market intelligence expert:


- tasks that can be carried out with the resources possessed by the company (time, competences, technology, etc.),

- tasks that are focused not on developing or changing existing solutions, but on fine-tuning or implementing them,

- tasks requiring great knowledge and understanding of the specifics of the company (people, procedures, processes, offers, etc.) without having to spend time to acquire this knowledge,

- tasks extending over a very long time period and requiring constant, long-term commitment (longer than one year),

- tasks that may not require expert knowledge and extensive experience in a given topic,

- tasks less susceptible to the impact of mechanisms such as group thinking or subjective opinions.


Cooperation with external market intelligence experts


Here is a description of sample tasks for which an external market intelligence expert will be an ideal solution:


- one-time projects with a defined time, scope of tasks, purpose and effect to achieve,

- tasks requiring specific resources and research methodologies that are inaccessible within the company (time, knowledge, experience, competences, tools, business relations, etc.),

- tasks which execution inside the company generates too high costs or too high risk with quality, or requires unwanted extension of the implementation time,

- tasks possible to conduct only while maintaining full objectivity, neutrality and lack of entanglement in existing systems and relationships,

- tasks that require an external, fresh look at a given issue, sometimes also a helicopter view,

- tasks that should be performed by using unconventional and innovative ideas, which will make the company stand out from the competition.


Solutions combining internal and external resources


Not all tasks carried out in a company can be qualified to one of the previously described groups. Most cases usually require an approach combining both options considered in this article. But this topic will be presented soon in a separate article. [link to be added later on, when the additional article will be published]


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