The perfect match: where are clients looking for a consultancy?

Decision makers from both the public and private sectors were asked how they find a suitable consultancy to carry out a job and where they look for their information - and the internet was seen as the best resource.

When quizzed on the most useful source of information on consultancies and how to find them in the first place, the overall winner was, as might be expected, the general internet search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Ask.com

This year, for the first time, the specialist trade websites like edie polled higher than trade magazines.

This is perhaps because they can help narrow the search and provide a much sharper focus, while displaying information on consultancies by sector in an easy-to-browse format.

They also have the advantage of linking through to the websites of the consultants themselves.

While the net was now seen as the most efficient way to search for information, trade magazines and exhibitions were also seen as a good way to find a firm and further facts.

Magazines appeal to the traditionalists and have often established themselves as a trusted, reliable source of information, while exhibitions have the obvious advantage of being able to do business face to face and network with those who could potentially do the job.

Further down the pecking order were conferences which might be a valuable source of information and insider knowledge, but were seen as a less useful way of sourcing a consultancy for a contract.

Way down the list were specialist paper directories, which barely registered on the decision makers' radar, perhaps outdated by the easier to use and more expansive internet options.

Propping up the bottom of the table were the yellow pages - with very few of the people tasked with hiring consultancies admitting to reaching for the phone book to source the company they needed for the job.


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