Corporate Directions, Inc.

Conducting “industry interviews” to get a more accurate picture of the industry to make valuable recommendations as a professional consultant

  • Case Study


Shinichiro Urabe


– Could you tell us about how you came to use VQ?

Our business is to work together with clients to solve the unique management issues clients are facing. In consulting, it is essential to gain a deep understanding of clients, and analyze facts related to the clients’ products, services, customers, and competitors in the market. For this reason, the more information there is the better, and the more accurate the information the better. In addition, as we help resolve issues irrespective of industry sector or theme, we need to learn as much as possible for each project about the industry sector in which our clients operate.

Together with internal interviews with clients, we sometimes use information available on the internet as means of gathering information. But information is not necessarily openly available for all sectors. In the BtoB sector, there tends to be a lack of information available. For sectors where little information is publicly available, we used to search for and talk to people with knowledge of the sector. Besides asking via our networks, we also sometimes used a cold call approach.

However, with this approach, it is very difficult to find people who have the information you are looking for, and even if you do find them, they may not agree to be interviewed. With VQ’s Expert Interview, you can search and get a list of experts if you tell them who you are looking for, so you can proceed with the interview efficiently while improving the quality of the information collected.

– Could you give us your thoughts on using VQ Expert Interview?

The value of VQ is that it can lower your cost, including the time it takes to talk to the experts who have the information you are looking for. We have used it on several projects so far and feel that it has been highly accurate in finding the right experts. Also, since we pay an honorarium for the interviews, the experts respond properly and it’s easy to ask honest questions. Since the questions are approved in advance by the experts, it as an efficient way to gather the information we are looking for. As a consulting professional, how do you use the information you have obtained?

By doing thorough research beforehand and creating a hypothesis for the interview, the quality and quantity of input you obtain will improve. In addition to simple information gathering, it is useful to be able to share ideas about the industry structure and hypotheses of future development in a flat manner. It is not true to say that consultants are unnecessary if there is information from experts, as the value of consultants is to be able to derive suggestions based on various information and past experiences while using interviews with experts as one piece of information. We don’t specialize in any industry, and we don’t make standardized recommendations, so we think from scratch every time we work with a client. That being the case, we try to provide value-added solutions to our clients by obtaining high-quality information and deepening our thinking from it.

– Could you tell us about any future plans?

Technology-driven new businesses are gaining momentum even in large corporations. If there are few people who have experience in launching new businesses, more and more companies are turning to consulting firms like ours. In addition, using consultants has the merit of buying time and attacking at once when speed is required, and has the expected effect of educating the employees who work with us. I think there will be situations where we will be required to gather facts more quickly and analyze them more accurately, and we would like to use VQ again in such cases.