In other words, who has the greatest need for market researchers and would be willing to hire people virtually? And what kind of projects do you think make sense in such a context?
Maybe hire a freelance market researcher to find out? ;)
Generally, something like this is going to appeal to fortune 500 companies. Smaller companies and entrepreneurs are going to be doing market research themselves.
From the question it is difficult to tell if you have come into possession of such a platform, or are thinking about building one. Regardless, to succeed it's crucial that you deeply understand who your target customer is and what pain you are solving for them. Most ideas for a business stem from the entrepreneur's discovery of a solution to a problem for a certain group of people.
Since who has the greatest need is unclear to you at the moment, the best thing to do might be to contact people at companies who you think have the greatest need. Find a way to get in touch with someone at the company involved in hiring market researchers, and ask them what challenges they face. You can also talk with a few market researchers themselves to get an idea of where they see the greatest demand of companies looking to hire them. Hope this helps.
Fair disclosure: I am angel investor in a company called Survata which allows companies to access market research via a self-service web application.
I don't think a marketplace of market research freelancers is really filling a significant need or pain-point. Companies care about getting access to data, and generally have someone on staff or sub-out professional assistance if required.
I recognize this doesn't answer your question directly but as it seems you are trying to determine the viability of the concept, I am answering it in that context.
Back in College, my friends and I started a company called Lake Effect Innovation. It was us (students) who wanted to help entrepreneurs conduct research on their markets given that they didn't have access to many resources.
As students, we had access to a wealth of online databases that we wanted "learn" from and provide market size, competition, SWOT data, and feasibility analysis to entrepreneurs. Although, we realized the early stage entrepreneurs didn't want to spend any money, so we started working with local Economic Development and Venture Capital firms helping them research entrepreneurs' business opportunities that they wanted to invest in.
Some of the challenges we faced as students were lack of experience or depth in an particular industry. As a result, we were mainly presenting data from Frost & Sullivan lightly peppered with our "opinions" on the trend in the market place.
Furthermore, each organization wanted information presented to them differently and coming up with a cookie-cutter approach for low enough price point (given our lack of experience) was difficult.
The benefit of doing a company while in school was it helped me get hired as an analyst at a local Venture Capital firm, and now I'm at my second startup. :-)
Feel free to reach out to me if I can be assistance!
Hi and thanks for inviting me to answer this question. Unfortunately, when I sold vWorker.com, I also signed a noncompete agreement that prevents me from assisting companies that would compete with Freelancer.com. But I wish you the best of luck with your idea and company.