While I don't support wasting time and energy on worthless activities, I can't vouch for ever having found the recommendation to research to be of any value. I am definitely 'promiscuous' with recruiters, and not a believer in networking, although I have a fairly high profile in LinkedIn.
Unlike most people that have a job that many people are qualified for, I am a niche contractor, not looking for permanent work. I work in a common language, or a set of tools, that few people specialize in, with a background at major corporations. When someone needs one of my specialties, I'll get calls and emails from 5 different recruiters. My specialization is also why I can never commit to one recruiter; when I need work, they don't have openings, but someone else does. And I have had repeat engagements from different clients, and with different recruiters. They find me jobs, take a percentage of the rate, and if the engagement is long-lasting, they barely have to milk the cow, just take the cream.
For extroverts, and those looking to sell, networking might be wonderful, but I'm nauseous of the promotion of networking. People find me engaging, well spoken, helpful, and I can certainly self-promote, but I'm not that interested in other people: I'm kind of half introvert/extrovert. I enjoy people, but I also enjoy my alone time, with my wife, my music, my books, and my fitness activities. Most people are extroverts, and likely, most people are not finding much help networking.
My primary focus, has been getting recruiters to see my resume on line. Right or wrong, I think recruiters look at people as a very narrow skillet and they have to fill/exceed the requirements, particularly in bad times. I keep my headline clear and simple. When searching I update my resume daily, or a few times a week. I focus on detailing my technical skills, not exaggerating my experience, or pumping it up with filler.
In truth, it's been a little bit of luck - I have a desired, niche skill set in technology, with a strong background at major financials - as well as being able to capitalize on my niche market.