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The Effects of Choice Presentation on Consumer Satisfaction

 

By Ramya Parameswaran 

cmb, choice presentationIf you’ve never lived in Boston, you might not understand the spectacle that is September 1st. It’s the day that most new leases start, which means it’s the day almost every person in the city moves into a different apartment. U-Hauls crowd the narrow streets, abandoned furniture sits on the sidewalks, and new neighbors begin to pack into the halls. 

This year, as I watched boxes being lugged around, I couldn’t help but feel relieved that I didn't have to move. While moving itself is a chore, apartment hunting is the more challenging part of the process—should I go in for a one bed or a two bed? Should I just pay another $150 per month and get additional square footage? Or should I stay firm and stick to my original budget? And this is the most agonizing question of all: if I let this apartment go, will I regret it? The process is exhausting, and even though you know you'd make the very same choices if you were to go through it again, there is no sense of triumph in the final decision made. Why is that? 

Think about it: what makes a house hunt different from the many other choices we’re faced with on a regular basis, such as buying a can of soup or a light bulb? Besides needing to deal with a real-estate agent, the key difference lies in how the choices are presented to us. In one situation, we are presented with choices sequentially (you see one house at a time), whereas in the other situation, we’re shown all the options at once (you choose a can of soup from an array of options at the store). So why does this matter? According to a study by Cassie Mogilner, Baba Shiv, and Sheena Iyengar, the way in which we are presented with choices has a considerable impact on how happy we are with the chosen option and how committed we are to that choice.

In one of the experiments conducted, researchers showed participants descriptions of five gourmet chocolates and asked them to choose the one they wanted to taste. One group of respondents (sequential choosers) was shown the chocolates one at a time, while the other group (simultaneous choosers) was shown the chocolates all at once. Once participants selected a chocolate and sampled it, they were each asked individually to complete a survey and indicate how satisfied they were with their choice.

The result? Participants who were presented with the options one at a time were less satisfied with their choice than the participants who considered all the options at once. More interestingly, “sequential choosers” were also more likely to switch to a different option when given the choice to swap for a randomly selected option about which they knew nothing, indicating lower levels of commitment among this group.

The reason? As you might expect, the regret of having passed up “better” options plays some role, but researchers found that this goes away once the chooser is allowed to pick from previously seen options. What really drives lower satisfaction among “sequential choosers” is the feeling of “hope.” According to the research, sequential choosers know that alternatives will become available in the future, so they tend to “imagine a better option, hoping it will become available.” This focus on other possible options leaves them less happy with their selection. In contrast, “simultaneous choosers” remain focused on the options in front of them, and, as a result, are more satisfied and ultimately more committed to their choice.

What does this mean for businesses? When deciding how to present your products to consumers, it is worth noting the impact that this could have on their commitment to the products. This research clearly shows that allowing consumers to evaluate all their options simultaneously (vs. one at a time) results in higher levels of satisfaction. This, in turn, impacts product returns/cancellations, customer loyalty, and advocacy for the brand.

What does this mean for market researchers? When designing concept test exercises, it is important to understand the impact that sequential vs. simultaneous presentation will have on consumer satisfaction and commitment ratings to the chosen option.

As for me, while I can’t change how options will be presented the next time I look for a house, I now understand the inherent limitation of the process. . . and that the “best one” may be the one I have in hand and not one yet to come.

Ramya Parameswaran is a Project Manager at CMB. She is passionate about consumer marketing and is always on the lookout for new insights on what drives consumer choice. 

NEW WEBINAR 11/12 AT 12:30 PM EST

The New Hotel Path to Purchase: The Mobile, Social, and Online Journey As part of CMB’s Consumer Pulse program, we asked 2,000 leisure travelers to share their journey from awareness to booking. This webinar will give insight into the role of mobile, apps, customer reviews, and social media. 

Register Today!

Big Data: We’ve Only Just Begun

 

By Jonah Lundberg 

big data, chadwick martin baileyData has existed in the modern business world for a long time (think manila folders in file cabinets in every office on every floor). Digitized data has been around for a while now, too (think virtual folders in hard drives connected to seemingly bottomless computer networks). So why, in just the past few years, have all of us become so excited about and actually engaged in data? We even decided to give it a new name—“big” data. Where did all this excitement come from? Why is it happening? If you asked Tom Breur, Cengage Learning’s VP of Analytics who spoke about big data at NEMRA’s Spring into Action event earlier this year, he would tell you that it’s because there has been a recent surge in data volume (mostly thanks to the emergence of machine-generated data and machine-to-machine communication). This surge led to an ever-expanding data surplus—a surplus that would not have had a home if it weren’t for subsequent innovations in the type of software that manages huge amounts of data and the innovations that led to much more efficient data warehousing capabilities.

Initially, large companies were the only ones who had any sort of big data capability (credit scores and fraud protection are two early examples), and until recently these companies were the only ones to leverage those capabilities to play the big data game when it came to predicting their customers’ behavior. But in their July-August issue, Inc. Magazine featured an article detailing how smaller companies are now allowed to play as well, thanks to decreasing technology costs and increasing user-friendliness of big data software.

All of this begs the question: will companies, big and small, no longer need market researchers? After all, big data solutions allow companies to learn about their customers and make more informed business decisions, and let’s not forget that the newest big data solutions are so user-friendly that companies can do all the consumer insights themselves. However, I don’t think market researchers will be replaced anytime soon. Big data may be able to tell you the “what,” but it can’t tell you the “why.”

Enter the story of the widely-covered 2013 Google Flu Trends “Epidemic.” By running algorithms based on flu-related Google searches and searchers’ locations, Google Flu Trends had been historically accurate in predicting how much of the U.S. population had the flu. However, in 2013, it inaccurately predicted the number. In fact, it predicted twice the number reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention! How did this happen? The widespread media coverage of the severe flu season in the U.S. spread like a virus throughout social media, which led to an increase in flu-related Google searches. Many of these searches were from people who thought they might have the flu—“I’m sniffling! I’m sneezing!”—but didn’t. Since Google Flu Trends didn’t consider the context and wasn’t able to ask Googlers why they were Googling flu-like symptoms, it thought 11% of the U.S. population had the flu when the actual number was closer to 6%.

Mark Hansen of Columbia University summed it up best when he said, “Data is not a magic force in society; it’s an extension of us.” Can you believe it? Big data is actually quite human. It tells a story about people because it comes from people, and it’s simply a new medium through which people are telling stories about themselves. It’s like collaborative storytelling. Remember those stories that your teachers would have you start and then make other kids add to? It’s similar, but with a simple twist: big data is collaborative non-fiction. But the authors are still people, which brings it back to market researchers. As market researchers, we not only ask people questions about how they feel or what they do, but we also ask why. We’re able to apply the context that, as evidenced by the Google Flu Trends Epidemic, big data is not able to accomplish alone.

Even though we’re not being replaced, we still have to adapt. For example, there is a great opportunity in synthesizing what we do with the data our research partners have in-house. By combining our knowledge of the “why” with a research partner’s “what,” we can identify the error in what would have otherwise been our research partner’s version of the Google Flu Trends Epidemic if they had not been appropriately focused on why the data looked the way it did. For a company attempting to adjust its product offerings, this could be the difference between abandoning its most loyal customers and maintaining those loyal customers by keeping them happy, all while successfully gaining new customers in the process.

The number of success stories that result from combining the best of both worlds—the what and the why—seems to be ever-expanding. Here at CMB, we have had the pleasure of co-authoring a few of those success stories. For market research, big data is a good thing and worth adapting for. Company by company, the market research industry should adapt in order to set itself up not only for survival, but also for leadership in the next century of consumer insights so we can continue to play the role of co-author in a story that has only just begun.

Jonah is a Senior Associate Research at CMB. He enjoys traveling with his friends and family, and he can't wait for the hockey season to start up again.

Join us at The Market Research Event in October! Use the code CMB2014 and receive 25% off your registration. 

Register Today!

Going to CRC? Come See Us!

 

CRC, corporate researchers conferenceLater this week, we’re packing our bags and jetting off to the Windy City for the Corporate Research Conference! There, you’ll find us sharing insights, networking, catching up with our fantastic clients, and sneaking a piece of Chicago-style pizza.

While you’re there, don’t miss a presentation from our very own Chris Neal and Research Now’s Melanie Courtright on an industry hot topic: mobile! Their presentation, entitled Modularized Research Design for a Mobile World, will discuss the collaboration between CMB and Research Now that allowed us to modularize a traditional purchasing survey, which will enable researchers to reach mobile shoppers en masse. They will also review sampling and weighting best practices and study design considerations as well as what works—and what doesn’t work—to impute and/or to “data-stitch” the resulting data file together for different types of variables to work with a “whole” data set that minimizes error. You can catch them on Thursday, September 18 at 4PM at the Research Now Genius Lab.

Make sure to use hashtag #CRC2014 to join the conversation and the excitement. We can’t wait to see you!

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The Lessons of Market Basket and the Rewards of a Strong Company Culture

 
By Anne Bailey Berman market basket, cmb, employee satisfaction, company culture

Our readers who aren’t from New England might be surprised by the topic that dominated our news this summer. It wasn’t the state of the Middle East. It wasn’t even our upcoming gubernatorial race. No, the story that got the most space in the Boston Globe was a fight over ownership of a family-owned regional supermarket—Market Basket. A fight that closed dozens of stores and sent customers and employees into the streets to protest. 

market basket, cmb, company culture, employee satisfaction

The family drama between CEO Arthur T. Demoulas (“Artie T.”) and his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas is over now. “Artie T.” bought out his cousin, loyal customers are thrilled, striking workers are getting back to work, and the store shelves are being refilled. So if it’s all over, why is the Market Basket saga still on my mind? 

I shopped at Market Basket last Friday and immediately realized how much I missed it. The experience at Market Basket is truly different from shopping at the other stores I used during the shut-down. Employees were actually thanking us for coming in, and their gratitude seemed genuine. 

These employees across 71 Market Basket stores did the unthinkable by collectively refusing to work after the dismissal of their president. Yes, loyalty was involved—in fact, “Artie T.” knew their birthdays and attended their weddings—but their actions hold a deeper lesson for businesses everywhere. In a time when many businesses emphasize short term profits, and when stockholders are always more important than employees, this episode of family feud showed what employees valued and how powerful they could be. 

The employees were loyal to “Artie T.” Their risky and enduring work stoppage was motivated by Market Basket’s management’s understanding that employees are important players in the organization, which is demonstrated by their unusual decision to give employees middle class salaries instead of minimum wage. This strong company culture is reflected in the long tenure of many employees and in the customer experience.

As the gap between the haves and have-nots widen in the United States, this is an example of the power of treating employees well. For me, it was a reinforcement of the brand experience that I immediately recognized.  Many business leaders should appreciate this and ask themselves whether their employees would do the same for them if faced with the same situation. When it comes to CMB, I truly believe a large part of our success and the incredible value we bring to our clients is based on our company culture and our exceptional employees.

Anne is the President of Chadwick Martin Bailey and enjoys volunteering in the community, traveling with her family, and spending time in her vegetable garden.

If you’d like to be a part of our team, check out our open positions

NFL Popularity Rises as Fans Leave Stadiums

 

Originally posted on the South Street Strategy Group Blog

By Lindsay Maroney

nfl, user experience, customer experience,

With the National Football League (NFL) projected to make over $9 billion this year, it is the most profitable and popular professional sports league in the US. Despite this, the NFL is struggling to fill its stadiums, with overall attendance experiencing recent declines. While attendance numbers reached a high of 17.4 million for the 2007 season, it fell to 16.6 million in 2011. Although it has rebounded, totaling 17.3 million in 2013, attendance remains a concern.

One likely reason is that the “experience” of watching a game from home has begun to rival or even surpass that of attending one live. Advances in TV technology give fans a better view, and programs, such as NFL RedZone and DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket, make it possible to watch live action from multiple games at once. In addition, the cost of attending an NFL game has continued to rise. In 2013, the average price per ticket was $82, up 3% from 2012 and more than 50% from 2003. Parking, meanwhile, averaged $31 and beer, $7. Taking into account only these purchases, which does not include money spent on food, memorabilia, or tailgating, a pair of fans will spend over $200 to attend a single game. Watching at home will cost only a fraction of this amount.

As a result, NFL teams are overhauling their customer experience efforts, making an attempt to keep fans coming to their stadiums. For the 2014 season, all teams must meet minimum standards for Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity, and some teams have already taken this a step further. The New England Patriots, for example, have a Gameday Live app, which allows fans access to game replays, live field cameras, statistics, league scores, restroom wait times, weather, traffic and more. The Atlanta Falcons have a similar app, Falcons Mobile, but theirs also includes exclusive opportunities for season ticket holders to stand in the tunnel as the players run out, hold the flag on the field during pregame, or receive an in-game visit from a Falcons cheerleader. In addition to these apps, many teams are planning to improve the view by installing new mega video boards, and the San Francisco 49ers newly constructed stadium includes a “fantasy football lounge” so fans can follow their fantasy team.

The franchise that takes the grand prize in these efforts, however, is the Jacksonville Jaguars. Investing $63 million in renovations this past off-season, the Jaguars revamped their video boards and installed an interactive fan area. Highlighting these installments are the two largest outdoor displays in the US, which measure at 362 feet wide and 60 feet tall, and a two-story Party Deck. The Party Deck includes cabana-style seating areas, video screens, bars, and two large spa-type wading pools and other water features.

While the continued profitability and popularity of the NFL is not in doubt, the primary viewing venue of fans is. The battle to reach consumers will continue, as more NFL teams strive to bring added comforts to the stadium. 

South Street Strategy GroupLindsay is an Associate Consultant at  South Street Strategy Group. South Street Strategy Group, an independent sister company of Chadwick Martin Bailey, integrates the best of strategy consulting and marketing science to develop better growth and value delivery strategies. Read South Street's Strategy Group's blog here.

 

Guest Post: New Research Highlights Hotel Booking Path to Purchase

 

Originally posted in Loyalty360's Loyalty Management magazine

CMB Consumer Pulse, Path to Purchase, Hotel BookingFor a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is the number of available sources to connect with consumers.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information. When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

Check out our infographic here

For more on our mobile stitching methodology, please see CMB's Chris Neal's webinar with Research Now: watch the webinar

 

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

New Consumer Pulse: Mobile Users Upending Hotel Path to Purchase

 

By Judy Melanson

Our latest Consumer Pulse report—a study of 2,000 leisure travelers—found that mobile, social, and online factors influence travelers very differently at separate stages of the hotel booking purchase journey.

We know travelers have a ton of information at their fingertips as they plan and book hotels for their vacations. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.

For more information on how technology is changing the path to purchase download the full report here and see an infographic with a few of the findings below:

The New Hotel Booking Path to Purchase

Download the full report.

For more on our mobile stitching methodology, please see CMB's Chris Neal's webinar with Research Now: Watch the Webinar

Judy Melanson is the head of CMB's Travel and Hospitality Practice. She just returned from a very leisurely trip to South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Stephanie Kimball is CMB's Senior Marketing Manager and created the infographic above. She can't wait for her upcoming trip to London, Amsterdam, Munich, and Prague!

In-N-Out Serves up a Side of Innovation

 

By Hilary O'Haire

innovation, innovative, In-N-Out BurgerI've just returned from a week-long vacation to California, and I'm still feeling the joy (and guilt) from satisfying my ultimate indulgence: In-N-Out Burger. Since I’m an East Coaster without frequent access to their locations, my trip would not have been complete without going at least once. I have another confession: I ate there three times in ten days. I may have overdone it, but my love of the brand is predictable. In-N-Out Burger is the one chain Millennials will return to time and time again—we just can’t seem to get enough of it. This is not new nor surprising news. As a Millennial myself, I am enamored by the restaurant, which offers a simple four item menu, fast service, and garden-fresh ingredients.

A report by Technomic states, “In-N-Out Burger is the chain most likely to be revisited. Millennials place greater emphasis on the concept's brand image, agreeing more strongly than other generations that In-N-Out Burger supports local community activities, offers new and exciting products and is an innovative brand.” To me, the most interesting finding is that In-N-Out’s brand is seen as innovative. This begs the question: how can they be innovative if they only offer four items? Devout fans may point to the success of their “not-so-secret menu,” which is listed only on their website and boasts creative burger combinations, as a reason. However, I’d like to think In-N-Out serves as a gentle reminder: innovation doesn't always mean complexity. Although customers may continue to eat up crazier menu choices, the actual menu at each location remains clear and unchanging: burgers, french fries, shakes, and beverages.

Although it's impossible to avoid complexity at all phases, the root of innovation or product development should remain simple. When beginning to think about innovation—perhaps a new product or new process to improve your business—let this be a helpful reminder to have a focused core set of objectives in mind. Using In-N-Out’s magic number four, take a step back and ask yourself: What are the (up to) four innovation objectives that I need to guarantee success? Your success will be defined by multiple outcomes, from stakeholder support to the ultimate goal of application or use. However, keeping clear and consistent objectives will ground your innovation through execution and management. The end result of these objectives may be unknown, but who knows?—you may find yourself concocting your own “not-so-secret menu” of innovative ideas.

Hilary O’Haire is Senior Associate at CMB. If you find yourself at In-N-Out Burger in the near future, she recommends not-so-secretly ordering your meal ‘Protein Style.’  

Join us at The Market Research Event! Use the code CMB2014 and receive 25% off your registration. 

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6 Questions with Allstate’s Bob Pankauskas

 

By Anne Bailey Berman

allstate, innovation, Bob Pankauskas  Allstate Insurance’s Director of Consumer Insights, Bob Pankauskas, sat down with CMB President Anne Bailey Berman to talk innovation, mobile, and what clients need to expect from market researchers.

Anne: Innovation isn’t a word people typically associate with insurance, yet the industry’s changed drastically in the past 5 years. How has that impacted you as a Market Researcher?

Bob: Innovation is a big part of what my team is charged with supporting. We’ve been doing a lot more exploration in terms of coming up with new products and services. This also means we need to broaden our toolkit with more exploratory and discovery work. For example, we’re rediscovering the world of ethnography to try and provide products and services for the future. We’ve done several ethnography projects, and we’re using new tools. We even had one of the ethnographies we did turned into a video that was used by the board of directors to showcase some interesting pain points consumers have with their cars. We’re also doing more and more concept testing and developing and exploring ideas.

Anne: So when you’re talking about innovation, you’re talking about two types of innovation. You’re talking about innovation for products and services for Allstate, but you’re also talking about the innovation of information tools in your bucket. How do you determine if the tools you’re using for innovation are really helping you more than traditional tools?

Bob: The thing we’re always searching for is that insight—that visceral reaction that consumers have. Consumers are behaving in a certain way. Why are they behaving that way? Anything that helps us get to a good insight is really useful, and a lot of the nontraditional ways seem to be more useful than the traditional quantitative approach. You have to work a little harder to get insights out of a quantitative approach, so using qualitative helps a great deal. Our CMO will say, “Great, what’s the consumer insight? What is the pain point?”  We need to focus on the problem we’re solving for the customer. It’s very easy to ask, but often we find we’re solving a problem for Allstate and not really solving the problem for consumers.  We work hard to address that.

Anne: What research challenges are keeping you up at night?

Bob: A really pressing topic of the day is the migration to mobile. It’s only a matter of time before we migrate all of our research platforms to mobile devices. We want our respondents to be able to choose when, how, and where they answer our questions. At this point, we do optimize our surveys for mobile. We pay a lot of attention to question length, simplifying response options, and usability. Our goal is to make our surveys engaging and rigorous.

Of course, trackers are a bigger challenge—it’s painful to live through that period when you say, “. . . and then we changed everything and our numbers are different.” But there are incremental opportunities that mobile provides—being in the moment, getting a real-time view of sponsored events, and just the ability to capture insights when customers are in the midst of an experience. We’re also really excited to utilize consumer-generated images to get more color and context from mobile cameras and not just words and numbers.  The shift is inevitable and the opportunities are there. We just need to be mindful of what we lose and what we gain as we make trade-offs in terms of trending.

Anne: What about target markets?

Bob: We’re trying to go after Millennials like everybody else. Everybody is chasing them, and it’s hard to crack the code. Going after a target means going after them well—understanding their motivators and having a product or service that is tailored to them. I think we have found how they liked to be talked to. They want to be treated with respect. They do want to research things online, but they still want to talk to somebody and touch base with them. It’s more about the “how” and less about the “what.”

Anne: What consumer insights get you most excited? Which tools?

Bob: It isn’t necessarily the tool that gives you the best insights. It’s creating receptivity and listening carefully. One of the most powerful insights we had at Allstate was the need for tangibility. Insurance is an intangible product or service. When you’re getting it, you really don’t know what you’re getting.

The thing is that we’re trying to solve the same problem again and again. So the issue is, how can you—as a smart marketer, researcher, or innovator—change your perspective just a little bit and look at the same thing you’ve been looking at for a long time and say, “Oh! Wow! Look at that! That’s new!” Now maybe it wasn’t new, but you changed your perspective and suddenly saw it. Many of the new techniques allow that change in perspective, and that’s pretty powerful.

Anne: And finally, what would you tell market research vendors about how they can best support the decisions you need to make?

Bob: Partner with your clients. Experiment as often as you can because you’ve got to make changes. You don’t put all your bets on the stuff, but you do have to test and learn. And then the second thing is TLDR—too long, didn’t read. It’s a great feeling to know there’s a 100 page deck of tables to support whatever the project is and that you’ve got your money’s worth. But that’s not at all what we pass on to our internal clients. We live in an ADD world. We’re all time starved, so we need to get to that 1 page summary. Tell me the 2 things I need to know—what’s your recommendation and how this is actionable? The ability to do that is what I’m looking for in a partner.

Check out our new case study to see how we helped a top 25 global bank develop a new value proposition and evaluate perceptions of various service channels and transactions.

DOWNLOAD CASE STUDY HERE

Qualitative, Quantitative, or Both? Tips for Choosing the Right Tool

 

By Ashley Harrington

quantitative, qualitative, methodologyIn market research, it can occasionally feel like the rivalry between qualitative and quantitative research is like the Red Sox vs. the Yankees.  You can’t root for both, and you can’t just “like” one.  You’re very passionate about your preference.  But in many cases, this can be problematic. For example, using a quantitative mindset or tactics in a qualitative study (or vice versa) can lead to inaccurate conclusions. 

Below are some examples of this challenge—one that can happen throughout all phases of the research process: 

Planning

Clients will occasionally request that market researchers use a particular methodology for an engagement. We always explore these requests further with our clients to ensure there isn’t a disconnect between the requested methodology and the problem the client is trying to solve.

For example, a bank* might say, “The latest results from our brand tracking study indicate that customers are extremely frustrated by our call center and we have no idea why. Let’s do a survey to find out.”

Because the bank has no hypotheses about the cause of the issue, moving forward with their survey request could lead to designing a tool with (a) too many open-ended questions and (b) questions/answer options that are no more than wild guesses at the root of the problem, which may or may not jibe with how consumers actually think and feel.

Instead, qualitative research could be used to provide a foundation of preliminary knowledge about a particular problem, population, and so forth. Ultimately, that knowledge can be used to help inform the design of a tool that would be useful.

Questionnaire Design

For a product development study, a software company* asks to add an open-ended question to a survey: “What would make you more likely to use this software?” or “What do you wish the software could do that it can’t do now?”

Since most of us are not engineers or product designers, this question might be difficult for most respondents to answer. Open-ended questions like these are likely to yield a lot of not-so-helpful “I don’t know”-type responses, rather than specific enhancement suggestions.

Instead of squandering valuable real estate on a question not likely to yield helpful data, a qualitative approach could allow respondents to react to ideas at a more conceptual level, bounce ideas off of each other or a moderator, or take some time to reflect on their responses. Even if the customer is not a R&D expert, they may have a great idea that just needs a bit of coaxing via input and engagement with others.

Analysis and Reporting

In reviewing the findings from an online discussion board, a client at a restaurant chain* reviews the transcripts and states, “85% of participants responded negatively to our new item, so we need to remove it from our menu.”

Since findings from qualitative studies are not necessarily statistically significant, using the same techniques (e.g., descriptive statistics and frequencies) is not ideal as it implies a level of precision in the findings that is not necessarily accurate. Further, it would not be cost-effective to recruit and conduct qualitative research with a group large enough to be projectable onto the general population.

Rather than attempting to quantify the findings in strictly numerical terms, qualitative data should be thought of as more directional in terms of overall themes and observable patterns.

At CMB, we root for both teams. We believe both produce impactful insights, and that often means using a hybrid approach. We believe the most meaningful insights come from choosing the approach or approaches best suited to the problem our client is trying to solve. However, being a Boston-based company, we can’t say that we’re nearly this unbiased when it comes to the Red Sox versus the Stankees Yankees.

*Example (not actual)

Ashley is a Project Manager at CMB. She loves both qualitative and quantitative equally and is not knowledgeable enough about sports to make any sports-related analogies more sophisticated than the Red Sox vs. the Yankees.

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