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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.’  

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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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The Clear Writing Solution to Critical Insights

 

By Kirsten Clark 

clear writing, cmb, insights,

A few weeks ago, thirty of my colleagues and I attended a clear writing workshop. When I first got the calendar notification for this workshop, I thought, “Oh, God, not another one.” As a recent college graduate and a current graduate student, I can’t tell you how many writing workshops I’ve attended over the years. And each time, I find myself walking away thinking that my time could have been much better spent.

However, this workshop was different. I actually learned something! And, even better, it relates to how we, as market researchers, can tell the story of our insights in the most effective way.

At this workshop, our instructor insisted we abandon fancy phrases and just say and write what we mean. Instead of focusing on the words, we should focus on the ideas. Our instructor even suggested we practice not looking at our screens. This allows us to focus on expressing our thoughts and ideas rather than on the words we use to articulate them. Sounds like a simple premise, right? Maybe in theory.

I’ll admit that I’m one of those people who will sit and stare at a computer screen until the right word or phrase comes to mind. Instead of focusing on what I need to say, I find myself caught up in how I want to say it—which is exactly the problem our instructor wanted us to address. We all use unnecessary language from time-to-time to make our writing seem more intelligent or more “professional.” However, that’s when our writing runs the risk of being unclear.

Unclear language in market research can cause a lot of problems. For example, a convoluted report can lead to problems interpreting the data or results. Our writing impacts the validity of the work we do, and when that writing is compromised, we could have a lack of buy-in from stakeholders, waste research dollars, and so forth. We need to always make sure we’re answering the right questions, which often boil down to:

  1. Who wins here? And how do we make sure they know it?
  2. Who loses here? And how do we help them win somewhere else?

We shouldn’t be asking, “What do I want to say?” Instead, we should be asking, “What do I want this person to learn?” When you think about it, these are two totally separate concepts. I might want to tell you about how awesome Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s concert was, but does that help you in any way? Probably not. Furthermore, we need to ask ourselves (1) whether it’s worth the reader’s time and effort and (2) what will the reader get out of it. This is where those “right” questions above come into play. Those are the questions we should be answering for our clients. Those are the questions that will allow us to demonstrate what we want them to learn. Those are the questions worth answering.

So, here are my answers to those questions as they relate to this blog post:

  • What do I want you to learn? Communicating clearly and effectively by keeping your reader in mind is critical. At CMB, we’re constantly thinking not just about what we need to say but about what we want our clients to learn—information that will empower them to make meaningful decisions. 
  • Was this worth your time? Did you get anything out of it? Let me know! What do you think makes an excellent report? What makes recommendations useful? Tell me in the comments!

Bonus answer:

  • Was that Beyoncé and Jay-Z concert really as awesome as you say? It truly, truly was.

Kirsten Clark is a Marketing Associate who’s also pursuing a M.A. in Integrated Marketing Communications at Emerson College. As a lover of the English language, she’s thrilled by all the possibilities present when writing. She also has a deep, unconditional love for Beyoncé.

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

For the Love of Disney: A Look into the Power of Loyalty

 

By Alyse Dunn

loyalty, Chadwick Martin Bailey, DisneyHow many times have you done your favorite thing? It doesn’t matter what your favorite thing may be, or if your favorite thing varies by season. Just think of the number. Does it seem lower than you would expect? Does it seem higher? Or, does it feel just right?

Have you ever been to Walt Disney World 50 times? I have. And I continue to go every year. Why? That’s an excellent question and even though, at this point, I have a fairly automated response to that very question, people still don’t seem to understand.

Let me start by addressing the most typical questions I am asked:

  • Don’t you ever go anywhere else? Sometimes, but why would I want to? Ever since I was little, Disney has been (and continues to be) where we have our family vacation every single year. I have expanded my travel as an adult, but the Disney allure still pulls my whole family back annually.
  • Don’t you get sick of going? Not at all. When you’ve been as many times as I have, you get to see Disney through a new lens. There is less of a focus on getting everything in and more of a focus on taking it all in.
  • And the pièce de résistance: Aren’t you too old for Disney? This is my favorite question to answer—not just because I am much younger than most people would assume given my record. I love this question because I get to respond in a way that would garner Disney’s approval—you are never too old for Disney World.  In youth, I was drawn by the enchantment. In adulthood, I’m now just drawn by that feeling I get each time I step through those gates.

I may be able to sing “A Whole New World” without musical accompaniment and relay unnecessarily detailed quips about every ride in the park, but I don’t find that juvenile. I find that—for lack of a better word—magical.

All of my trips to Disney have done a lot for me, but at the end of the day, there is far more to this than just ample travel—and that’s loyalty. I am 100% loyal to Disney. I own their dinnerware, clothing, and toys. I name my pets after their characters. I see all of their movies and know almost everything about them, and I still can’t sleep the night before a trip.  

What makes someone loyal? Lots of things can sprout loyalty, but not all loyalty is equal. In fact, there are a few different kinds of loyalty that a person can experience, including:

  • Captive Loyalty. In colloquial terms, “I will stay with you because it’s too difficult to change.” How frequently do you change your bank or cable provider? Not often, right? That’s because changing providers can be more trouble than it’s worth. That’s not to say that some people don’t love their bank, but maybe that love is a little more conditional.
  • Uninvolved Loyalty. How much thought have you put in to your car insurance provider since purchasing the car? (Bueller?) Maybe that’s because the automated processes that are in place for paying this type and other types of insurance (mortgage) have made you consider it less. Loyal? Yes. Actively loyal? Maybe not so much. It may be part of the reason why companies are encouraging automatic withdrawals for payments.
  • Distribution Loyalty. What is your absolute favorite beer? Is it easily/readily available? If you answered “yes,” it could be that part of your choice is based on distribution—the fact that you can easily get what you want, when you want it. Why are some brands so successful? Perhaps it’s because they have the market bandwidth.
  • Heritage Loyalty. Did your parents always use the same detergent when you were a child? Do you use that same one in your own home today? Sometimes loyalty happens based on what we grow up with. Think back to some of the everyday products you choose. Does your family use them as well? There you go.
  • Loyal Loyalty (aka True Loyalty). The following are elements of true loyalty: you think of the brand first, you believe the brand is the best at what they do, you believe any new line extension they introduce will be a winner and is definitely worth trying, and you have an emotional attachment to the brand. This is the kind of loyalty brands are looking for—the kind I have for Disney.

Loyalty plays into all of the daily choices we make like which brand of soap, chips, or shoes to buy. We find something that works, and we stick with it. Loyalty is often hard to shake. How many times have one of “your brands” upset you, and yet you’ve still given them another chance?

The question that market research should strive to answer is: what can drive this loyalty? As researchers, we need to help companies deepen emotional attachment and better understand their loyal customer base and develop products and services that suit their needs.

Alyse is a Senior Research Associate on the financial/retail practice and still travels to Disney with her family at least once a year. Through her multiple excursions, she has discovered EPCOT is more fun the older you get.

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