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Megan McManaman

Recent Posts

CMB Welcomes Kathy Ofsthun as Head of Expanding Qualitative Strategy + Insights Practice

Posted by Megan McManaman

Fri, Sep 16, 2016

We're excited to announce that Kathy Ofsthun has recently returned to CMB as VP of Qualitative Kathy_final_casual_1_of_1-2.pngStrategy + Insights after spending almost 5 years at C Space as VP of Client Services. Kathy is back to head up CMB’s expanding Qualitative practice—growing clients’ businesses by bringing them closer to their customers.

Kathy  brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in qualitative methods, qual/quant synthesis, and creating connections and strategic partnerships. Her deep research expertise was developed through two decades of work with multinational companies, including a year in Shanghai managing the C Space APAC office. Her work has focused on topics as varied as New Product Development, Shopper Insights, Packaging, Brand Positioning, and Segmentation.

 "I’m thrilled to rejoin CMB at this exciting time," Kathy says. "As consumers move into the driver's seat, marketers and innovators need and want to be closer to their customers, understanding who they are, hearing their needs and incorporating their ideas. By including customers in co-creation of new products, communications development and more, brands can either fail faster or adapt and succeed. I look forward to helping clients leverage the voice of the consumer in order to achieve growth.”

Kathy will be headed to MRA's CRC in San Francisco next week, give us a ring, email us, or stop by booth 407 to say hello!

Are you going to CRC and want to get the most out of it? Check out Julie Kurd's blog:  How To Not Flunk the MRA Corporate Researchers Conference

Topics: strategy consulting, qualitative research, Kathy Ofsthun

New Study: Busting Millennial Banking Myths

Posted by Megan McManaman

Thu, Mar 03, 2016

Why does MasterCard want to replace your password with a selfie? How did Venmo become a verb? Why did JPMorgan Chase's CEO fret about Silicon Valley's start-ups to investors last year? Part of the answer lies within the attitudes and needs of that much talked about generation. . .Millennials. As part of our self-funded Consumer Pulse research, CMB partnered with leading venture capital firm Foundation Capital to explore how and why Millennials are helping redefine the banking industry

In this new report, insights include:

  • Millennials are not a homogenous group. We conducted a segmentation of Millennials, revealing five distinct personas with varied brand preferences, attitudes, and behaviors 
  • Most Millennials still use traditional financial products and services. Just over a third of Ambitious Adopters and Financial Futurists—the most forward-looking of the segments—say they’re most open to non-traditional financial services. 
  • Millennials place considerable importance on finance apps and tools. Asked which apps and tools they could not live without, Millennials mention financial tools and apps at the same rate as apps used for texting and messaging.


 Download the full report here!

Topics: infographic, financial services research, millennials, Consumer Pulse, market strategy and segmentation

Black Friday Is Dead…Long Live Black Friday

Posted by Megan McManaman

Tue, Dec 22, 2015

retail2.pngIf you noticed the annual coverage of Black Friday shoppers seemed somewhat muted this year, you weren’t imagining things. While Cyber Monday sales were the highest since its debut in 2005, Black Friday sales were at their lowest since 2011. We all know how many elves flew (or didn’t) off the shelves, but to learn more about consumer holiday shopping behaviors, we partnered with Research Now for a quick survey of smartphone owners, ages 18 and up. 

Does 2015 mark the end of Black Friday—retail’s highest and holiest holiday? One retailer, REI, even opted out of this year’s Black Friday altogether, though their website did allow shoppers to make purchases online. The 87% of respondents who reported shopping on Black Friday might suggest that its imminent death is exaggerated. But the 81% of those Black Friday shoppers who did at least some of their shopping online suggest the explosion of ecommerce may have circumscribed the usual Black Friday frenzy.   

And then we have mobile—2015 marked the introduction of app-only deals from retail giants Amazon, Walmart, and Target. Of respondents who did shop from their smartphone or tablet, on either Black Friday or Cyber Monday, a full 27% purchased through an app. Still, a Cyber Monday dominated by in-app sales may be a few years away—61% of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday online shoppers used a PC to make their purchases. 

Need further evidence that online shopping and mobile technology are disrupting the traditional holiday shopper customer journey? “Just” 67% of Black Friday deal-seekers said they actually braved a brick and mortar store—this on a day once defined by the in-store experience. Is nothing sacred? 

Megan is CMB’s Senior Product Marketing Manager. She can’t stand Christmas music and was once visited by 3 ghosts. 

Topics: technology research, mobile, retail research, customer journey

Busting Millennial Money Myths at Money 20/20

Posted by Megan McManaman

Thu, Oct 22, 2015

money2020.pngEvery day there’s a new report about Millennials—they’re in debt/they’re saving for retirement, they’re mobile/they’re going off the grid, they’re hard workers/they’re too entitled to succeed—the list goes on. Brands are desperate to learn what makes this generation tick, but the current research lacks actionable insights for the marketers trying to serve them.

To dig deeper, we partnered with venture capital firm Foundation Capital to clear through the clutter and to learn what Millennials are doing and thinking about when it comes to their money. Through our Consumer Pulse research program, we surveyed 1,055 Millennials about their tech use and financial habits, and we included three “deep-dive” sections covering attitudes and preferences towards banking, investments, and insurance.

On October 26thCMB’s Lori Vellucci will join Foundation Capital’s Charles Moldow at the Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas to unveil new insights into the needs, perceptions, attitudes, and actions of Millennials. They’ll take a look at the very different needs within this most talked about generation, the coming disruption, and the wave of innovation required to address their financial needs.

If you can’t make it to the conference, don’t worry! We’ll be sharing takeaways from our research in November.

For the latest Consumer Pulse reports, case studies, and conference news, subscribe to our monthly eZine.

Subscribe Here 

Topics: financial services research, millennials, Consumer Pulse, conference recap

5 Questions with CMB's Jack Burtch

Posted by Megan McManaman

Thu, May 08, 2014

jack, cmbOur clients always comment on our “rock solid execution”— how we set and meet the highest standards in project management and execution from project lift-off to reporting. We owe a lot of that to our incredible project managers. Meet Jack Burtch, CMB project manager extraordinaire, who also happens to be the Director of Communications for the New England chapter of the MRA (NEMRA).

MM: Tell us a little about your role as Director of Communications for the New England MRA. 

JB: As a Director of Communications, I develop, implement, and evaluate the communications across the organization’s various audiences (members, businesses, sponsors) in collaboration with the board of directors. Our goal is to bring together the New England market research community in a conversational way whether it’s through social media, our website, at our semi-annual conferences, or at one of our free breakfast club meetings that we hold periodically throughout different New England states.

MM: How does your work with the MRA help you understand client needs?

JB: From my experience and perspective, working with the MRA helps everything come full circle as you’re able to take in the various specialties, methodologies, and roles that each company plays in the market research ecosphere. It’s helped me form an understanding of not only the opportunities and concerns that end clients may have but also the struggles, triumphs, and ever-evolving landscape that partners and other firms are having that can benefit our clients and their needs.

MM: Tell us a little about more your work with the ARF.

JB: When it comes to the ARF, or Advertising Research Foundation, I’m involved primarily with the Young Pros team and helping put together events and networking opportunities such as the event we held at Communispace a year or two ago. Our focus is on the professional development of young people or recent graduates new to the research field. We engage them through the resources available to them as well as connect them to the broader research community.

MM: How do you feel joining a company that’s a beta tester for Sawtooth and that has advanced analytics? 

JB: Advanced analytics and the tools that facilitate it such as those from Sawtooth seem to have rocketed to the top of the agenda for most companies these days as it can provide a better avenue for forecasting and enhancing outcomes. Plus, it allows businesses to be more agile while they can continuously adjust business models derived from the data.  When I joined CMB, it became clear that advanced analytics plays a pivotal role in the work we’re doing for our clients, which I’m excited to be a part of.

MM: What other sources do you turn to for industry insights?

JB: I try to tap every resource I can when it comes to this industry given the ever-developing research trends, technologies, and landscapes within verticals that could have an impact on how, what, and who I work with. This could range from social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, reddit, Digg, blogs, etc.) to publications and journals (Quirks, HBR, Alert!, JAR, JMR, etc.) to networking events and conferences. Oh, and you can’t forget about news sources like Quartz, Bloomberg, TechCrunch, IBT, and others which help provide a more macro view of what’s taking place in a client’s industry.

Jack is a senior project manager. A man of many talents, he was once a professional photographer. In addition to his work with NEMRA, he also coordinates the Eastern U.S. arm of the Emerald City Supporters, a supporters group for Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders FC.

Headed to NEMRA’s Spring into Action event on May 15 or the Front End of Innovation conference  May 13th-15th? Let us know! We’ll be there and we can’t wait to talk insights with you!

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, advanced analytics, our people, consumer insights

March 15th Celebration of Life for John Martin

Posted by Megan McManaman

Wed, Feb 26, 2014

John Martin CMBOn Saturday, March 15th, the Martin family, friends, and colleagues at CMB will celebrate the life of John Martin. The event and luncheon will take place from 11am to 2pm at the Babson College Executive Conference Center in Wellesley, MA.  

It will be a celebration of John’s life in all its aspects—dedicated family man, conceptual trail blazer, analytic wizard, mentor to many, lover of jokes, unrelenting wit, Indian food aficionado, and purveyor of informal attire. In keeping with John’s “style”, dress will be informal and preferably not black.

Directions, parking, and lodging information can be found here: http://www.cmbinfo.com/cmb-cms/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Directions-and-Lodging-at-BECC.pdf





Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, our people, John's Corner

CMB Blog 2013: 5 of our Favorites

Posted by Megan McManaman

Mon, Dec 30, 2013

thoughtbubblesOne of the most enjoyable things about managing the Voices of CMB Blog is the wide range of perspectives on market research (and more), from the CMB team. Their expertise, insight, and creativity make editing this blog a real pleasure. But before we embark on 2014, here are a few of our favorites from the past year:

  • Nick Pangallo's good advice for whether you're tackling those New Year's resolutions or your next New Product Development engagement. Nick explains what diet techniques like Weight Watchers' PointsPlus® and research techniques like Maximum Difference Scaling have in common: Want to Lose Weight? Try a Tradeoff Exercise!

  • Companies are wasting a lot of time and money on Segmentation studies that aren't usable. CMB's Chief Methodologist, Richard Schreuer, explains why, and what to do about it:The Segmentation Research Crisis

  • Developing new and innovative products isn't easy (or cheap). Athena Rodriguez shares the 10 best practices in New Product Development research that help our clients make product development decisions with confidence: Taking Product Development to Infinity and Beyond

  • It was quite a year for loyalty, with several high-profile companies jettisoning their programs. VP of CMB's Travel and Hospitality practice, Judy Melanson, on why some brands are saying "good-bye": Do You Need a Loyalty Program to Drive Customer Loyalty?

What topics do you want us to cover in 2014? Tell us in the comments, and see you next year!

Megan is CMB's Senior Product Marketing Manager, her New Year's resolutions include banning the word "utilize" from the blog when "use" will do, and skiing more.

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey

Headed to TMRE? We're Excited to See You!

Posted by Megan McManaman

Wed, Oct 16, 2013

"My favorite place in the whole world is Nashville. Because it's my home, it's Music City. It's like, everybody there is so artistic and so creative, and nice! Everybody's really friendly." - Taylor Swift

TMRE 2013Far be it from us to argue with Taylor Swift! Next week we're packing up and headed to Nashville for TMRE to talk shop, share insights, get together with our terrific clients, hear from an exciting mix of speakers, and just maybe get to sample some Tennessee barbecue.Are you headed down (or up)? Stop by our booth to say hi and enter to win a New England Clam bake.

Spoiler alert! Don't miss our very own Chris Neal, on Monday at  11:15, as he joins Joanne Burns of the Council for Research Excellence (CRE) for their presentation TV Untethered: Quantifying Mobile TV Viewing and its Impact on Networks, Content Providers, Advertisers and Marketers. Chris and Joanne will share insights from their study aimed at helping audience measurement specialists, networks, advertisers, and others better understand how smartphones, tablets, and computers are changing TV programming.

NashvilleWe're also looking forward to hearing from Hilton's Christine Hight as she shares How “Franken-data” Conquers Hilton’s Big Data Challenges. Come join us on Wednesday at 1:45 to hear how Hilton Worldwide combines Big Data, consumer research, and creativity through an ad hoc, “Franken-data” approach to identifying consumer insights that have fueled innovation and adaptation across their global enterprise.  

If you're attending the conference we'll see you there, if you can't make it stay tuned for our TMRE recap in the coming weeks!

Going to CRC in Dallas tomorrow? We'll be there too! On Thursday the 17th, Amy Modini and UPMC's Jim Villella dig into the Challenges of Channel and Complex Pricing Scenarios. Stop by and learn how UPMC and CMB applied a discrete choice methodology to account for a number of challenges to estimate shifting consumer preferences, make key product development and marketing strategy decisions, and ultimately position UPMC for success.


Topics: conference recap

Adventures in the Front End of Innovation

Posted by Megan McManaman

Thu, May 02, 2013

Next week you'll find us at the Front End of Innovation 2013 sharing how we, along with our partners at South Street Strategy, took a practical, focused, and innovative approach to new product development for Tauck Worldwide. Read a little bit about what we did here:

The Challenge

Tauck Case StudyTauck Worldwide, an industry leader with over 85 years experience in premium guided tours, wanted to create a new travel concept to meet the needs of a population increasingly comfortable with researching, planning, and traveling on their own. Tauck needed innovative thinking to define and build a new type of tour product – one that appealed to next gen customers, conveyed a unique brand identity while standing out from competitors in the crowded travel market space. 

What We Did

CMB and principals from South Street Strategy Group used a multi-method, multi-source approach to:

  • Select top opportunities on which to focus

  • Ideate across functions with executives and senior managers, leveraging insight and experience in the market

  • Research and assess the competitive landscape and baby boomer’s core  travel goals and needs – particularly un-met needs

  • Test alternatives to guide product development, pricing and identify target guests who are most interested in the new product line

  • Identify acquisition targets in the travel industry, new business models, and new product offerings, by leveraging core competencies, that would create significant value for the company and address baby boomer needs

  • Work with the CEO, CFO, and COO and the New Ventures Group to ensure recommendations were aligned with business constraints, addressed operational challenges and met business goals

How It Was Used

Tauck launched the Culturious brand as a totally new product line on time and with unanimous board approval. The new brand, which currently consists of 8 packages and destinations, meets customer needs by offering small-group tours geared toward active baby boomers with an interest in active, culturally engaging travel. The brand has won awards, including the 2010 Innovation prize from the Connecticut Quality Improvement Award Partnerships (CQIA).

To learn more about our approach to New Product and Service Development click here.

For more of our case studies click here. 

Topics: South Street Strategy Group, strategy consulting, product development, travel and hospitality research, growth and innovation

New Study: Consumers and the Race for Mobile Wallet

Posted by Megan McManaman

Mon, Apr 01, 2013

Mobile Wallet CMBYou’re about to step out your front door...

But wait just a moment! You can only take your phone or your wallet, which will it be?

Pre-smartphone there would be no contest, I’d take my wallet. But times have changed, and the balance has now tipped in favor of my beloved iPhone. Beyond checking email, I use my phone to deposit checks, see when the train is coming, read the news, record my ski stats, listen to music, and if I've also forgotten my lunch, I can use a mobile wallet app to buy a sandwich at the deli across the street.Of course there’s more to mobile wallets than the fate of my lunch, there are billions of dollars at stake for the banks, credit card companies, start-ups, tech giants and others who want to dominate, or just cash in on, the evolving relationship we have with our smartphones. In our latest Consumer Pulse, we surveyed 1,479 smartphone users about what they know about mobile wallets, what’s keeping them from using, what features they’d like to see, and who they'd trust to provide them.

First things first, half of respondents said they were familiar with mobile wallet technology (or proximity payments)—apps that let users swipe or tap their phone at the point of sale, rather than using credit cards or cash. When we asked this 50% to tell us about their experience and expectations for using mobile wallets most said they didn’t plan on adopting a mobile wallet…but nearly a quarter said they were planning to try out the technology in the next 6 months (TWEET THIS). That’s no small number considering smartphone ownership is nearly ubiquitous.

Now let’s consider our more reticent smartphone users, what’s keeping them from trying out the technology that’s already at their finger-tips? We weren’t surprised to find that security (73% called it a barrier to adoption)—particularly identity theft—was high on the list of what’s keeping people from giving up on cash and credit (TWEET THIS). The good news for mobile wallet providers is 79% said they’d be more likely to adopt if they were guaranteed 100% protection against fraud and theft. While many mobile wallet providers already offer this protection, the results show there’s a real opportunity to benefit from promoting this type of security measure (TWEET THIS).

If you’ve assuaged the fear of being scammed, stolen from, and over-charged (remember when people were afraid to shop online?) what’s next?  Aside from the novelty of scanning your phone, what’s the incentive behind using a mobile wallet over your, just as convenient, credit card? We found reward and loyalty points were very appealing, particularly when offered as additions to existing rewards people get with their credit cards—80% of non-adopters said they’d be more likely to adopt if offered these extra rewards (TWEET THIS). Of course people like rewards and points—you don’t need to be a marketer to understand that. But nearly as many (66%) said that getting the same rewards they got with their credit card would increase their likelihood to adopt—to which I say, c’mon people aim a little higher.

So yes, rewards are nice, but one of the best things about smartphones is the ability to look stuff up. Think of how many arguments have been nipped in the bud by a quick search of imdb.com or Wikipedia. That ability to find the information you want any time, any place, is just as compelling in a shopping context. Including location-based services like the ability to easily compare items in stores nearby increases likelihood to adopt among 78% of non-adopters (TWEET THIS). But we also found people were a little leery of getting too many alerts, both because they can be annoying and because they suck down battery life. Note to providers, offering people the choice of what alerts and discounts they receive could be a major draw as they decide who they’d like to provide their mobile wallet service.

The topic of mobile is rightly dominating the discussion in almost every industry, but the fact is, for most people mobile wallets are still incredibly new. Amid all the noise and growth, there’s still tremendous opportunity for providers who understand the concerns, goals, needs, and desires of the millions (billion?) of people with the technology right at their fingertips.

Mobile Moment ICON

Download the full report and learn more about what will drive (and block) adoption, and who has the advantage as we enter the next leg of the mobile wallet race.




Megan is CMB's Product Marketing Manager, she loves Alpine Replay, and longs for the day she can unlock the front door with her phone.

Topics: technology research, financial services research, mobile, Consumer Pulse, retail research