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Megan McManaman

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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

CMB Case Study: Inventing a Tour for the Travelers of the Future

Posted by Megan McManaman

Thu, Jan 03, 2013

A practical and innovative approach to new product development.

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’s 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 award winning case studies click here. 

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, South Street Strategy Group, product development, travel and hospitality research

CMB Voices 2012: A Few Favorites

Posted by Megan McManaman

Thu, Dec 27, 2012

We're looking forward to the New Year—new projects, new insights, and new ideas. But before we ring in 2013, let's take a look back at some of our favorite blogs from 2012:

2012Kristen Garvey talks brand loyalty, and why some brands have that certain something:
Creating a Brand Ritual Takes more than Points and Rewards

Andrew Wilson makes the case for Customer Experience research:
Is the Voice of the Customer the Death Knell of Innovation?

Diego Jimenez takes a delicious look at the importance of good questionnaire design:
One Sweet Approach to Questionnaire Design

A double header by Jeff McKenna, a practical look at Big Data:
How Target Knows You're Pregnant: A Predictive Analysis Perspective and "Big Data," Expert Systems, and the Future of the Market Researcher

Brant Cruz explains needs-state segmentation, and why people only seem to order tomato juice at 40,000 feet:
Why Boozers Become Juicers on Planes: Adventures in Segmentation

Thank you for a wonderful year. And, if you've got topics you'd like us to tackle in 2013, let us know in the comments!

 

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey

Join CMB at The Market Research Event

Posted by Megan McManaman

Wed, Oct 03, 2012

CMB at TMRE 2012This November we'll be in sunny Boca Raton, for The Market Research Event, presenting with our friends at The Atlantic City Alliance and SunTrust Bank.  We'll share findings, challenges, and insights from two very different segmentation studies:

Atlantic City: Building a Foundation for Future Growth

Track: Insight Driven Innovation Track
Time and Date:
Tuesday November 13th @ 2:00 pm
Presenters:
Judy Melanson, Vice President, Travel and Hospitality Practice, CMB and Rich Mirman, Consultant to the Atlantic City Alliance, Former CMO for Caesars Entertainment, The Mirman Group, LLC

While Atlantic City attracts over 30 million visitors a year, the popular tourist destination faces a number of challenges—including a recession and increased competition. Join us to hear how CMB and The Atlantic City Alliance took a foundational approach to segmentation—identifying and assessing Atlantic City's greatest growth opportunities to decide who to attract, and what to build.

SunTrust: Segmentation as a Change Agent

Track: Insights Leadership & Transformation Track
Time and Date:
Wednesday November 14th @ 11:15 am
Presenters:
Rich Schreuer, Senior Consultant, CMB; Mark Carr, Co-founder and Managing Partner, The South Street Strategy Group; Jeff VanDeVelde, SVP, Director of Client Experience and Loyalty, SunTrust Bank

Learn how CMB and The South Street Strategy Group partnered with SunTrust to develop and prioritize consumer segments based on goals and needs. This segmentation was central to  forming the foundation for SunTrust’s brand strategy, and helping the bank make the critical shift from a product-focused to a customer-centric organization.

We're excited to see you, click here to register, and enter CMB2012 to receive 25% off.

Check out one of our favorite moments from last year: TMRE Highlight: The Art of Choosing

Topics: conference recap

New Webinar: The New Age of Television on Wednesday 9/12 at Noon

Posted by Megan McManaman

Wed, Aug 29, 2012

New Age of TVJoin us Wednesday September 12 to discover the who, what, and how of the new rules of television viewing.

CMB's Chris Neal maps out the needs and priorities of different consumers to help forecast how they'll react to future technologies, platforms and service bundles as the industry continues to evolve.

Topics include:

• Online viewership of TV shows and movies among age segments.
• Device viewership scenarios.
• Preferred TV viewing device by occasion.
• Online viewing pain points and barriers.
• Needs analysis of new technology platforms.

Register here

New Age of TV CMBDownload our free Consumer Pulse report: The New Age of Television

 

 



Topics: technology research, television, webinar, digital media and entertainment research

Avoiding Customer Satisfaction Survey Overload

Posted by Megan McManaman

Wed, Apr 04, 2012

CMB customer satisfaction surveysThe recent NY Times’ article about people's exhaustion with customer satisfaction surveys made the CMB email rounds in record time. The gist of the article is that people are tired of being asked to fill out customer satisfaction surveys before, after, and during every minor transaction they have with a company. They especially don’t like being pressured by a pleading cashier to “please help me out” and take a survey.

As a company with specialties in customer experience and loyalty—analysis that is dependent on customer feedback—the piece hit a nerve. And the takeaways from the article are worth discussing in a bit more detail:

Surveys that are too long exhaust and annoy people

On the surface there’s not much news here, asking screen upon screen of questions is going to negatively impact more than just response rates, it makes people cranky. The article mentions an excellently titled blog post Infant Who Begins Babies “R” Us Customer Satisfaction Survey Dies of Old Age from a woman who wrote about her displeasure at being asked to complete a questionnaire of more than 45 questions. And it certainly matches up with our findings that ideal survey length is 3 to 6 minutes—any shorter and you may not be giving the respondent enough time to answer, too much longer and you risk making them feel like you don’t value their time.

To incent or not to incent...

that is the question. The answer is a bit more complicated than the Times article suggests. The article quotes Vanderbilt University Management Professor Robert Oliver: “The frequent requests to fill out these surveys, especially with no incentives, have been so annoying that people just stop doing it.” And while it’s true that a subset of survey takers are motivated primarily by monetary incentives or free gifts, the top motivation for more people is a desire to improve the company, its products or services. Saying thank you and letting people know that the collected information will improve service is an effective incentive in itself.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should

As the article says, the availability of online surveys, free apps, and mobile platforms, means anyone can administer a survey pretty much anywhere. This is problematic, not only because good questionnaire design and data analysis requires specialized skills, but because a constant barrage of questions can feel like harassment.

I love surveys and I will take one anytime I can, but even I don’t like the feeling of being pressured by cashiers, or forced to answer questions before I complete a transaction. There is a difference between asking people for their time to help improve the company and browbeating them into providing data.  A moratorium on forcing customers to answer questions before their card goes through at the register would be an excellent start.

Make a plan before you survey

One of the problems we see, that the Times article doesn’t cover, is the distressing fact that two-thirds of companies report problems with managers not knowing what to do with the data.  Many companies are collecting data with no idea how to apply it or improve the customer experience. Without a focused plan for addressing and applying customer feedback, companies are just going through the motions, and that's a loss for customers and companies alike.

Customer satisfaction surveys best practices

 

Learn more about our strategic approach to customer satisfaction surveys and best practices in our free download: Putting the Customer First in Customer Satisfaction Surveys

 

 

 

 

Posted by Megan McManaman. Megan is CMB's Content Marketing Manager. She is having a lot of fun with the 1940 Census data and recently realized her dream of taking the American Community Survey.

Topics: research design, customer experience and loyalty

Infographic: How Small Businesses Are Using Social Media

Posted by Megan McManaman

Mon, Mar 05, 2012

Last year we partnered with Constant Contact to learn how consumers use Facebook to connect with brands. Take a look at this cool infographic from Intuit and Column Five featuring some of our findings and how small businesses are using social media:

Intuit infographic

 

CMB Facebook Consumer Pulse

 

 

Download the full report here.

Topics: social media, Consumer Pulse

Getting to Know the Company Behind The Duck

Posted by Megan McManaman

Thu, Mar 01, 2012

A career in market research can make you pretty sensitive to advertising. An ineffective commercial can make me throw up my hands wondering how it got on air; a great one makes me appreciate all the work that went into making it. Recently, I got to see a behind the scenes example of what goes into a memorable ad campaign in CMB’s work with Aflac.

I expect you’re familiar with Aflac’s Duck, the be-feathered icon has appeared in the brand’s commercials since 1999 and his signature quack is instantly recognizable.  But Aflac faced a challenge, people knew The Duck, but they weren’t sure what he wanted them to do, or much about the company he represented.  To address this branding challenge Aflac needed to educate the market about their products, differentiate themselves from the competition, all while keeping The Duck in the picture.

CMB worked with Aflac, to conduct an innovative brand positioning study using discrete choice. The study allowed the team to:

  • Identify the unique needs of  three target audiences: consumers, employers, and brokers

  • Identify how specific changes to elements of brand positioning affected each group’s desire to learn more about Aflac, leading to the development of  a user friendly simulator for the brand and their agency

  • Deliver optimized brand positioning specifying value statements, how to address audience goals, emotional and functional benefits, and the most compelling proof points.

The results helped guide Aflac and their agency to create ads that let customers get to know the company behind The Duck. Take a look at one of the ads that has gotten nearly 350,000 views on YouTube.

CMB and Aflac

 

Want to learn more? Join us for a Webinar on March 7th to hear CMB’s Rich Schreuer and Aflac’s Missy Wood share how CMB helped Aflac use the power of discrete choice to reposition their brand. Register here

 

 

Posted by Megan McManaman, Megan is the Content Marketing Manager at CMB. She enjoys watching and  parsing ads but draws the line at the ones with talking babies. Follow her on Twitter at @Megz79.

Topics: advertising, marketing strategy, brand health and positioning

Don't Miss our Upcoming Webinars

Posted by Megan McManaman

Wed, Jan 25, 2012

Join us for CMB's first webinars of 2012!

Tools and Techniques:  Mixing the Science of Quant with the Art of Conversation to Gain Richer Insights

CMB and iModerate WebinarFebruary 2nd from 12 to 12:30 pm

CMB’s Jeff McKenna and Christine Tchoumba from iModerate Research Technologies share their tips and tricks for taking advantage of one-on-one online conversations to gain more insight from traditional research projects. Jeff and Christine will cover: the benefits of using online conversations to add color to quantitative, how the Consumer Pulse Program case study uses conversation to deepen insight into the most interesting consumer trends, and the challenges and considerations you need to be successful.

Click here to register

Turning Customers into Advocates:  GE CareCredit Increases Customer Loyalty with ge carecredittheir Advisory Panel

February 16th from 12 to 12:45 pm

Learn how CMB helped GE CareCredit redesign their online customer panel, and create a community with high engagement and even higher returns. CMB’s Vice President of Financial Services Jim Garrity and GE CareCredit’s Consumer VOC Leader Sheila Dreyer share how GE CareCredit’s online community of Cardholders has become a group of not only trusted advisors, but strong advocates for the brand.

Click here to register

For more of our upcoming webinars, and to download the ones you've missed, click here.

Posted by Megan McManaman, CMB's Content Marketing Manager.

Topics: webinar