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Savannah House

Savannah House is a Senior Marketing Coordinator at CMB. A lifelong aspiration of hers is to own a pet sloth, but since the Boston rental market isn’t so keen on exotic animals, she’d settle for a visit to the Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica.

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CMB at TMRE 2017

Posted by Savannah House

Fri, Jul 21, 2017

The Market Research Event (TMRE) is one of—if not THE—favorite conference of ours each year. It’s the industry’s “can’t miss” event where over 1,000 market research and insights professionals descend upon Orlando, Florida for three days jam-packed with speaker sessions, learnings, networking, and more. As a supplier, TMRE is an opportunity for us to catch up with clients, peers, and colleagues, while learning (and sharing) the latest industry trends and topics.tmre-1.png

This year, we’re especially excited to be teaming up with one of our favorite clients, ABC, to present on recent work we completed on content discovery in the age of disruption.

Digital disruption is on every business leader’s mind. From the financial services industry to entertainment, we’re all susceptible to the technological forces reshaping how the world works. Technology is empowering consumers—providing them more decision-making power, more options, and higher expectations.

This consumer-centric digital disruption is particularly important to the entertainment industry. There is more original content (and ways to view it) available than ever before, so content creators and broadcasters like ABC need to understand what drives consumers to try a new show AND what keeps them watching. Consumers’ time is precious, and with a seemingly endless supply of content available at their fingertips, they choose wisely.

At TMRE, CMB’s VP of Travel & Entertainment, Judy Melanson, and ABC’s Director of Sales Research, Lyndsey Albertson, will share learnings from a comprehensive content discovery initiative that will resonate with any brand looking to gain traction with new products while navigating a market in flux. Audience members at TMRE will get an inside look at the art and science behind ABC’s deep understanding of the view path to engagement, loyalty, and advocacy.

Speaking of loyalty—some brands may think it’s a hard thing to come by these days. But with the right insights, it’s possible to stay relevant in today’s fickle consumer market.

Another client of ours, SF-based robotics and AI firm, Anki, will also be presenting on an exciting multi-phased segmentation study we recently completed with them. While creating a truly engaging, long-lasting product may begin with understanding your target segment, it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) end there. Effective segmentation should act as a roadmap for product innovation, be a guide for marketing and sales efforts… and quite frankly serve as gospel for the entire company.      

Jeff Resnick, Sr. Director of Global Consumer Insights at Anki, will share the trials and tribulations, the highs and lows, the blood, sweat, and tears… that go into working at a start-up seeking to understand the true essence of WHO is most interested (and will stay interested) in their new products. Their consumer-friendly robot, Cozmo, is cute and all, but what also keeps him relevant is his deep emotional engagement with current and future customers

Want a sneak peek on our segmentation work with Anki? Click below for your copy of a recent webinar hosted by Jeff Resnick and CMB’s VP of Digital Media & Entertainment, Brand Cruz:

Watch Now

 Will we see you at TMRE? If so, as a sponsor, we’re happy to extend a special discount for you to join us. Mention code TMRE17CMB when registering. We also encourage you to visit our booth and attend either (or both!) presentations:

We’re looking forward to connecting and sharing insights with you at TMRE in October!

Savannah House is the Marketing Manager at CMB who is looking forward to connecting with other insights professionals at TMRE in October! 

Topics: Market research

ARF 2017 Annual Conference

Posted by Savannah House

Mon, Mar 27, 2017

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Last week I attended the 2017 Advertising Research Foundation’s (ARF’s) Annual Conference in New York City. Researchers, advertisers, marketers, and everyone in between descended upon the Hilton in Midtown for two days of keynote addresses, presentations, demos, networking, inspiration, and more.

This being my first ARF conference, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I give the ARF high marks for carefully cultivating and selecting their speakers to ensure attendees are exposed to the industry’s best.  

There’s a lot I could write about, but as I reflect on my time at ARF, there were a couple of “highlights” that I’d like to share:

The Longevity of Stories

The average brand lasts for 15 years. So how does a brand like Levi’s manage to not only last, but remain culturally relevant and desirable for 143 years? By storytelling.

Levi’s is a unique product because the jeans themselves bear the markings of the customers’ lives—every mark, tear, and rip—the product itself tells a meaningful story. Recognizing the power of storytelling, a big part of Levi’s marketing strategy is creating conditions to let people tell their personal stories. The brand aligns themselves with centers of cultural movements, like Coachella and SXSW—two events at the center of art, music, and innovation—to foster experiences for their customers.

Traditional advertising is important to Levi’s—they still use qual and quant methods  to test their ad creative—but it’s a much smaller part of their marketing mix. As CMO Jennifer Sey explained, the Levi’s brand is carried through the generations—from the rebels of the 50s, the punks of the 70s, to the hipsters of the 2000s—by the stories created.

The lesson? To become the “youngest oldest brand in the world”, you must tell meaningful stories about your brand and create conditions that let people tell their own.

Equal Representation in Advertising

Step aside, Brawny Man. There’s a new Brawny Woman in town.

During a lunch roundtable, Douwe Bergsma, CMO of Brawny’s parent company Georgia Pacific, shared the company’s desire to create a better emotional connection with consumers. So, for the month of March, the iconic Brawny paper towel man has been replaced with a woman to support their #StrengthHasNoGender campaign.

This move comes as Georgia Pacific recently teamed up with the #SeeHer movement, led by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), to increase the accurate portrayal of women and girls in media through the new Gender Equality Measure (GEM). Replacing the burly man with a strong woman figure was a way for Georgia Pacific to breakdown stereotypes and support equality among men and women in advertising—while garnering positive GEM scores.

It’s becoming increasingly important for brands to be cognizant of equal representation in their messaging. Heavy hitters like AT&T are making the GEM score a standard measurement in their marketing efforts, and based on Georgia Pacific’s recent success, maybe other brands should follow suit.

Creating Personal Customer Experiences

 Customers like to feel special and valued. So, fitness king Nike teamed up with creative agency R/GA to create the ultimate customer experience. Using data, algorithms, and machine learning, R/GA engineered Nike on Demand—a humanized interactive messaging service through WhatsApp—to help motivate and keep athletes on track to overcome barriers and achieve their fitness goals.

Whether athletes are training for a marathon or overcoming an injury, Nike on Demand is particularly motivating because it’s a person sending words of encouragement, not a robot. This humanization of communication creates a special bond between athlete and Nike—ultimately driving usage and brand loyalty.

While Nike on Demand is a large-scale program, brands can glean some high-level insight from this case study. It’s a fantastic example of a brand leveraging personalization to create custom experiences that let their customers know they are special.

Aligning Content with Motivation

As the adage goes, “content is king”. And as content marketing becomes more important for brands, it’s critical that creative is brought to life in a way that’s meaningful and relevant to consumers.

Vicki Draper, Director of Consumer Analytics and Research at AOL, Inc., Dr. Niels Schillewaert, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at InSites Consulting, and our own Dr. Erica Carranza, VP of Consumer Psychology at CMB, shared insights into their discovery of eight content moments—motivations for why people engage with content—and how brands can use these moments as “guardrails” for the type of content they should be producing.

Instead of producing content just to keep up with the Joneses, focusing on the behavioral motivations for why consumers engage with content will help brands develop an intentional and strategic content marketing strategy.

If there’s one overarching lesson I learned at ARF 2017, it’s that marketing is as much an art as it is science. The most successful brands are those who are diverging from traditional techniques, challenging norms, and finding new ways to innovate to keep customers engaged and happy.

The ARF Annual Event is definitely on my list of must attends for 2018! Did you attend? Let us know what inspired you in the comment section below!

Savannah House is a Senior Marketing Coordinator at CMB who after ARF 2017 is inspired to make new memories and tell more stories in her pair of Levi's 501 jeans. 

The Power of Identity: A Look at Super Bowl LI Advertising

Posted by Savannah House

Fri, Feb 10, 2017

As a Boston-based strategy and research firm, we CMBers had high expectations for both the Patriots’ performance and of course, the Super Bowl ads. I’m happy to report that neither disappointed.

111 million people tuned into last Sunday’s game, making Super Bowl LI the fifth most-watched TV broadcast in history. But of those 111 million people, surely not all of them are Pats, Falcons, or even football fans. So while it’s hard for us New Englanders to believe, some people watch the Super Bowl (at least in part) for the commercials. After all, each year brands vie to have the most talked and tweeted about ad – setting the bar high to deliver quality, original, and memorable content.

In this divisive time, many brands were commended for tackling culturally relevant issues head on. And while I thought there were a number of really beautiful ads, I’d like to suggest a few other criteria for evaluation: 

  • How well does the ad align with the Super Bowl occasion?
  • Could you connect the ad to the brand and the value of the brand?
  • Did it communicate a compelling image of the brand’s typical user?
Question three is of particular interest to me because it’s related to our newest research solution, AffinIDSM.  AffinID helps brands understand their target consumers’ image of the typical person who uses their brand and finds ways to strategically influence that image to strengthen how much consumers identify with the image. Our research shows that the more consumers can identify with their image of the typical person who uses the brand, the more they will try, buy, pay for, and recommend the brand. This way of measuring brand perception is different from the traditional brand-centric approach (“What do I think of the brand?”) because it focuses on perceived brand user image.

AffinID measures how compelling a brand user image is based on its clarity, relatability, and social desirability; so from an advertising perspective, we’re interested in evaluating how well the spot communicates a clear, relatable, and socially desirable message of who the brand’s typical consumer is.

That said, I thought it’d be fun to review a few popular Super Bowl LI ads through an AffinID lens:

"Romance" from Skittles
Created by: Adam & Eve/DDB

 Reminiscent of the classic “pebbles at the window” scene, Skittles “Romance” features a love struck teenager throwing Skittles through his beloved’s bedroom window. The Skittles are intended for his love, but unbeknownst to the teen, she’s actually letting her mom, dad, grandmother, home intruder, policeman, beaver (?) etc. take turns catching candy in their mouths.

  • Clarity: Skittles is sending the message that everyone (even beavers?) eats their candy. While this inclusive message resonates with a wide audience, it may diminish the brand’s clarity of who the stereotypical customer is.
  • Relatability: “Romance” features a wide range of Skittles customers, making its image of the typical user highly relatable. 
  • Social Desirability: From the looks of the ad, everyone seems to be having a great time eating Skittles. Who wouldn’t want to be friends with them?

Skittles_AffinID.png

"Yearbooks" from Honda
Created by: RPA

 Bust out your high tops and cassette tapes because Honda’s “Yearbooks” will take you for a trip down memory lane. “Yearbooks” features animated yearbook pictures of heavy hitters like Tina Fey, Robert Redford, Steve Carrell, Missy Elliott, Viola Davis and Jimmy Kimmel celebrating the notion of “chasing dreams and the amazing places they lead” yearbooks typically evoke.

  • Clarity: While it’s fun to see high school versions of celebrities like Amy Adams and Magic Johnson, the ad features so many different people that it’s not clear who the typical Honda CR-V driver is.
  • Relatability: I think to some extent we can all relate to someone in this ad. Even though they’re famous celebrities who may not be relatable in real life, in the ad they’re portrayed as normal high school students excited about their future. And really, who didn’t go through an awkward high school phase?
  • Social Desirability: This is undoubtedly a fun ad, but there’s not a strong social desirability here. Though warm-hearted, it doesn’t portray an aspirational social identity like other car commercials do – specifically ones that feature successful and sexy drivers.
Honda_AffinID.png

"Google Home" from Google
Created by: 72andSunny

The Google Home spot hasn’t gotten much love in “best of” articles about this year’s Super Bowl ads, but it may have helped Google Home take major strides across “the chasm”—while unintentionally setting off a bunch of the systems in homes of those who already had it. In the 60 second spot, the voice-activated smart speaker “welcomes” home people from a variety of backgrounds (younger, older, parents, pet-owners) and is used, seemingly with ease, to do things like turn on the lights and translate helpful phrases like “Nice to meet you” from English to Spanish.

  • Clarity: Mass market consumers probably lack a clear image of kind of person who has a virtual assistant—or assume that it’s an affluent early-adopter. While the people shown in the Google Home spot were diverse, they all shared an “everyday” quality that was likely clearer and more relevant than the image most Super Bowl viewers had had before they saw it.
  • Relatability: Where Google Home lacks clarity, it makes up for in relatability. Since the ad features people from all walks of life, it’s pretty easy to find someone you can relate to – whether it’s the young couple with sleepy kids or the mother in need of an ingredient substitution while she cooks for her family.
  • Social Desirability: The ad’s feel-good theme throughout makes me want to jump into any of the scenes – it’s 60 seconds of friends and family hugging, laughing, and loving. If that’s not socially desirable, I don’t know what is.
Google_AffinID-2.png

As marketing, insights, and advertising professionals know, there’s way more to developing and testing messaging than my quick “analysis”. That’s why we created AffinID – to help brands and their agencies develop effective, consumer-centric strategies for growth by recognizing the power of consumer identity in brand decision-making. 

Learn more about AffinID by watching our latest webinar with Dr. Erica Carranza—CMB’s VP of Consumer Psychology. And let us know which ads you found engaging (or not) in the comments.

Watch Now

Savannah House is a Senior Marketing Coordinator at CMB who places as much weight on the quality of the Super Bowl snacks as she does the commercials.

Topics: consumer insights, brand health and positioning, AffinID

A Year in Review: Our Favorite Blogs from 2016

Posted by Savannah House

Thu, Dec 29, 2016

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What a year 2016 was.

In a year characterized by disruption, one constant is how we approach our blog: each CMBer contributes at least one post per year. And while asking each employee to write may seem cumbersome, it’s our way of ensuring that we provide you with a variety of perspectives, experiences, and insights into the ever-evolving world of market research, analytics, and consulting.

Before the clock strikes midnight and we bid adieu to this year, let’s take a moment to reflect on some favorite blogs we published over the last twelve months:

    1. When you think of a Porsche driver, who comes to mind? How old is he? What’s she like? Whoever it is, along with that image comes a perceived favored 2016 presidential candidate. Harnessing AffinIDSM and the results of our 2016 Consumer Identity Research, we found a skew towards one of the candidates for nearly every one of the 90 brands we tested.  Read Erica Carranza’s post and check out brands yourself with our interactive dashboard. Interested in learning more? Join Erica for our upcoming webinar: The Key to Consumer-Centricity: Your Brand User Image  
    2. During introspection, it’s easy to focus on our weaknesses. But what if we put all that energy towards our strengths? Blair Bailey discusses the benefits of Strength-Based Leadership—realizing growth potential in developing our strengths rather than focusing on our weaknesses. In 2017, let’s all take a page from Blair’s book and concentrate on what we’re good at instead of what we aren’t.
    3. Did you attend a conference in 2016? Going to any in 2017? CMB’s Business Development Lead, Julie Kurd, maps out a game plan to get the most ROI from attending a conference. Though this post is specific to TMRE, these recommendations could be applied to any industry conference where you’re aiming to garner leads and build relationships. 
    4. In 2016 we released the results of our Social Currency research – a five industry, 90 brand study to identify which consumer behaviors drive equity and Social Currency. Of the industry reports, one of our favorites is the beer edition. So pull up a stool, grab a pint, and learn from Ed Loessi, Director of Product Development and Innovation, how Social Currency helps insights pros and marketers create content and messaging that supports consumer identity.
    5. It’s a mobile world and we’re just living in it. Today we (yes, we) expect to use our smartphones with ease and have little patience for poor design. And as market researchers who depend on a quality pool of human respondents, the trend towards mobile is a reality we can’t ignore. CMB’s Director of Field Services, Jared Huizenga, weighs in on how we can adapt to keep our smart(phone) respondents happy – at least long enough for them to “complete” the study. 
    6. When you think of “innovation,” what comes to mind? The next generation iPhone? A self-driving car? While there are obvious tangible examples of innovation, professional service agencies like CMB are innovating, too. In fact, earlier this year we hired Ed Loessi to spearhead our Product Development and Innovation team. Sr. Research Associate, Lauren Sears, sat down with Ed to learn more about what it means for an agency like CMB to be “innovative.” 
    7. There’s something to be said for “too much of a good thing” – information being one of those things. To help manage the data overload we (and are clients) are often exposed to, Project Manager, Jen Golden, discusses the merits of focusing on one thing at a time (or research objective), keeping a clear space (or questionnaire) and avoiding trending topics (or looking at every single data point in a report). 
    8. According to our 2016 study on millennials and money, women ages 21-30 are driven, idealistic, and feel they budget and plan well enough. However, there’s a disparity when it comes to confidence in investing: nearly twice as many young women don’t feel confident in their investing decisions compared to their male counterparts. Lori Vellucci discusses how financial service providers have a lot of work to do to educate, motivate and inspire millennial women investors. 
    9. Admit it, you can’t get enough of Prince William and Princess Kate. The British Royals are more than a family – they’re a brand that’s embedded itself into the bedrock of American pop culture. So if the Royals can do it, why can’t other British brands infiltrate the coveted American marketplace, too? Before a brand enters a new international market, British native and CMB Project Manager, Josh Fortey, contends, the decision should be based on a solid foundation of research.
    10. We round out our list with a favorite from our “Dear Dr. Jay Series.” When considering a product, we often focus on its functional benefits. But as Dr. Jay, our VP of Advanced Analytics and Chief Methodologist, explains, the emotional attributes (how the brand/product makes us feel) are about as predictive of future behaviors of the functional benefits of the product. So brands, let's spread the love!

We thank you for being a loyal reader throughout 2016. Stay tuned because we’ve got some pretty cool content for 2017 that you won’t want to miss.

From everyone at CMB, we wish you much health and success in 2017 and beyond.

PS - There’s still time to make your New Year’s Resolution! Become a better marketer in 2017 and signup for our upcoming webinar on consumer identity:

Register Now!

 

Savannah House is a Senior Marketing Coordinator at CMB. A lifelong aspiration of hers is to own a pet sloth, but since the Boston rental market isn’t so keen on exotic animals, she’d settle for a visit to the Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica.

 

Topics: strategy consulting, advanced analytics, methodology, consumer insights