The posts here represent the opinions of CMB employees and guests—not necessarily the company as a whole. 

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Stephanie Kimball

Recent Posts

When Only a #Selfie Stands Between You and Those New Shoes

Posted by Stephanie Kimball

Thu, Aug 13, 2015

mobile, shopping, mobile walletThe next time you opt to skip the lines at the mall and do some online shopping from your couch, you may still have to show your face. . .sort of. MasterCard is experimenting with a new program that will require you to hold up your phone and snap a selfie to confirm a purchase.  MasterCard will be piloting the new app with 500 customers who will pay for items simply by looking at their phones and blinking once to take a selfie. The blink is another feature that ensures security by preventing someone from simply showing the app a picture of your face in an attempt to make a purchase.

As we all know, passwords are easily forgotten or even stolen. So, MasterCard is capitalizing on technology like biometrics and fingerprints to help their customers be more secure and efficient. While security remains a top barrier to mobile wallet usage, concern about security is diminishing among non-users. In addition to snapping a selfie, the MasterCard app also gives users the option to use a fingerprint scan. Worried that your fingerprints and glamour shots will be spread across the web? MasterCard doesn't actually get a picture of your face or finger. All fingerprint scans create a code that stays on your phone, and the facial scan maps out your face, converts it to 0s and 1s, and securely transmits it to MasterCard.

According to our recent Consumer Pulse Report, The Mobile Wallet – Today and Tomorrow, 2015 marks the year when mobile payments will take off. Familiarity and usage have doubled since 2013—15% have used a mobile wallet in the past 6 months and an additional 22% are likely to adopt in the coming 6 months. Familiarity and comfort with online payments has translated into high awareness and satisfaction for a number of providers, and MasterCard wants a slice of that pie. Among mobile wallet users, over a quarter would switch merchants based on mobile payment capabilities.

mobile wallet, wearables

Clearly the mobile wallet revolution is well underway, but the winning providers are far from decided, and MasterCard is taking huge leaps to see how far they can take the technology available. If MasterCard can successfully test and rollout these new features and deliver a product that their customers are comfortable using, they can capture some of the mobile wallet share from other brands like Apple Pay and PayPal.

So what’s next? Ajay Bhalla, President of Enterprise Safety and Security at MasterCard, is also experimenting with voice recognition, so you would only need to speak to approve a purchase. And don’t forget about wearables! While still in the early stages of adoption, wearables have the potential to drive mobile wallet use—particularly at the point of sale—which is why MasterCard is working with a Canadian firm, Nymi, to develop technology that will approve transactions by recognizing your heartbeat.

Since technology is constantly adapting and evolving, the options for mobile payments are limitless. We've heard the drumbeat of the mobile wallet revolution for years, but will 2015 be the turning point? All signs point to yes.

Want to learn more about our recent Consumer Pulse Report, The Mobile Wallet – Today and Tomorrow? Watch our webinar!

Watch Here!

Stephanie is CMB’s Senior Marketing Manager. She owns a selfie stick and isn’t afraid to use it. Follow her on Twitter: @SKBalls

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

How Walgreens' New Focus on Customer Experience Won my Heart

Posted by Stephanie Kimball

Wed, Jun 12, 2013

WalgreensOver the last year I’d heard rumors of a new “super” Walgreens coming to Downtown Boston. To be honest, it sounded a little odd: a Walgreens with a sushi bar? A nail salon? But sure enough, one sunny day in May, a coworker announced the giant Walgreens had finally opened; of course I had to check it out. The moment I opened the doors I was like a kid on Christmas morning—this is not your mother’s Walgreens.

The aisles were brightly lit, and everything was clean and well organized, but what really blew my mind were all the high-end amenities: a juice bar, frozen yogurt bar, fresh sushi, and a pharmacy that looks more like a very nice health center than a regular old pharmacy area.

It’s certainly not how most of us perceive the Walgreens brand; but it’s all part of their efforts to transform the customer experience and they’re doing it in a number of really interesting ways:

An innovative approach to the community pharmacy and health services—Like most drugstores, Walgreens' traditional stores are split between retail and pharmacy/health care services. In the new store model, there is a health and wellness wing, including consultation rooms where pharmacists and other healthcare professionals come out from behind the counter to speak privately with customers. New patient-facing “portals” allow customers to schedule appointments, access information, and share health contacts—empowering customers in the way the old model never has.

Integrating the wellness focus throughout the store—Not surprisingly, Walgreens reimagined pharmacy is getting most of the press, and it’s well-deserved. But I was also struck by how the company highlighted healthier food and beauty options in each department. At first, doing your food shopping at a drugstore sounds both unappealing and unhealthy—all processed food and junk, but if others follow Walgreens lead, that might  change. While the juice and sushi bars might have seemed at best gimmicky, and at worst like a health hazard, the holistic focus on wellness and health means that what might have seemed unimaginable (drugstore sushi?) really starts to make sense. I swear the sashimi was actually good!

Getting mobile—Walgreens' new concept also does a great job leveraging mobile to transform and improve the customer experience across departments. For instance, you can scan your prescription bottle to get a refill. That might seem like a no-brainer in this day and age but how many of us are still calling our pharmacy’s automated hotline?

And hard as it may seem to believe, not everyone just posts all their pictures to Facebook, Walgreens' QuickPrint option lets customers print their pics right from the phone they took them on. It’s a smart move for a company that realizes the drugstore photo lab may not be with us forever.

As Walgreens President and Chief Executive Officer Gregory D. Wasson puts it: “We are taking a multi-pronged approach to delivering the Well Experience. We are combining leading-edge design with enhanced products and services, increased engagement with team members and customers, and an omni-channel approach that blends our brick-and-mortar stores with e-commerce and mobile commerce. We are deliberately blurring many retail channels to fit how consumers shop today.”

Bravo Mr. Wasson, bravo.

I’m looking forward to seeing what other benefits are in store for Walgreens customers. But in the meantime, I’ll have plenty to explore at the new, impeccably designed, Super Walgreens. And for all my fellow Bostonians, the next time you need to pick up a birthday card, wine, or health and beauty products, I suggest you make a trip Downtown.

Posted by Stephanie Kimball. Stephanie is CMB’s Marketing Operations Manager and loves any and all sports, the beach, traveling, marketing, good food, and is always down for a movie night. You can follow her on twitter @SKBalls

See how CMB is helping Royal Caribbean measure guest experience and improve customer satisfaction and retention. Click here.

Topics: healthcare research, mobile, customer experience and loyalty, retail research, growth and innovation

Infographic: The Future of the Full-Service Bank Branch

Posted by Stephanie Kimball

Wed, Jun 13, 2012

banking infographic

Infographic designed by Stephanie Kimball. Stephanie is CMB's Marketing Operations Manager. You can follow her on Twitter at @SKBalls

Topics: infographic, financial services research, Consumer Pulse

Boston's Autumn Attractions

Posted by Stephanie Kimball

Wed, Sep 07, 2011

bostoninautumn resized 600Autumn is in the air at CMB and we thought the time was right to share a few tips for enjoying the "Hub of the Universe" this season. Everyone knows that Boston is a history lover’s goldmine, but Boston travelers who want to learn about the history behind the city don’t have to stick to boring walking tours. There are bike tours, harbor cruises, leisurely hikes, and mouthwatering food to help you soak up the wonders and attractions of Boston.

Quack Quack!! There go the duck tours. Hop on and make sure you take a tour around Boston’s famous spots riding around on this sea and land cruiser. Catch it between March and December when they are still rolling around the city. If you want more exercise, experience the Freedom Trail! Just follow the 2.5 mile-long red trail around 16 of Boston’s historical landmarks. The best part is that it’s free! You can follow the trail yourself and enjoy an historical adventure. Remember to brush up on your 5th grade history lessons before you head off so you can better understand what you are walking past.

For science and adventure mixed all in one, the Museum of Science is the place to go. Discover more than 700 interactive exhibits, watch a film in the IMAX Theater, or experience the feeling of being in an indoor light storm. This is a great place to go exploring with children, or if you just want to jump into the action yourself. It’s a fun and entertaining place for all ages.

To grab a bite to eat for lunch, dinner or to do some shopping, stop at Quincy Market and walk up and down the hall of never ending food until you find something that catches your eye and your appetite (I know something will and probably in the first few steps). This outdoor and indoor market is right along the Freedom Trail and hard to resist with dozens of restaurants and food vendors inside and out.

Looking for an Italian experience? Head over to the North End where you can find streets upon streets of Italian restaurants and bakeries. While there check out the Limoncello Restaurant at 190 North Street. CMBers recommend the Rosette al Montasio ed Olio di Tartufo, otherwise known as ‘Rosette.’ “It’s a Montasio cheese, Proscuitto and White Truffle Oil wrapped in homemade pasta…delightful” says Dana Vaille from CMB. They are open for lunch and dinner, and offer a traditional Italian experience. If your sweet tooth acts up and you need a little sweet treat, grab one of Mike’s famous cannolis at Mike’s Pastry YUMMY!! Choose from a wide array of Italian cookies and cannolis.  Just try not to drool too much while in the bakery.

Working and living in and around Boston is a treat.  The opportunities are endless, the food is to die for and the history and adventures in Boston is something that you will never forget. You can find the full list of CMB's recommendations on what to do and see, what not to miss, and where to eat here.

Posted by Stephanie Kimball. Stephanie is CMB’s Marketing Operations Manager and loves any and all sports, the beach, traveling, marketing, being challenged, good food, nightlife, and Saturday afternoon naps. You can follow her on twitter @SKBalls

Topics: Boston

Not Your Average Customer Experience

Posted by Stephanie Kimball

Wed, Jul 20, 2011

Here at CMB we do quite a bit of work around customer satisfaction programs. In fact, we recently released a CMB Consumer Pulse on the topic. It’s one of my favorite topics because it’s so easy to relate to as a consumer and as a marketer I have a real appreciation for those “stand out” experiences.

U  2011 Blog My Blog Posts Not your Average Customer Experience Not Youre Average Customer Experience visualAfter a long weekend basking in the Nantucket sun, a few friends and I decided to take a break from the Cape Cod traffic and stop for some dinner at Not Your Average Joes. After a delicious meal and way too much bread and oil dip, we asked for the check. To our surprise, not only did we receive the check, but it was given to us on a miniature cutting board with an iPod touch attached to it! No, we didn’t win a prize for best customers, (although if such a prize existed, it definitely would have been ours) but what we did receive was a survey via iPod touch. Instantly, all of our attention was switched over from the bill to the survey (good job Joe’s!). As we huddled around the iPod touch and went through the ten question survey together, it was amazing how much we were all enjoying the experience, dare I say even having fun with it. We are all used to seeing surveys in our daily life, but for some reason seeing one so conveniently displayed to us on an iPod touch-embellished cutting board was somehow more exciting.

Think of how many times you receive a survey at the bottom of a receipt, and if you’re like me, more times than not that receipt never makes it out of my pocket or purse. This survey experience was so different. It got me thinking how having a great customer experience from beginning to end is so important.  Not only did we have a great meal, but we finished the meal having a positive interaction with the brand while completing a survey…crazy right?! 

Not Your Average Joe's rolled this Survey on the Spot system out to all of its stores in January 2011 and since then, in the words of their CEO “it has changed the way we do business”. In an interview with Stephen Silverstein, CEO of Not Your Average Joe's, he mentioned their success:  "We're probably getting about 400 surveys per week per store on this system,” and "About a third of the people taking the survey join the e-mail club, the surveys have helped us be more aware of every single table, in every single restaurant”.

With all the technology available today,it is refreshing to see a restaurant that is utilizing it in new creative ways and, in turn, helping their brand look more appealing. I left thinking that Not Your Average Joe’s was a smart, savvy, cutting edge restaurant that I wanted to spread the word about. And what’s better than some good ol' word of mouth? Not Your Average Joe’s has embraced technology and gained a few more customers along the way…including me!


M  yy  Sales and Marketing   Marketing Team Use Web site Images Customer Satisfaction smallOur Consumer Pulse study: Customer Satisfaction Programs: The opportunity to engage, interact and improve takes a closer look at Download here.

Posted by Stephanie Kimball. Stephanie is CMB’s Marketing Operations Manager and loves any and all sports, the beach, traveling, marketing, being challenged, good food, nightlife, and Saturday afternoon naps. You can follow her on twitter @SKBalls

Topics: technology solutions, Consumer Pulse, customer experience and loyalty

Stirring the Pot: The Good and Bad of Sample Blending in Market Research (Part 3)

Posted by Stephanie Kimball

Thu, Feb 17, 2011

Part One- What is sample blending, and why do companies do it?

Part Two- What do you think are some of the perceived negatives of blended samples? 

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For part three of our series on sample blending, we sat down with George Haranis, a Project Manager with CMB's Financial Services/Healthcare/Insurance team, to discuss a project in which he used the data collection technique to conduct a B2B segmentation study.

 Q: Could you share a specific project where you used blended samples?

A: A financial services client of ours was interested in talking to a very specific subset of small business decision makers, and they wanted to get a relatively high number of these respondents in a short period of time. We were left with quite a challenge:  we needed to get more respondents, and we needed to get them fast. Working under these constraints, we decided to use sample blending to acquire the necessary sample because it allowed us to go beyond the traditional research panels and include multiple respondent sources. In this particular case we used several vendors to get the number of completes we needed.

Sample blending is not without its particular challenges of course. When using multiple sample sources it is important to make sure the survey program blocks certain IP addresses to eliminate repeat takers. And because we were able to do this, we were able to get the completes we needed for the client, resulting in a successful project, and even more importantly, a very happy client.


George is a Project Manager with CMB's Financial Services/Healthcare/Insurance team and can help you take your tracking study to the next level, think of him as Bob Harper from the Biggest Loser.

Posted by Stephanie Kimball. Stephanie is our Marketing Operations Manager and loves any and all sports, the beach, traveling, marketing, being challenged, good food, nightlife, and Saturday afternoon naps. You can follow her on twitter @SKBAlls

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, social media

Stirring the Pot: The Good and Bad of Sample Blending in Market Research (Part 2)

Posted by Stephanie Kimball

Fri, Oct 22, 2010

Part 2 of a 3 part series with Jared Huizenga, Director of Field Services at CMB


Q: What do you think are some of the perceived negatives ofBlender blended samples?

A: One of the negative perceptions about using a blended sample is that the researcher doesn’t have as much control over sample demographics.  For instance, this may occur when you post a link to a questionnaire on a website and allow anyone to participate.  As a researcher, you don’t really know who’s going to come and take the questionnaire, or where they’ve come from, and that needs to be accounted for in the communications of the findings.

With a traditional panel, the company recruits the panelists and they may know more accurately where participants are coming from.  They can more easily manage who is being recruited for the panel.  The reality is that we don’t know if sample blending is better or worse in terms of actual data quality when compared to a traditional panel.  Until we get some third party, impartial data on the differences or similarities between blended samples and traditional panels, we won’t really know how data quality with the blended sample stacks up to traditional panels. It’s important for researchers to educate their clients by explaining the pros and cons of the different sample sources that may be used for any given study.

Q: What do you think the future is for sample sources and sample blending?

A:  I believe that, within the next three to five years, the vast majority of traditional online research panels will become obsolete. Maybe even sooner.  Some specialty panels will still be in play, but with all the advances in social media and specialty websites, people simply won’t want to join traditional panels anymore. 

If a person is visiting a website where they are really involved and interested in the topic, chances are good that they will click on a survey link and share their opinions. They have a vested interest in the topic. For instance, if a company is conducting a study on those with diabetes, they may be better off recruiting via links on a diabetes forum than an online panel because the people on that site are already engaged and want to give their opinions on a topic they can relate to.

With traditional panels it doesn’t really work that way.  Sometimes traditional panels have good profiling capabilities for their panelists so they know what their hobbies and interests are, but they aren’t catching people “in the moment” when they are looking for information online and may be more willing to participate in a related research study.

Overall, I think traditional panels will vanish and blending is going to become really big.  As researchers find ways to better utilize social media as a sample source, I see this becoming a major factor as well. This is already happening to a small degree, but I expect it to explode in the future.


As the Field Services Manager at Chadwick Martin Bailey, Jared oversees and advises on the data collection process, often for very large projects with hard-to-reach audiences. Jared is also on the New England Barbecue Society's Board of Directors and is the pitmaster on a competition barbecue team.

Posted by Stephanie Kimball. Stephanie is our Marketing and Sales Coordinator and loves any and all sports, the beach, traveling, marketing, being challenged, good food, nightlife, and Saturday afternoon naps. You can follow her on twitter @SKBalls.

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, methodology

Stirring the Pot: The Good and Bad of Sample Blending in Market Research

Posted by Stephanie Kimball

Fri, Jun 25, 2010

Part 1 of a 3 part series

Q:  Jared, what is sample blending, and why do companies do market research sample blendingit?

Jared: Sample blending is a method of acquiring online sample that goes beyond traditional research panels to include multiple respondent sources .

For example, say you're working on a study with a major airline regarding their rewards program.  The airline may post a link to a survey on their web site and offer rewards points or miles as an incentive to augment the sample they get from traditional panels. Another common method of sample blending is recruiting via specialty sites, affiliate sites, and social media. So in a company's Facebook or MySpace sites, there might be links to surveys that are relevant to their audience.  Sample providers like SSI and OTX are doing this as well-they'll go out to traditional panels, social media, affiliate rewards programs, and other sources where they can reach the respondents clients are looking for. There is even a company out there, MKTG, Inc., that will help you determine the best sample "blend" for any given project.

Q:  You talked a little bit about the different types of sample blending and how they have value. What do you think that value depends on?  How do you determine that value?

Jared: There are only a few companies right now that are doing this form of blending, even though this number will continue to increase. I feel the value is often more geared towards the actual vendors than to the clients.  What's happening is that traditional panels are becoming obsolete, and they will probably become obsolete in the next few years.  People are using Facebook, Twitter, and other methods of communication as much, if not more, than email.  So for traditional panels, it's hard to get fresh bodies to commit to a research panel these days.  Panelists then have to check their email regularly for survey invitations and go take  the surveys as they become available.   One of the benefits for the companies offering blended sample is that they can reach people virtually wherever they are.  So, theoretically, low-incidence studies may be more feasible with blended sample because you can reach twenty million people rather than a panel's one or two million active, and available, panelists.

Q: Are Blended Samples more or less representative than traditional samples?

Jared: It can be argued that blended sample is more representative of the general population.  Again, if you have a traditional panel, those people are recruited in a specific way-through a single website, several websites, through a rewards program, etc.  With blended sample, the theory is that this method can be more representative because you're going out to a variety of different sources.  I think that both methods, traditional and the blended sample, have their place.  They are both resources that we use, and will continue to use, but I think the trend is to go towards multiple sample sources rather than just one sample source. Each project at Chadwick Martin Bailey is different from the next, so it's important that we consider all of our options very carefully to determine the best plan of attack when it comes to sampling.

Thanks Jared!

As the Field Services Manager at Chadwick Martin Bailey, Jared oversees and advises on the data collection process, often for very large projects with hard-to-reach audiences. Jared is also on the New England Barbecue Society's Board of Directors and is the pitmaster on a competition barbecue team.

Posted by Stephanie Kimball. Stephanie is our Marketing and Sales Coordinator and loves any and all sports, the beach, traveling, marketing, being challenged, good food, nightlife, and Saturday afternoon naps. You can follow her on twitter @SKBalls.

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, methodology

Corporate Volunteer Day: CMB Helps out BostonCares because, well, we care.

Posted by Stephanie Kimball

Fri, May 21, 2010

This past weekend I joined seven fellow CMB-ers (Athena Rodriguez, Brett Davidson, Cristhian Caicedo, Diego Jimenez, George Haranis, Holly Seebach, and Jenny Sage) to participate in Boston's Corporate volunteer day for the second year in a row. The event is organized by Boston Cares who offer programs and opportunities for individuals and companies to volunteer. In our case, we were selected to be involved with the Roslindale Wetlands Reforestation Project through Boston Parks.  

As CMB's team leader (check out my spiffy different color t-shirt), I needed to arrive early and had the opportunity to talk to a few neighbors in the area about what the wetlands use to look like and learn about The Roslindale Wetlands Task Force (formed at a September 4, 2003 town hall meeting attended by more than 100 community residents.) For the past 6 years the wetlands task force has been bringing people from the community together to clean up trash and illegally dumped waste, turning what was once dumping grounds into a place they can enjoy with family and friends.

As we worked alongside people from the neighborhood helping the wetlands become one step closer to restoration, our main objective was to plant various types of trees.  Serviceberry, pagoda dogwood, tupelo, and bay magnolia were all on our list to help restore the native trees into the area. Everyone rolled up their sleeves and dove right into the project, picking up shovels, pick axes, and bags of mulch as we worked with teams of three to tackle all of the 25 trees on our list to plant. Myself and our kick-ass office manager/opera singer Holly were very excited and dove right into planting our first Serviceberry tree. We dug our hole, placed the tree in it, made sure it was straight, filled it in, topped it off with mulch, and even took a celebratory photo (shown below). Only later did we come back to see that our tree had been dug up and was being used to demonstrate to everyone how to properly plant a tree. With our egos aside, we convinced ourselves that they used our tree just because it was closer to the group, not because we did it incorrectly.  Regardless, we eagerly scurried off, picked up some more shovels, and went on our way to plant more trees to prove our planting skills.

A lot of hard work over the past seven years has gone into cleaning up and restoring the Roslindale Wetlands, and I was happy and proud that the CMB team could be a small part of it. We all learned a little more about the tactics of planting trees  and about wildlife, but most importantly, we worked as a team to better improve the area while getting to know our  fellow CMB-ers a little better.  (Thanks again to Athena Rodriguez, Brett Davidson, Cristhian Caicedo, Diego Jimenez, George Haranis, Holly Seebach, and Jenny Sage for helping CMB give back to the community!) See more photos on our facebook page by clicking here.


Posted by: Stephanie Kimball. Stephanie is our Marketing and Sales Coordinator and loves any and all sports, the beach, traveling, marketing, being challenged, good food, nightlife, and Saturday afternoon naps. You can follow her on twitter @SKBalls.


Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, Boston