WELCOME TO OUR BLOG!

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

Subscribe to Email Updates

BROWSE BY TAG

see all

Qualitative Research: Thinking Outside the Box(ing) Ring

Posted by Kelsey Segaloff

Wed, Aug 02, 2017

My friends and family greeted the news that I was joining a boxing gym with more than a little disbelief. Granted I am an imposing 5 feet tall and have a reputation for tripping over my own feet, so maybe they had a point. But four months and two pairs of gloves later, I’m not only fitter and stronger, I’ve learned some essential truths about boxing that I can apply to my professional life as a qualitative researcher. 

 kelsey boxing.jpg

Don’t forget the “Why”

Boxing is a commitment—physically, financially, and mentally—and it’s tempting to hit the snooze button when I don’t want to get out of bed for an early morning class. Oftentimes, I must remind myself why I keep up with it. To help motivate members, there’s a large chalkboard titled, “Why I Fight” filled with trainers’ and members’ “whys” in the front of the gym.  It’s the first thing you see when you walk in and serves as motivation to both me and fellow boxers.

Focusing on the decisions or the “why” is critical for researchers. Before kicking off a project, we work hard to fully understand our clients’ business needs and the decisions they need to make—this focus keeps us on track for everything from designing a study and choosing a methodology, all the way to the final deliverables and implementation. It’s also important to consider our participants’ “why”—that’s the reason we often use tools like projective techniques in qualitative research to dive deep into participants’ thoughts and uncover their beliefs, motivations, feelings, etc.—the old one-two punch, as some might say.

#FightFam

One of my favorite things about my gym is the sense of community it provides. My #fightfam challenges me to put my all into every class, whether it be Gennifer reassuring me I’m “crushing it,” or Roscoe in the bags room reminding the class we are winners (“And what do winners do? THEY WIN!”). While I feel a personal sense of accomplishment after every class I finish, I also feel a shared sense of pride with my fellow classmates and trainers—and that’s important.

A knockout team is also the foundation for greatness in qualitative research. At CMB, our all-star roster, VP of Qualitative Strategy + Innovation, Kathy Ofsthun, Qualitative Research Director, Anne Hooper, Qualitative Project Manager, Erin Stilphen, and I work together and encourage one another to perform at our highest capacity. We bring inventive and innovative qualitative methodologies like co-creation, and over 40 years of combined qualitative experience to the ring. We’re also adept to thinking on our toes—ask me about the time I recruited for a study in a Canadian train station! And when we need to tap other teammates, we’ve got specialized qualitative research consultants in our corner.

Master Technique, Prepare to Improvise

Boxing is known as the sweet science (the nickname is an appreciation of the technical skills required—strength, endurance, conditioning, core, and flexibility), but it’s just as much an art, requiring improvisation and creativity.

The same goes for qualitative research. We’re masters of improv, but good technique is integral. Recently, I was thrown through a loop while moderating an in-home ethnography for our self-funded research on Millennial and Gen Z use of virtual assistants (think Siri, Cortana, etc.).  Shortly into one of the interviews, it turned out the participant belonged in a different segment than what my guide had indicated. Instead of stopping the interview, I used my improvisation skills and reframed the questions without interrupting the flow of the conversation. Going a little off script helped us gather the insights we needed.

I love that I’ve discovered a sport and gym I am passionate about, and I’m even more thrilled I can draw meaningful parallels between boxing and my profession. Of course, there are times when my muscles ache, my wrists hurt, and I’m tired, but then I remind myself why I keep going. I box because it makes me stronger, faster, and confident—and that these attributes help me be a better qualitative researcher is a bonus!

kelsey boxing 2.jpg

Kelsey Segaloff is CMB’s Qualitative Associate Researcher, and can be found working on her jab-cross at EverybodyFights Boston.

 

Topics: our people, qualitative research, Consumer Pulse, co-creation

Don't Over-Generalize My Generation

Posted by Reed Guerino

Wed, Apr 12, 2017

Dollarphotoclub_103845102-1.jpgI’m sure you’ve heard that Millennials are entitled narcissists (or mold-breaking visionaries) and Gen Z expect instant gratification (or they have the most integrity of any generation yet). Of the companies pouring millions of research dollars into generational research, who’s getting it right? Well maybe nobody.

In fact, we can’t even agree on where one generation begins and the other ends. Millennials are generally considered those born between 1980 and 2000, but there’s disagreement over the exact years—some say it’s as loose as the mid-1970s to the mid-2000s while others say strictly between 1980 and 2000.  When you’re comparing mid-1970 to 1980 and 2000 to mid-2000, it’s not a huge discrepancy. However, the point is that there is a discrepancy. And with growing interest in the emerging generation (Gen Z, “Post-Millennials”, "iGeneration", "Plurals"), once again we face an arbitrary age designation and battle over who best understands these future consumers.

As a market researcher myself, I'm the first to admit that researchers will be tempted to define and assign attributes to Gen Z early on because of our natural tendency to categorize and bucket into mutually exclusive groups. However, in our need for clean groups with labels, we forget that some groups aren’t mutually exclusive, and different groups (or in this case, generations) might share some overlapping qualities.

What’s more, generations aren’t as homogenous as we’d like to think. While normally there are overarching behaviors and attributes assigned to each age group, there can be room for variations among the cohorts. For example, we recently released a report where we found a segmentation of Millennials revealing five distinct personas with various preferences, attitudes, and behaviors. Our self-funded study focused specifically on financial behaviors, but it can serve as a microcosm for the rest of the generation. You can learn more about it here. This research underscores the potential for inaccuracies that can result from defining a generation too narrowly.

There will always be a place for analysis by generation, but we have a lot more data to consider today than ever before. In his 2013 book "Buyographics", Matt Carmichael reaffirms the importance of demographics, but emphasizes analysis shouldn’t stop there. He explains, "Demographics drive consumer behavior, and that's as true today as ever. We just have better means, thanks to more data sources, of measuring those behavioral impacts and targeting around them. All data needs to be considered through a broader lens and put into context."

Cuts by generation alone ignore the impact of geography and make assumptions about how age influences behavior and psychographics. For example, we often find our psychographics (e.g. our attitudes and aspiration), regardless of age, are good indicators of who we are and who we want to be. In fact, these aspirations (e.g. Who do I want to be?) are strong motivators of brand consideration and loyalty. This means if two people from separate generations can identify with the same type of person, they'll likely share an affinity for the brand because of that identification, not their age.

We'll hear a great deal about who Gen Z is in the next few years until they are eclipsed by the next group. But researchers, advertisers, and marketers should take heed against categorizing Gen Z—and the ensuing generations—solely by their date of birth. Without a multi-faceted approach to understanding consumers (considering demographics, psychographics, etc.), we'll continue to yield narrow insights that may result in marketers producing ads that alienate their target audiences.

Want to learn more about Millennials’ financial needs and expectations and what that means for your industry? Check out our webinar!

Watch here!

Reed Guerino is an Associate Researcher at CMB who is an entitled Millennial on the side and is bitter he missed being the “mature and in control” generation by 1-5 years.

Topics: millennials, Consumer Pulse, research design

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.

image-068859-edited

 Download the full report here!

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

Millennial Women and Planning for the Future

Posted by Lori Vellucci

Wed, Jan 27, 2016

Millennials_investing.jpgMy first real job came with an important-sounding title (Project Director) and all the things grown-ups look for in a position, such as health insurance and a 401K. I was 22 and didn’t know anything about retirement plans; retirement itself seemed to be in the infinite distance. My dad told me, “It’s free money. You can’t turn it down,” so I dutifully enrolled in the company’s program. When I left that job for a bigger title and a better salary, I promptly liquidated my 401K and took the cash. Retirement still seemed really far away and besides, even with my important sounding title, the salary hadn’t been nearly as impressive. Receiving a paycheck just once a month had left me with a lot of credit card debt, and I thought paying that down might be a better use for the money I had painfully put into a 401K each month over the previous several years. 

Since that first step on the career ladder, I’ve enrolled in other retirement plans with other employers, opened a SEP when I worked for myself, and acquired other investment vehicles over the years. Even so, based on many articles I have read, I will likely never make up for not contributing and staying invested in those first early years. 

CMB recently conducted a thought-provoking, nationally representative study on Millennials and money, and I wondered what young women today are doing and if they’re smarter about retirement and investing than I was at 22.

According to our study, overall, women ages 21-30 are driven, idealistic, and interested in furthering their education—more so than their male counterparts.

table1.jpg

Many are confident that if they budget and plan well enough, they will be shielded from financial setback. Further, a plurality feel they will reach their long-term financial goals and the majority plan to have more than just their employer-sponsored retirement plan when it comes time to retire. Most of these young women feel confident that they are saving enough for their future! So far, so good.

Millennials_Investing2.jpg

But wait—nearly twice as many young women don’t feel confident making their own investing decisions compared to men, and more than four in ten feel they would invest more if they understood it better.

table3.jpg

While young men and women participate in an employee sponsored retirement plan at about the same rate, women are significantly less likely to own mutual funds, individual stocks, and to have their own brokerage account.

table4.jpg

Certainly, there has been a great deal of reporting on women’s reluctance to discuss financing and investing. Women often indicate feeling less confident in their knowledge, even as they tend to have lower risk portfolios, which perform just as well as those of male investors.

Traditional financial services investment firms have made efforts to tailor content and offerings to younger women, and websites like GoGirlFinance have also sprung up to fill a real void. But are these new sites reaching young women in a compelling and meaningful way? 

As co-author of our Millennials and Money study and partner at Foundation Capital, Rodolfo Gonzalez notes: “The financial services industry is at a critical juncture. We are seeing a lot of companies emerge to address the financial needs and expectations of the Millennial audience. The Millennial consumer expects a mobile, on-demand, simple, and useful user experience as they are the first digital natives. In the future, we can expect to see start-ups emerge to focus specifically on women and financial services.”

Even so, are they reaching young women in a compelling and meaningful way? A very good question.  Not wanting to rely just on our statistically meaningful, nationally representative study, I conducted an office poll...

They feel unprepared to invest on their own:

 “Not confident in my knowledge about investments; seems like a risk.”

“I have thought about trying it, but I feel uneducated on what would be a good investment. I would like to try to dive into investing on my own and experimenting with a small amount of money in the next few years.”

 “I am not at all confident in investing on my own. It is very foreign to me, so (although I feel like I probably should be) I just don’t do it.”

Further, closer-in priorities tended to over-shadow investing and saving for retirement:

“I am most focused on saving for my wedding and a house down the line.”

 “College debt is a huge one, I graduated with over $80,000 in debt, so that’s a huge hindrance to reaching some of my financial goals.”

“In addition to college debt, there’s my car payments, saving to buy a house/condo, and getting married in the next few years.”

 “My college debt is a concern, but mostly I just focus on my day to day expenses (rent, activities, and food). In my mind, any savings I have are designated for travel.”

Many of the young women in the office combine traditional banks with online tools like Mint or Personal Capital to manage their finances:

 “Currently I mainly manage my finances on a pen and paper ledger #oldchool but I check my accounts daily – Bank of America, Citizens, Capital One—and I log on to all loan platforms multiple times a month. I have used Mint before.”

“I use the app Mint to keep track of my finances. I also use apps for each savings/checking account I have (Bank of America, Charles Schwab, USAA) that I monitor.”

“Mint.com is great for monitoring all my accounts at once since it all pipes in, but not for budgeting. I just use Excel to actually manage my finances.”

While these women certainly have dreams of retirement in the abstract, for many it still feels very far away:

“Retirement is so far away for me right now—I just let my contributions go into my account automatically and hope that what I’m doing now will be enough and will be worth it when retirement time comes.”

 “What I’m contributing right now feels like it should be enough, but how can I know what will happen in the next ~50 years?”

“I wish I was more involved with my retirement and could a higher percentage of my paycheck, but I know I’ll have that chance down the line, so I’m not worried right now.”

It’s clear financial service providers, both traditional banks and start-ups, have a lot of work to do to educate, motivate, and inspire young women investors. 

Want to learn more about Millennials’ financial needs and expectations as well as what that means for your industry?

Watch here!

Lori Vellucci is an Account Director at CMB.  She spends her free time purchasing ill-fated penny stocks and learning about mobile payment solutions from her Gen Z daughters.

Topics: financial services research, millennials, Consumer Pulse, webinar

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

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

New Study: How Wearables Will Drive the Mobile Wallet Revolution

Posted by Abe Vinjamuri

Tue, Jun 16, 2015

Mobile2015IconEvery year we hear bold new predictions about mobile wallet, and every year those predictions fall flat. So, with some trepidation, we ask: is this the year when mobile payments finally take off?A lot of pieces of the puzzle are finally in place:

  • NFC and tokenization have been accepted as the standard for payment tech (QR is fighting a losing battle although some heavyweights still back it)

  • Networks (Visa, MasterCard etc.) have managed to co-opt the mobile revolution and avoid the threat of disruption

  • Credit card providers see the opportunity to drive growth

  • EMV (chip and PIN) standards have forced retailers to upgrade payment terminals which now are NFC enabled

  • Mobile service providers have given up their bid to control the payments business

  • And most importantly, consumers are increasingly comfortable with the idea of using smartphones to pay for purchases-they are at a similar point in the adoption curve as they were with online payments a decade and half ago

So, yes, mobile payments will grow in the next 12-18 months. And smartphones will continue to drive that growth.  But the big news is that mobile wallets are poised to get a major boost from the proliferation of wearables. In our latest Consumer Pulse study, we surveyed nearly 2,000 smartphone owners about mobile wallets and wearables awareness and habits. Here are a few of the key takeaways:

You want to put that chip where?

Formerly confined to fitness trackers, and to some extent smartwatches, wearables are still emerging for the average consumer. Currently, about 60% of the market is at least somewhat familiar with wearables in the generic sense. And with the pace of technology, this is a low barrier.  A new product that fulfills a need (perceived or not) can gain attention in the flash of a Snapchat.

As the wearables category broadens to include trackers, shirts, bands and other devices that are an extension of the wearer, mobile payments are a natural offshoot. In fact, beyond table stakes (battery life, pedometers etc.) 40% of likely wearable buyers want built-in mobile wallet functionality. Our data shows that wearable and mobile wallet adoption is symbiotic in nature. A majority of those looking to buy wearables say having mobile wallet functionality would bring them closer to the purchase decision. And a similar majority say they would use mobile wallets a lot more if it were a part of their wearable functionality. Looks like a win-win.

Good news for smartphone makers

Although at present wearables are primarily associated with fitness trackers (smartwatches are perceived a bit differently though that line is blurring really fast); many see wearables as an extension of the smartphone category – and expect smartphone brands to lead the wearables march. While the top players are as expected: Apple and Samsung, the door is still wide open for a variety of players like Google, Microsoft, Fitbit, Sony, Nike, and LG.  And perhaps the best news is that, in general, buyers expect highly functional wearables to cost between $175- $275. Of course, there are always those who are willing to splurge north of $400.

What about payment companies?

In all this excitement around wearables and mobile payments we can’t forget the critical role of payment companies. As mentioned previously, networks and credit card companies have a critical role to play. At the moment, usage data indicates two things: one, usage of credit cards in a mobile first world mimic that in the physical world – card usage behavior (primary card, share of wallet) has not changed. Two, checking accounts, debit cards, PayPal have a large presence on mobile wallets. We continue to maintain that mobile payments present an opportunity to shake up some of the existing stalemates in the industry and at present it seems like no single player has a decisive advantage.

What does all this mean?

Depending on how narrow or widely mobile payments are defined, the trillion+ dollar industry is fluid at the moment, with everyone trying to get a large piece of the pie. From a purely consumer-centric perspective, the barriers are lifting, the options are expanding and before you know it a majority of consumers will have access to mobile wallets through smartphones or wearables. The key to winning them over will be to make the experience natural and seamless. The day someone can put together an experience where my jogging shirt tells me to run faster between miles 5 and 7 and then pays for my smoothie is the day wearables would truly achieve their potential. I’m betting that the day is not far away.

Abe is a payment-tech and ecommerce Project Lead, Strategist, and CrossFit enthusiast.

DOWNLOAD THE FREE REPORT

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

Tablet Purchase Journey Relies Heavily on Mobile Web

Posted by Chris Neal

Thu, Oct 16, 2014

consumer pulse, tabletsWe all know the consumer purchase journey has changed dramatically since the “mobile web” explosion and continues to evolve rapidly. In order to understand the current state of this evolving journey, CMB surveyed 2,000 recent buyers of tablets in the U.S. We confirmed several things that we expected to see, but we also busted a few myths along the way: 

1. TRUE: “Online media and advertising are now essential to influence consumers.”

  • Reading about tablets online and online advertisements are the top ways in which consumers learn about new brands or products. [Tweet this.]
  • Nearly everyone we surveyed does some type of research and evaluation online before buying—most commonly using online-only shopping sites (e.g., Amazon, eBay, etc.), general web searches, consumer electronics store websites, review websites (e.g., CNET, Engadget, etc.), or tablet manufacturer websites.

2. TRUE: “The mobile web is becoming more important in the consumer purchase journey.”

  • Over half of buyers use the mobile web during the research and evaluation phase, and nearly 40% of buyers do so as a part of the final purchase decision (although very few people actually purchase a tablet using a mobile device). [Tweet this.]

3. FALSE: Mobile applications are becoming very important in the consumer purchase journey.”

  • Although the mobile web is now highly influential, very little purchase journey activity actually happens from within a mobile application per se. This could be because tablet purchasing isn’t something that happens frequently for more individual consumers (high-frequency activities lend themselves better to a dedicated app to expedite and track them). [Tweet this.]

4. FALSE: “Social Media is becoming very important in the consumer purchase journey.”

  • The purchase journey for tablets is indeed very “social” (i.e., word-of-mouth and consumer reviews are hugely influential), but precious little of this socialization actually happens on social media platforms in the case of U.S. tablet buyers. [Tweet this.]

5. FALSE: “The Brick and Mortar Retail Store is Dead.”

  • The rise of all things online does not spell the death of brick and mortar retail in the consumer electronics category. In-store experiences (including speaking with retail sales associated and doing hands-on demos of tablets) were one of the top sources of influence during the research and evaluation phase, regardless of whether they ultimately bought their tablet in a physical store. 
  • Next to ads, in-store experiences were the top source of awareness for new tablet brands and models. 41% of those who learned about new makes/models during the process did so inside of a physical retail store. [Tweet this.]
  • Half of all buyers surveyed actually bought their tablet in a physical retail store. [Tweet this.]

6. TRUE: The line between “online” and “offline” purchase journeys is becoming blurred.

  • Most people use both online and offline sources during their purchase journey, and they typically influence one another. People doing research online may discover that a tablet model they are interested in is on sale at a particular retailer. At the same time, something a retail sales associate recommends to a shopper in a store may spur an online search in order to read other consumer reviews and see where they can get the recommended model the cheapest and fastest. Smartphone-based activities from within a retail store are just as common as interacting with an actual salesperson face-to-face at this point. 

The mobile web is undoubtedly here to stay, and how consumers go about making various different buying decisions will continue to evolve along with future changes in the mobile web. Here at CMB, we will continue to help companies and brands adapt to these shifts.

Download the full report. 

For more on our mobile stitching methodology, please see CMB's Chris Neal's webinar with Research Now: Watch the Webinar

Chris leads CMB’s Tech Practice. He enjoys spending time with his two kids and rock climbing.

Topics: technology research, mobile, path to purchase, advertising, Consumer Pulse, passive data, retail research, customer journey

Guest Post: New Research Highlights Hotel Booking Path to Purchase

Posted by Carly Schott

Tue, Sep 02, 2014

Originally posted in Loyalty360's Loyalty Management magazine

CMB Consumer Pulse, Path to Purchase, Hotel BookingFor a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is the number of available sources to connect with consumers.With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information. When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

Check out our infographic here

For more on our mobile stitching methodology, please see CMB's Chris Neal's webinar with Research Now: watch the webinar

 

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

Topics: technology research, mobile, path to purchase, travel and hospitality research, Consumer Pulse, customer journey

New Consumer Pulse: Mobile Users Upending Hotel Path to Purchase

Posted by Judy Melanson

Tue, Aug 26, 2014

Our latest Consumer Pulse report—a study of 2,000 leisure travelers—found that mobile, social, and online factors influence travelers very differently at separate stages of the hotel booking purchase journey.

We know travelers have a ton of information at their fingertips as they plan and book hotels for their vacations. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.

For more information on how technology is changing the path to purchase download the full report here and see an infographic with a few of the findings below:

The New Hotel Booking Path to Purchase

Download the full report.

For more on our mobile stitching methodology, please see CMB's Chris Neal's webinar with Research Now: Watch the Webinar

Judy Melanson is the head of CMB's Travel and Hospitality Practice. She just returned from a very leisurely trip to South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Stephanie Kimball is CMB's Senior Marketing Manager and created the infographic above. She can't wait for her upcoming trip to London, Amsterdam, Munich, and Prague!

Topics: technology research, infographic, mobile, path to purchase, travel and hospitality research, Consumer Pulse, customer journey