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Anne Bailey Berman

Recent Posts

The Power of Kaleidoscope Thinking

Posted by Anne Bailey Berman

Mon, Jul 27, 2015

KaleidoscopeI can’t count the number of presentations and lectures I’ve attended throughout my professional career. While many have contained grains of useful insight, few have remained as relevant as one I attended by Harvard professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter. In that presentation, she argued that we should practice “kaleidoscope thinking.” I’ve always loved that idea—"look at all of your assets, move them around, and see if they create new opportunities." While Kanter was talking about marketing, I’d argue that today those of us in the information and insights business must practice this type of thinking more than ever.

To me, kaleidoscope thinking describes how we should approach information to reveal insights that are useful for our clients. Regardless of the volume and sources of information (e.g., characteristics, behaviors, beliefs, satisfaction, intention, and experiences), much of what we are trying to do is understand the patterns that will influence behaviors. In our information world, we call this analysis.

The sheer vastness of available data can be paralyzing or—worse—lead to catastrophic decision-making. We need to put the right information in our “kaleidoscopes” and view the data and decisions in different ways. By thoughtfully turning the barrel, we can see all the different decision paths until we uncover those that are best for increasing opportunity and decreasing risk. It is critical that we develop the skills to see and understand the most useful patterns and insights—not necessarily the solutions that first appear. This is what provides the most beautiful (read: useful) image in the kaleidoscope. 

Anne is the President of Chadwick Martin Bailey and a collector of kaleidoscopes. This summer, she can be found lecturing on storytelling in the insights industry.  

Watch our recent webinar to hear the results of our self-funded Consumer Pulse study on the future of the mobile wallet. 

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Topics: business decisions, consumer insights

The Lessons of Market Basket and the Rewards of a Strong Company Culture

Posted by Anne Bailey Berman

Tue, Sep 09, 2014

market basket, cmb, employee satisfaction, company culture

Our readers who aren’t from New England might be surprised by the topic that dominated our news this summer. It wasn’t the state of the Middle East. It wasn’t even our upcoming gubernatorial race. No, the story that got the most space in the Boston Globe was a fight over ownership of a family-owned regional supermarket—Market Basket. A fight that closed dozens of stores and sent customers and employees into the streets to protest. 

market basket, cmb, company culture, employee satisfaction

The family drama between CEO Arthur T. Demoulas (“Artie T.”) and his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas is over now. “Artie T.” bought out his cousin, loyal customers are thrilled, striking workers are getting back to work, and the store shelves are being refilled. So if it’s all over, why is the Market Basket saga still on my mind? 

I shopped at Market Basket last Friday and immediately realized how much I missed it. The experience at Market Basket is truly different from shopping at the other stores I used during the shut-down. Employees were actually thanking us for coming in, and their gratitude seemed genuine. 

These employees across 71 Market Basket stores did the unthinkable by collectively refusing to work after the dismissal of their president. Yes, loyalty was involved—in fact, “Artie T.” knew their birthdays and attended their weddings—but their actions hold a deeper lesson for businesses everywhere. In a time when many businesses emphasize short term profits, and when stockholders are always more important than employees, this episode of family feud showed what employees valued and how powerful they could be. 

The employees were loyal to “Artie T.” Their risky and enduring work stoppage was motivated by Market Basket’s management’s understanding that employees are important players in the organization, which is demonstrated by their unusual decision to give employees middle class salaries instead of minimum wage. This strong company culture is reflected in the long tenure of many employees and in the customer experience.

As the gap between the haves and have-nots widen in the United States, this is an example of the power of treating employees well. For me, it was a reinforcement of the brand experience that I immediately recognized.  Many business leaders should appreciate this and ask themselves whether their employees would do the same for them if faced with the same situation. When it comes to CMB, I truly believe a large part of our success and the incredible value we bring to our clients is based on our company culture and our exceptional employees.

Anne is the President of Chadwick Martin Bailey and enjoys volunteering in the community, traveling with her family, and spending time in her vegetable garden.

If you’d like to be a part of our team, check out our open positions

Topics: consumer insights, brand health and positioning

6 Questions with Allstate's Bob Pankauskas

Posted by Anne Bailey Berman

Wed, Aug 13, 2014

allstate, innovation, Bob Pankauskas  Allstate Insurance’s Director of Consumer Insights, Bob Pankauskas, sat down with CMB President Anne Bailey Berman to talk innovation, mobile, and what clients need to expect from market researchers.

Anne: Innovation isn’t a word people typically associate with insurance, yet the industry’s changed drastically in the past 5 years. How has that impacted you as a Market Researcher?

Bob: Innovation is a big part of what my team is charged with supporting. We’ve been doing a lot more exploration in terms of coming up with new products and services. This also means we need to broaden our toolkit with more exploratory and discovery work. For example, we’re rediscovering the world of ethnography to try and provide products and services for the future. We’ve done several ethnography projects, and we’re using new tools. We even had one of the ethnographies we did turned into a video that was used by the board of directors to showcase some interesting pain points consumers have with their cars. We’re also doing more and more concept testing and developing and exploring ideas.

Anne: So when you’re talking about innovation, you’re talking about two types of innovation. You’re talking about innovation for products and services for Allstate, but you’re also talking about the innovation of information tools in your bucket. How do you determine if the tools you’re using for innovation are really helping you more than traditional tools?

Bob: The thing we’re always searching for is that insight—that visceral reaction that consumers have. Consumers are behaving in a certain way. Why are they behaving that way? Anything that helps us get to a good insight is really useful, and a lot of the nontraditional ways seem to be more useful than the traditional quantitative approach. You have to work a little harder to get insights out of a quantitative approach, so using qualitative helps a great deal. Our CMO will say, “Great, what’s the consumer insight? What is the pain point?”  We need to focus on the problem we’re solving for the customer. It’s very easy to ask, but often we find we’re solving a problem for Allstate and not really solving the problem for consumers.  We work hard to address that.

Anne: What research challenges are keeping you up at night?

Bob: A really pressing topic of the day is the migration to mobile. It’s only a matter of time before we migrate all of our research platforms to mobile devices. We want our respondents to be able to choose when, how, and where they answer our questions. At this point, we do optimize our surveys for mobile. We pay a lot of attention to question length, simplifying response options, and usability. Our goal is to make our surveys engaging and rigorous.

Of course, trackers are a bigger challenge—it’s painful to live through that period when you say, “. . . and then we changed everything and our numbers are different.” But there are incremental opportunities that mobile provides—being in the moment, getting a real-time view of sponsored events, and just the ability to capture insights when customers are in the midst of an experience. We’re also really excited to utilize consumer-generated images to get more color and context from mobile cameras and not just words and numbers.  The shift is inevitable and the opportunities are there. We just need to be mindful of what we lose and what we gain as we make trade-offs in terms of trending.

Anne: What about target markets?

Bob: We’re trying to go after Millennials like everybody else. Everybody is chasing them, and it’s hard to crack the code. Going after a target means going after them well—understanding their motivators and having a product or service that is tailored to them. I think we have found how they liked to be talked to. They want to be treated with respect. They do want to research things online, but they still want to talk to somebody and touch base with them. It’s more about the “how” and less about the “what.”

Anne: What consumer insights get you most excited? Which tools?

Bob: It isn’t necessarily the tool that gives you the best insights. It’s creating receptivity and listening carefully. One of the most powerful insights we had at Allstate was the need for tangibility. Insurance is an intangible product or service. When you’re getting it, you really don’t know what you’re getting.

The thing is that we’re trying to solve the same problem again and again. So the issue is, how can you—as a smart marketer, researcher, or innovator—change your perspective just a little bit and look at the same thing you’ve been looking at for a long time and say, “Oh! Wow! Look at that! That’s new!” Now maybe it wasn’t new, but you changed your perspective and suddenly saw it. Many of the new techniques allow that change in perspective, and that’s pretty powerful.

Anne: And finally, what would you tell market research vendors about how they can best support the decisions you need to make?

Bob: Partner with your clients. Experiment as often as you can because you’ve got to make changes. You don’t put all your bets on the stuff, but you do have to test and learn. And then the second thing is TLDR—too long, didn’t read. It’s a great feeling to know there’s a 100 page deck of tables to support whatever the project is and that you’ve got your money’s worth. But that’s not at all what we pass on to our internal clients. We live in an ADD world. We’re all time starved, so we need to get to that 1 page summary. Tell me the 2 things I need to know—what’s your recommendation and how this is actionable? The ability to do that is what I’m looking for in a partner.

Check out our new case study to see how we helped a top 25 global bank develop a new value proposition and evaluate perceptions of various service channels and transactions.

DOWNLOAD CASE STUDY HERE

Topics: insurance research, mobile, consumer insights, millennials, Researchers in Residence, growth and innovation

Remembering Dr. John Martin

Posted by Anne Bailey Berman

Fri, Feb 14, 2014

Dear Friends,

Anne Bailey Berman and John Martin CMBIt is with an extremely heavy heart that I share that Chadwick Martin Bailey’s co-founder, leader, and my partner, John Martin passed away Thursday morning after a long illness, with his beloved wife by his side. While it’s difficult to put into words what a truly special man John was, I wanted to share briefly what he meant to me.John was a genius—a brilliant market researcher who set the standard for where the company is today. His precision, creativity, and passion will be just part of his legacy. More importantly, he was a tremendous friend.  He was funny, out of the box, loyal, and the ultimate teacher. He seldom wore shoes and used language that would make a sailor blush. 

Personally, John taught me and made me laugh for 35 years. Try as I might, he would not let me take myself too seriously as we faced the ups and downs faced by all businesses. Our essential values were always aligned and this set the open, collaborative tone that our employees and clients value so much.

I know what he meant to me is shared by so many CMBers – both present and alums.  He listened, he taught, he advised, and he truly cared. And those of us who knew him, we felt it. Of course, he was not just my partner for over 30 years; he was also an intimate friend to my family.  He was always there for my husband and was mentor to our two sons who grew up with him, advocating and advising them on life. 

John is survived by his wife Marion, to whom he was profoundly devoted, and his beloved daughter Bronwyn, and son Travis, who are feeling the pain of loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

While there will be no funeral, plans for a celebration of life will be shared in the coming weeks. John touched so many lives, and hearing the wonderful, funny stories has been a great comfort, please share your thoughts and memories here: http://john-martin1.muchloved.com/

Donations can be made in John's name to the International Mesothelioma Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital: https://giving.brighamandwomens.org/IMP

Thank you, John. Your friend, Anne

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

CMB: More Than Just Data

Posted by Anne Bailey Berman

Wed, Jun 27, 2012

We’re pleased to announce Chadwick Martin Bailey was recently named as a “Top 50” firm in the annual Honomichl report of the top revenue-generating marketing research companies in the US. While we’re happy to be recognized for our revenue, what we are most proud of is our continued commitment to our core values—our clients, our approach, and our people.

Our Clients
We are a client-centered firm.  Our clients trust us for the insights we provide them, and we take this responsibility seriously. Our collaborative approach and role as trusted advisors means that insights are translated into practical business advice and solutions. 

Our Approach
Our mantra is solving companies’ problems. We provide the right information in the right way so clients gain insight—not confusing or burdensome data dumps. We maintain a methodological center of excellence, and use integrated data sources, rigorous research methods, and leading edge technology to solve real world problems and guide effective business decisions.  Our offerings are not “off the shelf,” but rather acknowledge that every company’s situation is different and needs to be treated that way.

Our People
From the very beginning, we have strived to build a culture focused on team work, common sense, and excellence. The CMB client experience is so much about our people; our clients benefit not just from the efforts of individuals, but from a team of smart and committed people sharing their high-level skills and experience. We are a strategic learning organization where all of us are expected to be active learners and contributors.  I am most proud of the way our consultants, analysts, and methodologists work together.

Learn more about why CMB stands out from the crowd:

 

Posted by Anne Bailey Berman. Anne is the President of Chadwick Martin Bailey and enjoys volunteering in the community, traveling with her family and spending time in her vegetable garden.

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, our people