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Savannah House

Savannah House is a Marketing Manager at CMB.

Recent Posts

3 Search Behavior Trends to Know in 2019

Posted by Savannah House

Fri, Jan 04, 2019

woman using mobile phone-1

Last month, Google published its annual top search trends report—a look into what people were most interested in 2018. From Avicii to Black Panther to polling information, search behavior reflects the events, people, and cultural moments that defined the year.

Beyond a cultural snapshot, search data lets us tap into real insights around what people want, need, and intend to do in their daily lives. And thanks in part to the Amazon Effect, consumers expect to find what they’re looking for faster and easier than ever before. To meet these rising expectations, brands must understand what, how, and when people are searching to better address their needs throughout the journey.

Here are some key search trends brands can leverage to better serve their customers:

Personalized search is on the rise

AI technology has made it easy to be conversational and personal in search. Like asking a friend—or Alexa—for advice, more and more people are using natural language when searching and asking questions. Instead of the traditional utility search (e.g., “best car”), we now ask specific and personally-relevant questions about products and services (e.g., “best car for me”) that feel more human.

In the last two years, mobile searches for “Do I need” and “Should I” have increased by over 65% while “Can I” mobile searches grew by 85%—indicating consumers now trust and expect search technology to answer their most personal and specific questions.

While this hyper-personalization is exciting, the focus must remain on the consumer—not the tech. Because customers are increasingly casual in their search, brands mustn’t lose the human element and use natural language in their product and service messaging. People are busy and won’t waste time on superfluous or overly-technical language.

This trend also suggests people are a lot more comfortable with using technology for a variety of their everyday needs—whether it’s shopping for a new auto insurance policy or locating the nearest open food delivery option. Consumers expect frictionless experiences, so brands need to ensure their digital touchpoints are human and intuitive.

People want things nearby and now

Whether it’s a manicure or a special shampoo brand, people expect something the moment they need it. And not only do they want it right now, it must be nearby.

Google reported a 500% growth in “near me” mobile searches containing a variant of “can I buy” or “to buy” over the last two years. Further, more and more consumers are searching for specific items like “riding boots near me” in addition to general “restaurants near me” queries.

All of this is to say that “near me” search is no longer just about location; it’s about finding a certain thing, in a specific place, at a specific time.

More than ever consumers expect to find exactly what they want when they want. Brands must work to provide the answers consumers are looking for—accurately and quickly—to capture their consideration. You don’t need to be a brick in mortar for this to apply to you. Whatever your business, help your customers and be absolutely explicit about your products and services.

People (and not just insights professionals) are research-obsessed

Today’s research-obsessed consumers use search to make the most of their experiences and optimize their lives. Whether it’s planning a vacation or going out to dinner, gathering information helps get them excited and feel confident about an upcoming experience.

Google reported a 120% increase in mobile searches for "wait times", indicating more and more people want to know what they’re getting themselves into prior to an experience.

This is an opportunity for brands to understand the different moments and mindsets of their customers and become part of their consideration early in the decision-making process. Customers want to feel confident while making planning decisions, so brands should do all they can to empower these decisions.

Make it easy to plan a trip to one of your hotels, for example, by offering pre-built itinerary suggestions. Or if you’re a financial services provider, consider offering a straightforward budget planner if you're targeting new college grads just starting on their financial journeys.

Whatever it is, take advantage of consumers’ desire to research by providing materials/content that will get them excited about choosing your brand.

Search data isn’t a magic bullet, but it’s a critical source of insights for engaging and inspiring today and tomorrow’s consumer. Tell us how you’re leveraging search and what you’re seeing in the comments!

Savannah House is a Marketing Manager at CMB who as a child, received movie times and the weather from SmarterChild, the OG of virtual assistants.

Topics: consumer insights

2018: A Year in Review

Posted by Savannah House

Wed, Dec 26, 2018

2018 blogging recap

It's been a busy and exciting year at CMB! Before we turn the page to 2019, here’s a look at some of our top-performing blog posts from 2018:

“What’s in a Name?”

While the historic $69 billion CVS-Aetna megamerger raises a lot of questions about the future of the healthcare industry, we’re particularly interested in how these two companies will approach the merger from a brand strategy perspective—remain separate brands, merge, or create a new? Either way, aligning on a brand strategy is as important as sorting out financials, operations, logistics, and everything else that comes with the complexities of this kind of deal.

“5 Questions with Qualitative Moderator Eileen Sullivan”

Earlier this year we were fortunate to welcome Eileen Sullivan to our growing Qualitative Practice. In this post, Eileen shares her perspective on the latest and greatest in qualitative research tools and methods, what it takes to be a successful moderator, and the critical role storytelling plays in research. And for any Quallies heading to QRCA in Savannah next month, be sure to keep your eye out for Eileen!

“Emotions Run High with Virtual Assistants”

Even though virtual assistants are evolving to do some pretty amazing things, most people are still only scratching the surface with the basic Q&A function. Asking Siri or Alexa for the weather forecast is a fine experience when they’re cooperating, but it can be extremely frustrating when you don’t get the right answer—like getting the current temperature in Cupertino when you live in Boston. CMB's Chris Neal dives into the emotional dimensions of using virtual assistants—what's driving and deterring widespread adoption.

“Why Standing up for the US Census Still Counts”

In a follow up to her 2017 post, “Why the Market Research Industry Must Stand up for the Census,” CMB’s Athena Rodriguez shares the latest on the state of the US Census 2020 as uncertainty surrounding the current administration's plans to add a citizenship question to the 2020 poll is just one of a number of critical issues plaguing the U.S. Census Bureau.

“To Label Me is to Negate Me”

Sometimes you crave an IPA, other times, a lager. It depends on the occasion. Segmenting your audience by motivations behind each occasion can be the key to a much more nuanced approach to winning more overall spend from each customer.

“Celebrating our First Year as Part of the ITA Group Family!”

Time flies when you’re having fun! September 2018 marked the one-year anniversary of joining the ITA Group Family. It's been an incredibly busy and exciting year, and we’re thrilled to work with a company that shares our values—and our commitment to delivering world class solutions to clients.

Thanks for reading along with us this past year. We look forward to sharing more insights, tips, and trends in 2019. Best wishes for a successful New Year!

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CMBers Give Thanks This Holiday Season

Posted by Savannah House

Tue, Nov 20, 2018

Ham, lasagna, chicken broccoli ziti, and cornbread. That was the first helping. Seconds included pulled pork, mashed potatoes, and pineapple stuffing. Yes, pineapple stuffing.

Today we came together for the CMB Thanksgiving Luncheon—an annual holiday meal prepared and served by CMB leadership. It's one of our favorite holiday traditions that celebrates community, creativity, and hard work.

group being served

While the holiday luncheon is a chance to sample colleagues' culinary talents, more importantly, it's an opportunity for us to take a break from the busy season and practice gratitude.

Group eating at Thanksgiving

Thank you to our employees, clients, research partners, and friends who have helped make this an incredibly exciting year at CMB. 

We wish everyone a happy and safe start to the holiday season.

Topics: community, Chadwick Martin Bailey

CMB Welcomes Brenda Ng as VP of Strategy and Account Planning

Posted by Savannah House

Fri, Nov 16, 2018

We're pleased to welcome Brenda Ng as Vice President of Strategy and Account Planning. A high-impact marketing executive, Brenda joins CMB with over 20 years of management and activation experience delivering critical insights that drive product development, market strategy, and global corporate strategic planning for some of the world’s leading brands. Based in Seattle, Brenda will spearhead the development of CMB’s engagement solutions in partnership with CMB’s parent company, ITA Group.

“We’re thrilled to have Brenda join the CMB team,” says Jim Garrity, CEO of CMB, “Brenda’s expertise in strategic consulting, product development, and consumer insights in highly competitive categories will help guide the development of solutions that leverage both CMB’s and ITA Group’s core competencies.”

Prior to joining CMB, Brenda was the Founder and Principal of The Trio Group, a Seattle-based consulting firm, where she built strategic roadmaps to develop, launch, and sustain products and initiatives for clients like Amazon, Sonos, and Qualcomm. Brenda formerly led Customer Insights and Competitive Intelligence as an executive at T-Mobile and Microsoft, where she was a member of the original Xbox incubation team.

A visiting Market Research guest lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business, Brenda’s multinational and cross-industry experience leveraging insights to drive innovation are an excellent fit for CMB and will be a tremendous asset as the company continues to grow.

Topics: news and announcements, strategy consulting

TMRE 2018: Gen Z, AI, and Ferraris

Posted by Savannah House

Mon, Oct 22, 2018

This article was cowritten by Savannah House, Julie Kurd, and Megan McManaman.

TMRE 2018 recap cover-1

Last week we headed to the Arizonan desert for TMRE 2018. Amid the cacti, snakes, and breathtaking desert sunsets, TMRE was bigger and better than ever as insights leaders challenged us to embrace innovation, inspire change, and push the industry forward.

If you couldn’t make it to TMRE 2018 or just want to relive the magic,  here are some highlights:

Marrying MR with data science. Market research and data science offer parallel tracks to answer critical questions—but all too often they are completely siloed. Members of Viacom’s very cool Content Innovation Analytics team, including Thomas Grayman, Tetiana Nosach Quignon, and Bingqing Ge, gave a fantastically meaty presentation with examples of how they integrate market research and data science techniques to leverage the best of both worlds and offer deeper insights to fuel program development and market strategy than relying on just one approach.

Staying focused in a $500B business. Linda Vytlacil, PhD, and Salome Aguilar of Walmart introduced us to the company’s $500 billion revenue line through the lens of insights. Researchers at Walmart have a maniacal focus on business objectives (e.g., to make every day easier for busy families) that serve as guide posts for their work—they marry transactional and survey data together for a multidimensional approach to understanding the customer and delivering value.

Vytlacil and Aguilar remind us to:

  • Keep the main goal (“easier”) the primary focus
  • Identify and remove unexpected friction points
  • Never underestimate the power of extreme ownership because transparency and accountability lifts everyone’s game
  • Invest in relationships with your consumers

Walmart customers aren’t necessarily seeking great stores with easy pickup, ship to store, scan and go, etc. Instead, they’re focused on living connected and happy lives with family, friends, purpose and community. As researchers, we need to connect with the main goal.

Research that inspires change. Yoni Karpen of Airbnb believes his research doesn’t matter unless it informs or inspires decisions. His goal isn’t to tell people what to do or how to think, but to provide structure to a chaotic and ambiguous world. For example, Airbnb strives to help hosts be better hosts—to master the art of hospitality. To do this, Yoni’s team explored various dimensions between high and low performing hosts—their focus, motivations, effort, responsibility, self-perception, etc. By understanding the nuances between these distinct groups (e.g., high performing hosts are motivated by pride and passion for hospitality while low performing hosts are motivated by money), he introduced a framework for hospitality that his stakeholders can leverage to move hosts up the ladder. Yoni’s research doesn’t exist in a vacuum—it’s used across the organization to help drive Airbnb forward.

Yoni at TMRE

Yoni Karpen of Airbnb highlights the stark differences between high and low-performing hosts.

Will AI replace market researchers? It’s a question many of us likely think about as AI continues to shape and reshape the industry. In an Oxford style debate, experts from both sides shared their thoughts. David Ginsberg of Facebook argued AI will not replace market researchers. In fact, as Facebook continues to leverage AI, his research team has grown because no machine can uncover the intimate details—the why. Similarly, Marina Kosten of 20th Century Fox’s team interrogates data produced by AI. She admits, yes, AI will continue to get better and better, but only humans can take this data and turn it into meaningful insights through storytelling. On the other side of the debate, Anthony Lambrou of Pfizer posits AI might not eradicate the need for researchers entirely, but will change the traditional role of market researchers. AI systems will take on some tactic responsibilities like data collection, leaving more time for  researchers to focus on digesting and turning the data into a story.

Are you ready for Gen Z? Sheila Dreyer Van Buskirk of Synchrony and Lori Vellucci of CMB took the audience through an immersive and in-depth look at Gen Z. With over $44 billion in collecting purchasing power, Gen Z is on track to be the most disruptive generation yet—upending all industries from financial services to travel and hospitality. We may be a little biased because this was our presentation, but as researchers, it’s critical to stay ahead of these emerging generational trends so we can work with stakeholders to provide services and experiences that excite and resonate.

Connections and serendipity are often underrated at conferences. While of course it’s critical to attend as many sessions as possible, it’s also important to spend time at the sponsor booths. You’ll expand your knowledge (and your network) while learning about the latest and greatest market research innovations—you also might get a chance to ride in a Ferrari like Julie did with the Qualtrics team.

Want to learn how Synchrony ditched PowerPoint and created a dynamic and compelling research report that excited and engaged stakeholders? Reach out to learn more!