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Detecting Tomorrow’s Patterns at TMRE Las Vegas

Posted by Julie Kurd

Tue, Nov 12, 2019

TMRE Julie and Lori at booth (2)

At TMRE, we were immersed in a world of abundance, showmanship, cacophony, laughter, and glamour. As I checked out of the Mirage Hotel in the wee hours, I wondered why the lights weren’t on in the stunning 60x10 foot aquarium at registration. That’s when I learned that the four marine biologists on staff require lights out until 7:30am because too much light stimulation interrupts the fish feeding rhythms. As we return from another stimulating conference, let’s shine a light on emerging human and technological rhythms:

  • Detecting patterns: Is it good or bad if your technology knows you completely and holistically? We know in order to develop and grow our fan, member, and/or installed base, we need to disrupt ourselves digitally. Kevin Lee, COO of China Youthology talked about Alibaba and our other global tech giants who are shifting their efforts into our homes, cars, and offline lives so they can ‘know’ us completely and holistically. example, stay at FlyZoo hotel, and you can access everything you need through facial recognition. Even when you check out, you can just walk out. Tech giants are seeking to deliver convenient and simplified experiences, and existing data isn’t enough for these challenger brands. As our tech giants acquire entire ecosystems and categories, our data is now the currency of global innovation for a nomad generation. Amy Webb, Professor and Quantitative Futurist & Founder of The Future Today Institute and the Author of The Signals are Talking, discussed the implications of “post big data 1.0” and its fusion of digital data, cultural data, social data, and even our health goals. Her description of our voice-activated microwaves popping popcorn for us on command is pure joy…or is it? What if the microwave detects we’ve been gaining weight? Will it block our command, for our own good?
    Copy of TMRE Twitter Quote Post
  • Show of hands: Who vaults out of bed and can’t wait to get to work? Several of our hands shot up, but we asked questions of one another during the break…is it this particular job that has us vaulting out of bed? Most of us have had other jobs and have always vaulted out of bed. So, essence or environment? How can you become attentive to what is and isn’t happening to live towards the world of 2029? Amy Webb, who also authored The Big Nine, describes three frameworks of thinking patterns in machines, and in people:
    • Optimistic Framers—restless leg folks, who seek interoperability, chart theoretical future states and welcome uncertainty. They seek new structures for exponential growth so they look for new patterns in what is missing, unformed, not yet present.
    • Neutral Framers— those who have limited access because tech platforms aren’t interoperable. They drive solutions that continuously improve their system. These hurdlers rely on their system fluency to drive incremental growth.
    • Catastrophic Framers— those who are trying to improve their paradoxical world through automation but haven’t yet figured out how to reduce the cognitive work stream. Life has resulted in just a lot more work. These framers are panicking and still trying to make linear decisions for everything.

During this discussion, Amy delineated the difference between bystanders—those who cling to cherished beliefs and are unwilling or unable to see welcome uncertainty—and pathfinders—those who embrace uncertainty, charting theoretical future states, and find patterns in what is missing and not yet formed. No prizes for predicting who will thrive in our increasingly connected and disrupted future.

  • While in Vegas, I netted $40. But is that good? A classic question of perspective. According to growth strategy consulting firm Innosight’s biennial corporate longevity forecast, we need to begin imagining a world in which the average company lasts just 12 years on the S&P 500. Because that’s the reality we will be living in by 2027. Examples of TMRE presenters who openly talk about how they disrupt themselves included:
    • John Copeland, Vice President of Marketing & Consumer Insights at Adobe, described the massive pivot in Adobe’s operating model and the new KPIs needed to measure it all. Adobe underwent a massive digital transformation from packaged products ($2-3k for Photoshop, Illustrator) to Creative Cloud ($20-60/month subscription), to Creative Suite (platform as a service). This re-imagined creative journey has Adobe’s true product as a top 100 global website with 24/7 relationship support. Measurement, hence, must be of the ‘experience platform’ so it measures all 5 phases (1. Discover – free sign ups, 2. Try – download & use, 3. Buy – paid members, 4. Use = engagement score, 5. Renew – retain).
    • Monika Chandra, Research Manager at Facebook, told us that there is ‘no cruising on winding roads.’ At Facebook, she works at getting ‘closer’ to the truth of international market sizing for Facebook Marketplace in order to understand the potential for new products and business areas. Monika gave us sight into her learning process. She described her robust investigation to study with rigor, validate, and consistently measure as well as question what is being measured over time. Are we measuring C2C, B2C, C2B? And share of what? How many of us can reliably report the number of times we bought online in the past week or month? Again, I heard about the human factor of needing to measure both online and offline data to gain a fuller picture and greater insight into our audiences.
  • Changing our Behavior: From answer-centric to learning-centric: We can chart the rise of the nomad generation (under-protected, over-exposed), where data is the currency of innovation. Ashmeed Ali, Senior Director and Head of Marketing & Brand Research at Buzzfeed, says that the new game is re-ordered so now it’s “Publish. Learn. Iterate.” Gen Z is producing much of the listicles, and surveys on Buzzfeed. As companies enter the experimental stage of persistent technological recognition, the insights community must build its own unconventional instrumentation to detect what truly matters. Is the solution in the staffing [anthropologists, 1st year outs (out of college/grad school)]? In the tech instrumentation? In the noticing? In the story telling? Is it in the framing?

And it’s not just people…it is tech too. As technology like Amazon’s Alexa detects a cough, a sharp tone, a voice tremor, that next adjacent business can be spawned. In our $24B global insights industry, Prudential’s Supriya Sanyal’s words echo, as she closed her presentation with these recommendations: a) connect to the mission, b) get executive stakeholder buy in from the start, c) balance flexibility with depth and consistency, d) democratize data, even though data citizens may have varied skills, e) socialize the stories internally and externally, and f) choose your partners wisely. Continuously learn…repeat and reflect.

As the lights dim on TMRE 2019, how are we all going to disrupt ourselves? How are we enlisting people and technology to learn, unlearn and re-learn?


Julie KurdJulie Kurd is the VP, Business Development at CMB.

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Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, conference recap, customer experience and loyalty, growth and innovation, Market research, professional development, technology

Baking With Insights: CMB's First Annual Great Banana Bread Bake-Off

Posted by Shira Smith

Wed, Apr 24, 2019

This blog was coauthored by Shira Smith and Laura Dulude.

file-31

Among CMB's many talented team members, we seem to attract an unusually high percentage of gifted bakers. Inspired by CMB favorite, The Great British Baking Show, we recently hosted our first annual Great Banana Bread Bake-Off. While some of us volunteered to bake, others put their talents to judging.

Unable to fully relinquish our researcher hat for a chef’s toque, we couldn’t help but put together a structured approach for the competition—we sure know how to have a good time!

Here’s how we used market research best practices to pull off the big event:

  1. Blind judging: To ensure fairness, the banana breads were judged blind. Each entry was assigned a number so that judges didn't know who baked which bread until after they submitted their scorecard. This let us keep track of scores and link them back to the winners in the end.
  2. Randomizing the tasting order: Judges were asked to sample the breads at random to minimize order bias. Imagine tasting 11 different banana breadsthe first or last are likely to be more memorable than the middle, so we didn’t want to create any unfair advantages by always starting with the same loaf.
  3. Analysis: Remember, this was a competition! Judges were asked to rate the breads on a 1-5 scale across four categories: taste, texture, creativity, and appearance. We then summed up the four scores to crown a winner. This approach also let us see how each loaf fared in the individual categories.
Some takeaways:
  • Market researchers use the whole scale. No high-rating or straight-lining here! Our scores ranged from an average of 2.0 for one bread’s creativity to a 4.2 for another’s texture.
  • Taste and texture were closely tied, which should come as no surprise to anyone who’s ever enjoyed the crisp snap of a potato chip. Using our 124 judge ratings, we ran pairwise correlations across all breads:banana bread scoringSignificant correlations at 95% confidence are shown in green. Taste and Texture form a clear pair with a strong (0.5+) correlation, and while Creativity and Appearance are weakly correlated with Taste, the two of them track together even better with a correlation of 0.353.
  • You don’t have to win any one category to be successful. There was a bit of an uproar in the office when one contestant came in second place overall despite not having won any individual category outright. However, his entry was a solid contender in multiple categories, placing 2nd in Texture, 3rd in Appearance, 3rd in Creativity, and 4th in Tasteconsistency won the game for bread #5.
  • All the winners looked good. The top three breads overall were also the top three most attractive breads; no other metric tracked so clearly against overall success. The top-ranking bread overall excelled in Taste and Creativity, the second-place winner was consistently good across all categories, and bronze took it home with solid scores in both Texture and Creativity, but all three of them succeeded while looking delicious.

Overall the Great Banana Bread Bake-Off was a major success and true indicator of our colleagues’ creativity and dedication to teamwork. Want to join us? Check out our careers page to learn more about life at CMB and our open positions (no baking required).

Open Roles

Check out related blog posts:

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, community

CMB Moves to Boston's Bustling Financial District

Posted by Savannah House

Thu, Feb 14, 2019

welcome packet 2

Last night we celebrated an exciting milestone for CMB. As of this past Monday, our headquarters have officially moved to Boston’s Financial District—just a 10-minute walk from our previous location in the historic Leather District.

CMB welcome reception

We had 34 wonderful years on South Street, but we look forward to this next chapter for CMB. Our new office accommodates our continued growth and evolution—outfitted with collaboration areas, Wellness space, and a private roof deck with sweeping views of downtown Boston.

View of Downtown Boston

And part of this growth means hiring smart and driven individuals. If you’re interested in working with fun, talented, and collaborative teammates, check out our open roles.

Open Roles

This is an exciting time for CMB as we continue to grow and evolve as a company. We’re thrilled about this opportunity and look forward to welcoming you to our new space!

Welcome reception-Two Oliver

Savannah House is the Marketing Manager at CMB who is thoroughly enjoying her new standing desk.

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, CMB Careers, news and announcements

Welcoming the New Year with Excitement and Enthusiasm

Posted by Jim Garrity

Tue, Dec 18, 2018

2018 into 2019

As 2018 winds down, I'd like to reflect on this past year and share my excitement for 2019.

First, a sincere thank you to the CMB community—our colleagues, clients, partners, and friends. 2018 was a fantastic year for CMB and we have a lot to be both proud of and thankful for.

I admit to a naturally forward-looking disposition, but it would be a real disservice not to recognize our team’s hard work and accomplishments in 2018. Over the last 12 months, we experienced strong growth, welcomed many new and talented CMBers, enhanced our partnership with ITA Group, and invested in agile and other future-focused frameworks.

These achievements are the result of strategic initiatives that will better position CMB for success as we continue to be a trusted research partner for our clients—helping them make critical business decisions with confidence.

Yes, the world is changing rapidly. Disruptive forces such as AI, big data, and automation are upending industries—including the insights industry—at breakneck pace. But while these trends continue to challenge, they also provide endless opportunity to those who embrace change rather than struggle against it. 

At CMB, we’re in the business of helping our clients navigate change and uncertainty. We’ll meet these disruptive changes head on as a collaborative, decision-focused, creative and forward-thinking partner.

As we head into 2019, we look forward to building on this momentum and embracing the new year with enthusiasm:

  • Focusing on agile research. Stakeholders want insights faster than ever before. We are investing in leaner, smarter, and iterative approaches at scale to meet these rising demands and expectations.
  • Investing in building data-driven, evidence-based narratives that compel action. From the most foundational questions to the thorniest analytical problems, we understand the results mean little without essential context and resonant deliverables.  
  • Empowering CMB talent. We’re only as strong as our people. We’ll continue to hire and empower smart, curious, and collaborative researchers, strategists, analysts, consultants, storytellers, and designers to reflect the dynamic nature of our changing industry.
  • Advancing product development. We’ll continue to partner with our clients, prospects, and ITA Group colleagues to build data-driven solutions that leverage our unique combination of consumer psychology and advanced analytics expertise.

The future is bright for those who embrace change with focus and confidence. I have no doubt 2019 will be another successful year for CMB and our clients as we continue to partner to drive engagement, innovation, and growth.

I couldn’t be prouder to work with such a talented group of colleagues and clients.

Have a restful holiday and I look forward to working with you in 2019.

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, news and announcements

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: Chadwick Martin Bailey, community