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2020: Sharpening Our Vision

Posted by Jim Garrity

Thu, Jan 02, 2020

CMB's 2019 Year in Review

2019 YIR

At CMB, we’re in the business of looking ahead—understanding consumer behavior and helping leading brands translate those insights into impact. As we enter a new year and a new decade, it’s only natural to reflect on the past, and to evaluate how we can use that knowledge to deliver more value to our client partners.

We’re proud to say that we had another strong year. We’ve successfully executed hundreds of engagements with some of world’s leading brands, representing industries from Tech & Telecom and Financial Services to Digital Media & Entertainment. We spread our insights to thousands at major conferences like TMRE and CRC, covering topics from the future of autonomous vehicles, and understanding financial wellness, to the art and science of getting a laugh.

This success was fueled by significant, tactical and strategic updates at CMB. We welcomed new digs at our new location, onboarded 30 new super-smart, talented individuals to our team, and promoted dozens of others, who have each made valuable contributions and impact on the quality of service we provide to our clients. We’re also thrilled that our work and culture has been recognized by organizations like GreenBook as a 2019 Market Leader, and by MarketResearchCareers’ 2019 Best Employees list.

Beyond the data, we continue to raise the bar for information security—maintaining our ISO 27001 certification and implementing leading edge security training for our team. As we embark on our 2020 journey, we’re committed to sharpening our vision, and building on our success.

2019 + 2020 = Foresight

The world is speeding up for consumers, brands, and the strategic insights partners who serve them. Those who merely react, will fall short in delivering value. At CMB, we believe success lies in harnessing both human and AI-enabled intelligence to create collaborative insights that deliver richer, truer stories that lead to business impact.

Data + Advanced Analytics = Insights

AI and automation are changing every industry. We’re leveraging several of these tools already to deliver the consultative value-add our clients seek – and we’re continuously evaluating others, so we’ll be adding many more in the months and years ahead. AI and automation present us with incredible opportunities to accelerate the path from data to insights. And we are excited about the near-term possibilities.

Data + Advanced Analytics + Storytelling + Expertise = Consultative Value-Add

We’ll continue to define the future of insights by investing in the visual and narrative storytelling capabilities, and talent that transform data into engagement, action, and enlightenment.  In a world of continual disruption and change, our commitment is not to maintain the status quo—it is to deliver the greatest value and keep the needs of our clients omnipresent.

In closing, I am excited about what we’ve already accomplished - but am even more excited about what we will achieve together going forward.


Jim GarrityJim Garrity, CEO of CMB, has over three decades of strategic, client-centered, market strategy leadership.

Follow CMB on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for the latest news and updates.

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey

The Inner Battle Royale: Who Is The Fortnite Fan?

Posted by Josh Fortey

Mon, Dec 16, 2019

Sirens ring out across Dusty Depot. As the ground begins to shake, a rocket erupts from beneath, its pace intensifying as it scars the horizon. Suddenly, the sky cracks and blue rifts appear, rockets raining down; a meteor ruptures the sky, hurtling to the ground. The impact devastates the island as a black rift emerges, engulfing everything that surrounds it. Nothing is left but darkness­­—is this the end?

It is not the end, nor is it a Hollywood movie or HBO fantasy drama. This is Fortnite Battle Royale, the highly disruptive online video game that serves as a barometer for success in this gaming genre. This much-hyped seasonal event attracted a peak 1.6 million viewers on Twitch and a peak 4 million viewers on YouTube. The success of this event is a positive development for the game following recent reports of a 52% decline in in-game spending, lagging viewership figures and general dissatisfaction with the state of its most recent season. Live content spectacles help renew focus away from the all-too-familiar proclamations of a dying game or a dying and oversaturated Battle Royale genre, but Fortnite has a bigger problem that may ultimately destabilize growth: the image of the typical Fortnite player.

In our recent BrandFx 2.0 research, CMB interviewed thousands of gamers regarding more than 30 media, entertainment and gaming brands on this very topic. We found that for players of a game, the most important driver of recommendation is how well the most recent gaming session elicits positive emotion. For non-players, however, the most important driver of considering a game is their perception of that games’ typical player. We also found that for gamers’ who don’t play Fortnite, perceptions of the typical Fortnite player were considerably more negative than perceptions of the typical brand user for prospects of other media brands.

Fortnite_NonUserPerceptionsTypicalUser_Final_JPG

Takeaway #1: The Battle of Divisive Emotions

Among the users and non-users of any of the 33 media brands we tested (and particularly among other gaming brands such as Nintendo, Pokémon and Mario), some of the starkest differences were between how Fortnite players perceive the typical Fortnite player and how non-Fortnite players perceive the typical Fortnite player. This in spite of what is a relatively cohesive perception of audience demographics (i.e. both Fortnite players and non-players perceive the typical Fortnite player as younger male teens).

 Takeaway #2: A Middle School Dance: Fortnite On One Side, Non-Fornite On the Other

Non-Fortnite players are also more likely to view themselves as “very different” to the typical Fortnite player, “very disinterested” in making friends with them and more likely to “really disrespect” the typical Fortnite player. Only two other brands come close to this level of consistent negative perception among non-brand users across all three categories (The Simpsons and Pokémon are the other two).

Fortnite_NonUserRelationshipWithTypicalUser_Final_JPG

Takeaway #3: Converting Non-Fortnite Players

Ultimately, it could be these typical player perceptions that feed into the negative emotional association to Fortnite among non-players, in turn potentially hindering future player growth.  When asked how they imagine it would feel to play Fortnite, the non-Fortnite gamers are among the strongest of the tested brands to state that they expect the experience to be more "bad" than "good" (35%: +15% vs. media average).

While Fortnite continues to defy critics claims of the game’s death, and hold off fierce competition from the likes of Apex Legends and PUBG, its continued success may hinge on changing the substantial negative perceptions of its user base.


Josh ForteyJosh Fortey is an Account Director at CMB, and avid gamer.

Follow CMB on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter for the latest news and updates.

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, consumer insights, Consumer Pulse, digital media and entertainment research, Market research, Identity, emotion, technology, Gaming

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.

For more insights, please follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

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