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For over 20 years Tara Lasker has been combining her advanced quantitative background, analytical experience, and ability to build strong partnerships with clients to meet organizational objectives in a market research environment. Her work—ranging from determining brand consideration/perception implications and sales impact due to product optimization and market strategy—with some of the world’s leading brands has been recognized by the American Marketing Association and the Advertising Research Foundation. Her clients have included Celebrity Cruises, REI, American Express, Mercedes-Benz, Swarovski, Match.com, Converse, and LinkedIn.
I went to college at Ohio State University, Columbus and one of my first jobs out of college was a Healthcare Research Associate. As I assumed my first full time role as a healthcare research project manager, I began to realize that research—specifically market research—was something that I wanted to pursue. I had been interested in market research during college, but managing and seeing it applied in the business setting really solidified that this is where I wanted to take my career. When I decided to move back east be closer to family, I began interviewing with market research firms and CMB really stood out.
I started at CMB as a project manager in 1999 and always had an affinity for operational efficiency. Whenever I could, I aimed to streamline processes: making templates, centralizing documents, creating trainings, etc. One of the things I genuinely appreciate about CMB is allowing people, like myself, to grow in the area where skills are strongest even if the role doesn’t exist yet. Although I was a project manager for many years, the research director role was developed here at CMB to help me grow in a way that best suited my skills, which has since evolved to my current role as the VP of Insights & Strategy Operations.
Empowering employees to put forth their best work and help them to achieve their career goals is something CMB does incredibly well and keeps me motivated and excited as a leader in the company. Collaborating with my team to help the company grow and succeed is an incredibly rewarding experience and inspires me to be forward-looking. My favorite days at CMB are when I’m writing up an internal promotion announcement because I am so excited to support the person in taking the next step in their career.
Good partnerships must start with a true understanding your client’s challenges and showing empathy for the position they—and their stakeholders—are in at any given moment. I strive to find ways to add value by pushing that understanding and asking my clients to clarify exactly how insights will be used, socialized, and integrated into their business functions. This was part of what John Martin, one of our two founders, instilled in me. He was instrumental in my career, and I think of him often. Through working with him, I learned to think differently, think big, push myself, and never lose sight of the bigger picture our insights offer.
Finally, to strengthen client relationships, I always find ways to relate and connect personally whether that be travel, music, parenting, etc. Having a moment to see the non-business side of one another helps to forge an authentic connection.
I have 2 great kids, Mia age 12 and Ryan age 10. Mia is on a dance team, always coming up with creative projects – her latest is creating her own line of skin care products to sell at our town day festival. Ryan LOVES all things soccer and New England sports. My husband is a Landscape Architect who manages the construction of sports field complexes. We love to see live music, travel, and hike and bike around new destinations.