CMB Spotlight: Taylor Trowbridge

CMB’s Spotlight Series brings to life the CMB Difference through our people and clients. Read all of our spotlights here.

It’s about a 5 min. read.

Taylor Trowbridge
AVP, Financial Services Account Management

Taylor is a seasoned client services/relationship manager with deep and varied experience in customer satisfaction, customer experience, loyalty/affinity, AA&U, and concept testing research. He brings a holistic perspective to his projects through his varied experience in the market research industry that includes performing different roles such as Client Services Manager and Market Research Analyst with leading global companies.

1. What brought you to work at CMB?

I’ve been in market research for about 15 years, and CMB has a great reputation. I knew CMB was the right fit for me after meeting with the team, understanding their mentality, and just how brilliant everyone is from the top down, whether it’s a client-facing account executive, or someone on the administrative team. Being part of a team that discovers, identifies, and understands evolving behaviors in an increasingly complex and disrupted world is exhilarating. Financial Services is a steadfast industry that’s continually evolving. Being at the forefront of that is an amazing piece of the puzzle.

Since joining CMB, I’ve become more aware of the processes and organizational styles that better serve my clients. I understand my clients better thanks to workshops and seminars, and through my colleagues who have a wealth of experience building great client relationships.

2. What is your favorite kind of project to work on?

Might sound vanilla, but I’m a huge fan of the awareness, attitude and usage studies. I like tackling areas we don’t understand (i.e. behaviors, attitudes, product usage), and turning those early ideas into strategies and plans that can be executed on, whether it’s a new credit card, credit card offering, investment type, or investment approach.
But no matter the project, our work is more than answering a business question, it’s about how we can apply this research to the business. Knowing that, I try to bring a holistic approach to answering complex questions—a practice that my M.B.A. program at the University of Florida really ingrained in me.

3. At CMB, we like to think ahead. What do you think your Financial Service clients should be addressing for their longevity? How should they/we be evolving?

It’s an interesting and exciting time for me. The industry has already been changing—we’ve seen this with the shift from regional, small community banks to totally digital and AI-enhanced platforms. We need to look longer term than we’re used to, without losing sight of our short-term and mid-term goals. To help navigate that for clients, I like to look at these trends through a consumer, client, and advisor perspective. For example, credit card usage and loyalty point redemptions have been all about travel and dining. That’s changing because no one is traveling or dining out anymore. So, we must ask ourselves how we can change that behavior and/or loyalty programs and rewards to address today’s market challenges, but also set up for long-term success and flexibility.

4. What’s the secret to developing not good but great client relationships?

Know your client’s business. And not just for the project you’re doing. The project will only tell you a small portion of business, your client’s role, and what they need to make their lives easier. Get a well-rounded view by any available means: speak with other members of their team, read publicly available resources like their annual reports, etc.

Once you understand their business, getting to know your clients on a more personal level (their likes, dislikes, hobbies, etc.) is key to becoming humans and becoming partners. During COVID-19 this is especially important, make sure that your clients and their families are OK, with outreach that is personal more so than just the “I hope you’re doing well.”

Also, be accountable. Accountability is often thought of, but not always expressed. We need to be accountable for our client’s needs, what we deliver, and how we support them—emotionally and professionally.

5. What does “The CMB Difference” mean to you?

Dedication. We’re completely dedicated to their crafts, from getting inside the minds of consumers through consumer psychology to bringing out consumer truths through qualitative moderating. This passion is apparent in our interactions, products, and services. It leads to client success in a brighter, fuller, more colorful way.

We deliver that color through storytelling. Storytelling is key to what we do because it shows what market research is capable of. We’re more than just numbers. We’re able to take a business question or client initiative and turn it into a story that drives critical decision-making.

6. If you were going to be fur-sonified, what kind of animal would you be, and why?

I’d be a koala. They are soft, loveable, and look great in grey, as do I. I’d be totally koala-fied.

7. If you had to live one day over again, what day would you pick?

I’d live September 1, 2018 over again: my wedding day. During COVID-19 and this time of great uncertainty, I harken back to the days where I saw friends and family together, laughing and dancing. It’s so important to connect and be supportive of  your colleagues, clients, friends, and family. That day was it for me. It was the best day of my life. My wife has been an important support system during this.

8. Show us what a typical day in the life of Taylor looks like.