Posts Tagged ‘#marketing’

The Net Promoter Score, the debate continues…

June 11, 2019

For years now, it feels like I go through phases where clients ask me “what do you think of the Net Promoter Score?” and we have lots of meaningful chats about it, then I hear nothing about it for a while. Well it seems it is back on client’s radar again, so I thought I would jot down my point of view on it. I should point out that my perceptive on the score is based on my experience of how my clients have been either ‘gathering the score’ or ‘using it’.

Let me start of by saying that I believe it is without doubt a useful measure of customers relationship strength, but I believe it is limited in terms of providing strategically focused outcomes. I base this thinking on the fact that it is often used in a manner which makes the score one dimensional when a multidimensional measure of the strength of the customer relationship is something we should be striving for (in order to better reflect lived experiences). A single score can be limiting, for example if you have a low NPS score it’s important to understand “why” the number is low so that you can improve that score. Thus additional research to determine why people talk positively or negatively is still necessary if all you have is the NPS score (which is often the case, especially if just ‘adding it on’ to a survey).  

A potential ‘recommendation” is more often than not an effect of service received, the NPS can initially measure this for you and in time monitor this, but it does not give analysis that will enable you to measure the underlying cause of likelihood to recommend, you need to explore the “effect” of service (and other relevant metrics) on recommendation and identify opportunities for improvement. In addition, is just collecting a standalone NPS measure it is not effective for predicting business performance as it provides no direction about what to do, that said a standalone NPS may give you a “motivational” score should you need to improve but little or no guidance for management on “what to do”.

Furthermore, you also must consider the market in which your (or your client’s) company operates, I believe the NPS is better suited to business that operate in a market where customer interactions are fairly simple and are confined to a limited number of possible touch-points (namely business-to-consumer retail settings). It is far less suited for a company operating in a market with complex customer interactions and a multitude of possible touch-points and processes to manage (namely business-to-business or where complex service relationships exists with consumer, such as financial services).

Guinness’s ‘Surfer’ ad didn’t do that well in research ‘but we ignored it’ – In defense of research….

February 7, 2019

This post was prompted by this article I saw on Linkedin, I had lots to say on it but the word limit on the comments box would not let me say everything I wanted to say, so here goes…

Just because an ad does not do well in research, does not mean that the outcome of the research is to say “it is not a good ad” or indeed that “the idea should not be used”. As someone who has done a wealth of research into communications testing and development, I have seen lots of ads / concepts that did not do well that went on to be incredibly successful ads. That is because the job of research is not to ‘kill the idea’ it is to tell you how to make the idea be the very best is can.

This works best when as researchers we are working in partnership with both the client and the agency (not brought in at the 11th hr to test an idea). This enables all involved to foster a more collaborative process that get the best result out of the research.

When it comes to researching ads the starting point should always be that every concept has a chance of success and our role is not to kill them off, but to understand their potential. A researcher’s job is not to ‘beat-up’ on the ad, as a researcher I want a successful outcome for all involved and as such we approach the evaluation of any communications with an open mind. Our task is to look for constructive ways to improve on the possible success of the communications being tested. In order to do this, context is important, we have a much better chance of understanding how people react to a concept if we have a deeper understanding of their overall attitudes to the category say.

Also the way in which we evaluate ads if paramount, first impressions are key (and more closely mirror real world exposure) so we should focus on initial reactions and not allow people to spend too long talking about a concept to the point where they are just looking for things to say or critique. The gut feel viewers have is often the most powerful insight we get about what’s working and what’s not.

In addition, people don’t always say exactly what they mean and we should look beyond their verbal messages to ensure we understand the meaning behind what is being said (or not). So although consumers will often tell us what they “think” of an ad we should not expect them to always automatically identify the factors which are “influencing their thinking”, this is where the researchers expertise at understanding what is often left unsaid is critical to interpreting how the communications are working (or not).

As research I also often hear “the ads are not is a format ready or best for testing”, however an ad does not need to be in its final polished format in order to test the ‘idea’ or ‘concept’. There are all manner of ways to use stimulus to stimulate a conversation with consumers about a communications idea. Not only that, but consumers are far more marketing savvy than we sometimes give them credit for and if we take the time to explain the stimulus at hand they get it and are willing to ‘work with us’. On the topic of consumers being more marketing savvy now than ever before we should never underestimate their ability to understand the ‘idea’ behind the ad being tested, they often provide us with the ‘gem’ that gets the idea across the line.

Anyway, the main point I want to make it that ultimately as researchers we are hired to have an opinion and should avoid ‘sitting on the fence’, but this opinion should always be well-informed and constructive and when it is, this helps ensure ads that don’t do well in research have a chance to go to become award winning ads.