Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Should Marketing Count?

Marketing is getting bogged down with numbers. Everybody wants metrics. Boards want numbers that justify marketing activities, marketers think they will give them credence and all sorts of third parties want metrics that they can sell to Boards and marketers. Too much measurement and not enough marketing. Another example of looking inwards when marketing should be focussed outwards.

But reading Herd has reminded me of Frederick Reicheld's elegant One Number You Need solution. It's based upon a single question - the one of those that he tested which yields the most powerful predictor of future success. That question is: "On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this company/product/service to a friend?"

This simple question is simplified even further by only recognising scores of 9 or 10 (called supporters) as indicators of real satisfaction. Scores of 0 to 6 are termed detractors while the remainder are called passive supporters and are rightly ignored. Regular readers will note how this ties in with my distrust of research as explained here.

Subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters yields the "net-promoter" score and world class performance equates to a score of 75% to 80%. The goal then is to "Get more promoters and fewer detractors” and fits with my philosophy of accentuating the negative by which I mean eliminating what's wrong (so that what's left is right) rather than focussing all efforts on potentially superfluous "improvements".

One number. It saves money on research, focusses everyone's mind on a simple goal and provides clear feedback. Tie the improvement of that number into employer incentives and ROI follows. Simple. Now let's get back to doing rather than analysing.


Blogger Amy Madsen said...

Thanks for your interesting blog, John. Since the Harvard Business Review article, Fred Reichheld has published a book on the article's premise: "The Ultimate Question."

Here is info on the book:

And here is a link to Fred Reichheld's Net Promoter blog:

11:24 AM, March 27, 2007  
Blogger john dodds said...

Thanks for that Amy. Does the book add much to the original idea or is it just full of examples like many business books?

1:13 PM, March 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, thanks for the links. Far more eloquently and smartly put - and exactly what I was driving at.

I'm going to find a way to give your "net promoter" score a bash. Thanks.


6:52 PM, April 19, 2007  

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