Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

More Important than "the Six Most Important Words in Marketing?"

As many of you know, I am insanely, way-overboard, sounding-like-a-broken-record, in love with the following six word phrase: "How did you hear about us?" (More about this fundamental marketing tactic .) For years I've refered to that as the six most important words in marketing.

Now, today there's something more important than that one essential markeitng question. Oh really?

So says Fred Reichheld and practitioners of a new theory called Net Promoter. They claim there is "one question that can determine your business' future."

That's quite the marketing smack talk! Yet they back it up with research, a book, training workshops and a Web site. I was curious, so I investigated.

Net Promoter - here's the deal:

1- Ask all your customers: "How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague?" Present the recipient with a 1-10 rating scale for responding to the question.

2- Promoters are those who are highly likely to recommend you. Count those who fall into this range, (8-10 scoring range, for example). Promoters are those engaged, empowered, loyal customers who'll go out of their way to spread the good word about your company and your products.

3- Detractors are those who are are least likely to recommend you. Count those who fall into this category (perhaps 1-3 scoring range). Detractors are detrimental. They are dissatisfied, looking for new options (other than you) and are spreading bad news about your company and your products.

4- Your Net Promoter Score = (% of Promoters) minus (% of Detractors)

That's it--simple and straightforward, the Net Promoter Score system. If your business is taking care of your customers, your NPS will be high; conversely if your business has crummy service, poor quality and bad marketing, then your NPS will be low. In fact, if you have a negative NPS, the theory says that you are on your way out of business.

Measure your Net Promoter Score often. Track the results over time. While the first survey will have only anecdotal value, the change in score over time (the longitudinal data) will be truly revealing. Is your NPS increasing or decreasing? Why?

Consider the marketing power of a new paradigm ... 10 important words!

1- On the front end ask: "How did you hear about us?" Then, invest more in what's working and do more of what's working.

2- On the back side, following a sale, ask: "Would you recommend us?" Then, work like crazy, servicing customers and understanding their desires, to earn more Promoters and to prevent Detractors from arising.

Actually, once you've looked at it, these two go together quite naturally. A one-two punch, consisting of the 10 most important words in marketing. Now, let's put it all into action and go earn some Promoters!

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