Arnaud Pochebonne — Weber Shandwick
Arnaud gave us a fresh view of NPS, from the standpoint of public relations and PR. How does advocacy fit in with NPS when it comes to marketing and PR strategy?
Not that many years ago, the PR profession really thought about word-of-mouth in a hierarchical sense. Strategies were focused on the opinion leaders in a space, with the idea that this would trickle down through various press and communication channels to the general public. But this top-down model has basically been turned "upside down"...or at least sideways! Now, you can find consumers with lots of influence almost anywhere in the pyramid.
He used a new term for me in French called "info-consommateur"... which is his translation for the word "advocate." Evidently, advocate doesn't really have a direct translation into French. These advocates can have a bigger impact than ever, by sharing their opinions and stories online which basically amplifies their voice...and keep in mind that they can be promoters or detractors of your brand!
He also discussed a study they conducted with 4000 European consumers, covering NPS and word of mouth in 4 countries: UK, Germany, Spain, and Italy. The study included 5 different sectors: TV, cellular phones, personal PCs, autos, and liquor brands. What they noticed is that within the population of promoters, about 60% of these consumers are actively involved in recommending.
Let's stop for a second here, because I get this question a lot... Do all promoters really "promote" and spread the word for you? Well, they certainly are a lot more likely to exhibit these behaviors than passives or detractors. But as Arnaud points out, Net Promoter is based on understanding someone's likelihood of recommending. It's slightly different from asking whether a person has actually made a recommendation. So you need to create those promoters first, then you can try to activate as many of them as practical.
So what can you do to help a consumer "promote" your brand? One key point they found in their research is that the more you inform and educate your customer, the more likely the will be to actively share information with others. So if you're not sure about where to start to "activate" promoters... think about educating them.
He also showed some very interesting data linking NPS to whether or not the consumer had been "positively surprised." What they found was that NPS was very much correlated with this "customer delight" experience. And he stressed how critical it is to align marketing and advertising messages with actual experience design and delivery. When these things are in alignment, then the level of engagement and brand attachment increases, and word-of-mouth from the consumer serves to amplify your message and, ultimately, your business growth.
And yes, as I mentioned this morning, he told us more about Nespresso, which is his client. Check out my notes from earlier in the day if you want to find out a bit about the Nespresso WOM that was going on during our Net Promoter Day in Paris!
To summarize, if the old marketing and PR model was focused on Experts and Opinion Leaders, the new model is focused also on Social Networks as well as Family and Friends. Hierarchy in PR strategy is a thing of the past. Thanks, Arnaud.
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