Has Dr Robert East shown us the future of WOM measurement?

January 28, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Posted in Events, Measurement, Research | 2 Comments
Tags: dr robert east, Measurement, net promoter score, social media, WOM, word of mouth

Wednesday morning’s espresso briefing event certainly drew a big crowd – and a host of questions. It wasn’t surprising, as Dr Robert East’s presentation on the limitations and alternatives to the famous WOM measurement tool Net Promoter Score was provocative and persuasive in equal measure.

As Professor of Consumer Psychology at Kingston University, Dr East has long applied rigorous academic thinking to the contentious world of WOM metrics. He began by looking at the actual impact of positive and negative WOM for brands, something that NPS ignores. His research showed that measuring levels of sentiment is also more complex than it might initially seem, as detractors and promoters may not be as wholeheartedly glowing or derogatory as we assume.

He next moved on to look at the American Customer Satisfaction Index, another popular measure, and questioned the validity of ‘satisfaction’ as determined by the survey – highlighting such important points as the fact that satisfaction is proved to have little correlation with customer retention, and is only one of the causes of WOM.

By proposing a new methodology that takes into account these discrepancies and subtleties, Dr East showed that there could be a way of producing a much more reliable and effective measurement. This was very well received, and prompted a lively debate, with most of the questions circling the perennial problem of measuring essentially emotional and complex data quantitavely, and how to incorporate the differing value of different types of WOM. The issue of offline monitoring was also raised, with Dr East suggesting that examining individual industries and passion groups was the best starting point for gaining deeper insight. Check out the full presentation below.

What is certain is that this is an area that will be central to the growth and strength of the WOM industry in the next few years – and that an injection of funding is badly needed to investigate new systems large-scale. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for Dr East in securing further funding, leave a comment below or get in touch.

January Espresso Briefing: Dr Robert East on moving your WOM measurement beyond Net Promoter Score

December 10, 2009 at 1:51 pm | Posted in Events, Measurement, Research | Leave a Comment
Tags: consumer behaviour, net promoter score, professor robert east, social media measurement, wom uk, word of mouth measurement

We’re going to kick off the New Year with a corker of an event. At 8.30-10.30am, Wednesday 27th January at Guardian News & Media, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU, Dr Robert East, Professor of Consumer Behaviour at Kingston University, joins WOM UK to discuss: Net Promoter Score is a popular WOM measure but are there better alternatives?

Net Promoter Score is a popular WOM measure for assessing the performance of the brand/company. Along with satisfaction measures, it does predict sales growth. However NPS has several deficiencies as a measure; in particular it fails to measure negative word of mouth. With increasing interest in predicting sales, profits and equity gains, we need customer metrics that do a better job at predicting customer behaviour. In this lively morning event, Dr East will be asking:

  • Why does NPS have shortcomings as a measure for WOM?
  • What are the alternatives and why are they better?
  • What are the implications moving forward?

Dr Robert East is Professor of Consumer Behaviour at Kingston University and directs the Consumer Research Unit in the Department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Marketing. He is one of the world’s most authoritative and respected leaders in word of mouth, brand switching and loyalty. He is the author of numerous books and articles on consumer behaviour and his research on word of mouth has been pivotal in improving our understanding of the importance of WOM.

All our Espresso Briefings are FREE and include breakfast and networking. To register for a place please email [email protected] – members get priority booking.

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