Paul Marsden

About Dr. Paul Marsden

  • Dr. Paul Marsden, a market researcher specializing in brand advocacy and innovation, is a director at online brainstorming agency clickadvisor. Previously with Enterprise LSE, the commercial arm of the London School of Economics, Dr. Marsden led the team that validated the link between the Net Promoter Score and business performance in the UK. With more than 15 years of research experience, including work with Astra-Zeneca, Dr. Marsden co-founded online research agency and works with leading brands including LVMH, Bacardi, Coty, Nokia, T-Mobile and Unilever. Author of Connected Marketing and a PhD in word of mouth communication, Dr. Marsden is on the advisory boards of Word of Mouth Marketing Association and the Viral and Buzz Marketing Association.

« 'Listening Labs' – Unpacking Core Drivers and Barriers | Main | NPS and Advertising: A Message from the President »



Yikes! Major manipulation coming your way. Whatever happened to the day of providing good service to your customers or your company and being recognized for your work? Instead, let's jack up your NPS by manipulating you to think we're doing a better job rather than actually "doing" a better job. Hmm. I wonder if Google or Apple care about their NPS.


Sounds very interesting. I believe we must structure the questions well enough to get the desired behaviour.
There has been lots of discussion around customer councils especially in B2B where customers especially executives from key customers are invited to participate in a session to provide feedback on strategies deployed by a company. It will be interesting to see the hawthorne effect in there.

Paul Marsden

Thanks for the comment Ed, and you make a valid point.

Yes, a 'quick win' for companies wanting to boost their NPS is to simply open up a 'listening channel' with their customers. Stop talking at them, start listening to them. The very act of listening creates advocacy (Hawthorne Effect).

However, and this is where the point you make is really important, for a sustainable increase in NPS, I think you not only need to listen to, but also ACT on customer feedback in improving your value proposition. If you don't, then the temporary boost to NPS may quickly evaporate.

But in the words of Confucius, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And my message is that in the journey to hardwiring customer feedback into your business development, there are immediate rewards for taking the first step.

Alessandra Frota

This vision is very interesting but will be better to "keep it secret" – if possible! Thinking about a sales team and how hard is to make them seriously engaged in a strategy to increase NPS, definitely is not a good idea let them know about the Hawthorne Effect.

The comments to this entry are closed.