The Drum:

NPS: “growth marketer’s secret weapon” or “snake oil and fake science?”


Net Promoter Score (NPS), introduced in 2003, has been called the “number one score you need to grow.” Almost 16 years later, with 200 companies adopting it for growth benchmarking, it’s also one of the most controversial marketing metrics. Omar Bakhshi encourages brands to focus on purpose first, and performance will fall into place.

Omar Bakhshi, Design Director at Smart Design, and former Creative Director at OgilvyOne, shares his perspective with The Drum on Net Promoter Score (NPS), a score produced as a result of asking customers how likely they are to recommend a business to other people. Gathering those answers from customers is typically done through automated emails and personal calls.

Omar believes the focus on NPS is driven partly by short-termism that focuses on quick profits and share price increases while ignoring the bigger picture. “The real issue is too many brands have taken their eye off the ball when it comes to their brand purpose,” Bakhshi said, citing examples such as Nike’s need to inspire athletes and Lego’s desire to invent the future of play. “Marketers should be responsible for manifesting the brand purpose out to customers.”

If "the brand purpose is right, strong and provides meaning to customers today, everything else will fall into place: communications, marketing, design, product ecosystems, employee engagement – and probably NPS scores."
– Omar Bakhshi, Design Director, Smart Design

Aug 2019