Ipsos Loyalty

September 18, 2007 12:42 ET

World Renowned Market Research Leader Warns CEO's

Companies And Industry Of Utopian Trap

Attention: Books Editor, Business/Financial Editor TORONTO/ON--(Marketwire - Sept. 18, 2007) - US Based Best Selling Ipsos Customer Loyalty Author Timothy Keiningham in Toronto Wednesday, September 19, 2007 for Canadian Market Commentary

Some CEO's and their market research folks think they've found utopia.

Imagine, being able to ask just one question and from that determine all your potential sales and be able to predict your overall company revenue growth.

No kidding, one question.

No need for volumes of customer research.

No more pesky consultants.

No more customer satisfaction surveys to find out why people think the way they do about the products and services they buy.

Sound too good to be true?

Senior Vice President and head of consulting for Ipsos Timothy Keiningham thinks so and says it's dangerous for the health of any CEO's company that is actually pondering it, or worse, doing it.

A debate is raging in the market research world and it's around a very simple, yet insidious, question dubbed the "net promoter score". The debate on "NPS" has been rumbling around the industry ever since a customer loyalty researcher by the name of Fred Reichheld claimed, in a 2003 Harvard Business review article, that the simple measure of consumer recommendations was the best predictor of revenue growth, and it has continued in the wake of his book The Ultimate Question.

But perhaps the ultimate question is really "does it work"?

Keiningham says that like most things that are touted as utopian, when you put it up against reality -- replicate the very thing that it says it can do -- it doesn't work. And that's why it's dangerous.

If CEOs and their companies rely on this single approach they might be in for a reality shock they never anticipated.

In two separate studies published in the Journal of Marketing and Managing Service Quality, Keiningham in partnership with leading academic researchers, has conclusively proven that the claims of Net Promoter's superiority in linking to business growth are false.

Tim Keiningham will be in Toronto on Wednesday, September 19, 2007 and is available for media interviews between 8 a.m. and 4:00 pm.

If you'd like to speak to Timothy contact Melissa Newell at Ipsos Reid at 416-572-4431 for a scheduled interview.

About Timothy Keiningham

Tim Keiningham is a Senior Vice President and head of consulting for Ipsos Loyalty and the author of several loyalty publications. His most recent book, Loyalty Myths: Hyped Strategies that Will Put You Out of Business - And Proven Tactics that Really Work, by John Wiley and Sons, exposes the fallacies of most of the conventional wisdom surrounding customer loyalty.

The Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada) counted Loyalty Myths as one of the best business books of the year… and Soundview Executive Book Summaries chose Loyalty Myths as "…one of the 30 best business books of 2006" … and it is a 2007 finalist for the Berry-AMA Book Prize for Best Book in Marketing.

Tim also co-authored The Customer Delight Principle: Exceeding Customers' Expectations for Bottom-Line Success, © 2001 by McGraw Hill and Return on Quality: Measuring the Financial Impact of Your Company's Quest for Quality, © 1994 by Irwin Professional Publishing. He is also co-author of the book Service Marketing and is co-editor of the book Readings in Service Marketing, both © 1996 by HarperCollins.

Tim has received numerous awards for his research, including:

* "Top 20" marketing science papers written within the past 25 years by INFORMS Society for Marketing Science.

* The Citations of Excellence "Top 50" award (top 50 management papers of approximately 20,000 papers reviewed that year) from Emerald Management Reviews.

* Best paper in the Journal of Marketing;

* Best paper in the Journal of Service Research.

* Best paper in Managing Service Quality

* Best reviewer from the Journal of Service Research.

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