The term “Millennials,” describing today’s youngest generation to reach adulthood, is thrown around a lot. When you think of Millennials, do you think of privileged hipsters with a knack for tech? If so, let’s take a step back. It’s time to admit that the Millennial has become a caricature. This might produce some great entertainment (like this SNL skit), but it’s not helpful to those trying to glean real information about generational groups. We’ve got to understand that Millennials are not a clique of hip, white 20-somethings with rich parents; they’re America’s largest and most diverse generation, and when it comes to analyzing them or any other age cohort they deserve a fair shake.
The Community Action Team (CAT) is Market Strategies’ community outreach group. According to its charter, CAT upholds the company’s cultural commitment to support philanthropic efforts in the communities in which we live, work and do business.
In other words, CAT is the vehicle by which a bunch of researchers band together—at times to do something a little out of our comfort zones—for causes that are close to our hearts. The team has sponsored autism awareness, hosted school supply drives, partnered with Livestrong and the American Cancer Society and provided gifts to foster children, to name a few.
I’m sure CAT’s charitable work can be quantified in dollars donated or hours dedicated. But, for once, I’m going to ignore the quantitative instincts of my research-minded brain and tell you straight why I love CAT.
Working in market research, it sometimes feels like the metrics I use on a regular basis are not aligned with how the real world perceives them. Certainly research provides interesting, important and insightful measurements to clients, but how many average citizens are familiar with survey design or data analysis?
Recently a good friend of mine, Nicholas, expressed some strong feelings about a measurement tool I’ve run into often but taken for granted—Net Promoter Score (NPS), designed by Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company and Satmetrix to measure customer loyalty. NPS is based on a simple question: How likely are you to recommend the company/product/service to your friends and colleagues? A respondent rates this likelihood on a scale from 0 to 10 and, based on the rating, falls into one of three categories:
- Promoters (score 9-10)
- Passives (score 7-8)
- Detractors (score 0-6)
To calculate a company’s NPS, one takes the percentage of customers who are promoters and subtracts the percentage who are detractors. NPS can be as low as −100 (everybody is a detractor) or as high as +100 (everybody is a promoter). Nicholas cares about NPS not because he is particularly interested in market research or branding but because his employer uses it to measure employee performance. You see, Nicholas works in customer service for a multinational telecommunications company, and when customers run into trouble, he is one of many receiving inbound customer service calls.