Can Net Promoter be used to measure a politician?
This is one question we’re attempting to answer in this years’ general election with a product we created called: Net Presidential Score.
Our hypothesis is that, much like NPS is used to measure the brand sentiment of a product or service (and subsequent customer behavior), politician’s aren’t much different. Each is a brand in their own right, with features (policies/opinions) that impact consumers (constituents). That impact is not singular either, remember that NPS is measuring someones intent to recommend and refer a “brand” or candidate in this case. This can have a very clear snowball effect, particularly at this scale.
While our experiment is still underway, so far it has proven to be very accurate in predicting which candidates have remained in the race.
Which leads to our belief that not only CAN NPS be used to measure politicians, but it is in fact better (and more accurate) than traditional polling methods.
There are many reasons why, but one of the biggest being that polling is binary.
Democrat/Republican and yes/no. Humans are more complex than that, therefore you’re seeing mixed polling results that vary tremendously and rarely matching the actual outcome.
With NPS, there is flexibility in scoring that allow for gray space, passives are undecided, which more accurately represents the reality of the political environment as you can see in the comments in the image below.
Net Presidential Score participants are asked to consider each candidate individually and consider all factors when making a decision (like they would with a product or service).
Just because someone is unlikely to vote for any particular candidate doesn’t mean that they receive an automatic 0, which is what you would get in traditional measurement.
But, what makes NPS super interesting for political measurement is the second question, “What’s the biggest reason for your score?”. This is open-ended and provides context and reasoning for each score provided (as shown in the photo above).
Lastly, one of the biggest advantages that NPS offers is its predictive ability. Each customer profile (promoter, passive and detractor) have intrinsic characteristics which are indicators of future momentum or decline. For example, we know based on historic product measurement that 20% of promoters are those that are actively supporting/endorsing. As the percentage increases, we can make assumptions around an increase in ground-based momentum/approval for candidates.
So, to answer your question, YES, NPS can be used to measure a politician and quite possibly, predict an election.