Better Late Than Never: Five Things You Didn't Know About Christine Overby

Thanks for the tag, Pete! The more of these that I read, the longer I put this off. How can my life compete with knife fights in Moracco and killer golf handicaps (just kidding Julie and Laura)?!?!

But in the spirit of good fun, here are 5 facts about me:

1. I have unusually long arms. Did you know that most people have a "wingspan" -- the distance between your middle fingertips with your arms outstretched -- that's roughly equivalent to their height? Well, if I were as tall as my wingspan long, then I would be over 6' (I'm 5'8").  This is an endless source of amusement for friends, especially when I wear sleeveless shirts. One calls me Stretch Armstrong. [Sigh.]

2. I have a nerdy obsession with food writing. Not cookbooks and restaurant reviews, but hard core stuff from Harold McGee, MFK Fisher, and Brillat-Savarin. I also like to make a mess in the kitchen, but don't ask me to replicate dishes since I never measure and always second-guess recipe ingredients (the analyst in me, I guess).

Read more

So You Know Your Net Promoter Score . . . Now What?

Hi – It’s Christine Overby here, and I’m currently working on research about Net Promoter. I got the idea after participating in a Forrester leadership board session where everyone in the room seemed to be using Net Promoter. One client asked a great question: “Is Net Promoter the only real metric that matters?”

My first reaction was: No!

Don’t get me wrong. Net Promoter is a great tool. It’s straightforward, easy-to-implement, and Fred Reichheld and team have oodles of data showing the correlation between a firm’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) and its growth. But I wonder: If we focus on NPS exclusively, do we miss the nuances and other indicators of growth and profitability?

For example, what if Best Buy’s “demon” customers were the lionshare of its promoters? If this were true, then a singular focus on Net Promoter might drive growth, but profits would go down the tube.

Also, isn’t a promoter with great influence (a “connector” in Malcolm Gladwell’s world) more valuable than one who, for whatever reason, isn’t always taken so seriously?

Read more

Are Online Ads Ever Desirable?

The theme for Forrester’s upcoming Consumer Forum is “Humanizing The Digital Experience.” What makes a digital experience more human? First, it must be useful. Second, it must be usable to the point that the technology fades into the background. Finally, the best digital experiences are desirable enough to stimulate action (e.g. buying a product, or telling a friend about the experience).

After years of clumsy and cold web sites, examples of desirable experiences are starting to pop up everywhere. Witness and NASCAR’s PitCommand (a mobile application in which fans can track in real-time the speed, RPM, throttle, position, and time of their favorite driver). These are great, but can every online experience be desirable? What about when a company is trying to sell you something?

Is there such thing as a desirable banner ad?

Read more