[brand] on a 0-10 scale. Then, researchers divide these scores into promoters
, and detractors
. Subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters results in the Net Promoter Score. For Second Life, survey respondents gave Second Life an 11 NPS.
Scripters are among Second Life’s biggest detractors
I further analysed these scores on a group level and found that “educators” give Second Life a 35 NPS. That suggests that “educators” experience a high degree of satisfaction with Second Life. They are likely getting what they need from Second Life. They are likely to be Second Life’s most vocal supporters. One could argue that if Second Life was made up of educators alone, it might even be growing given an NPS score of 35. Unfortunately, only 7% of people responding to the survey identify as “educators”.
“Scripters” give Second Life a -27 NPS demonstrating considerable dissatisfaction with Second Life. They are liable to be Second Life’s biggest detractors. They’re likely not getting what they need from Second Life. Fortunately for Second Life, only 7% of people responding to the survey identified as “scripters”.
Digging further into the NPS score, it’s clear to see how these scores stack as they do. Not only are “scripters” likely to be the most critical (50%) of Second Life, they are also among the most passive (27%) about the brand. People who identify as “newbies” are an interesting subset. They show one of the lowest promoter scores (37%) and are among the highest detractors (46%). That’s not a good sign for new user retention.
Here’s a question: Why might “educators”, “entertainers”, “music lovers” and “decorators/landscapers” be among the most likely to promote? Why are “roleplayers”, “socialisers” and “traveller/explorers” among the least likely to promote? My theory is that the former group do what society considers acceptable: they use virtual worlds to augment physical world activities. For example, one can easily see educators, entertainers, music lovers and decorators/landscapers using Second Life to augment their real life professional interests. On the other hand, roleplaying, socialising, and travelling/exploring in virtual worlds begs the question: “Why can’t you do that in real life?” The latter group might find their interests less easy to explain and justify. The former group might look cool for appearing ‘cutting-edge.’
Music lovers and business people/entrepreneurs are likely to recommend Second Life
The biggest targets for any referral campaign are “roleplayers”, “socialisers” and “traveller/explorers”. Their NPS are not the highest, but there are many of them. Other suitable targets for referral campaigns are people who identify as music lovers, business people/entrepreneurs, entertainers and Decorator/landscapers. They’re not as large as the other groups, but they are very likely to refer. Less favourable targets include scripters, newbies, blogger/journalists, fashionistas and artist/photographers.
How this information is useful
Referral campaigns. I’ll be using this information to plan my marketing efforts for the Firestorm Gateway Project. But, there are several other applications for which people could use this data. These include:
- Prioritising viewer features. The more we know about how people use Second Life, the better we can design applications for it. The primary example of this is the viewer. It makes sense to focus on the heaviest users when planning features.
- Designing products and services for virtual world consumers. Entrepreneurs who want to sell products in Second Life can make use of these samples are markets. Based on market size, products aimed at roleplayers, socialisers and creators will likely do well. These products include roleplayer costumes, dance and adult animations/furniture, and building tools and components. People like to look good when they socialise, so fashion is an obvious winner product.
- Blogging topics and niches. As a blogger, I’m always thinking about new things to write. Knowing what most people do in Second Life can encourage bloggers to explore other markets (besides fashion).
- Planning future virtual worlds. One of the best learning labs for Project Sansar (and other future virtual worlds) is Second Life. Knowing what most people do in Second Life can help virtual world designers prioritise platform features. One could also argue that makers of virtual reality applications can leverage this data to plan their experiences.
Notes: Some commenters mentioned that not every role people play in Second Life is on the list. I know this. A list including every role people can identify with in Second Life would need thousands of options. To keep things simple to interpret and act on, I made a judgement call to limit the list to these roles assuming that people that identified with these roles would complete the survey. If they did not, they likely wouldn’t have responded.
Photo by Yany Oh.