Cable charms voters in the chancellor debate

Stephan Shakespeare
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YOUGOV has a new addition to its BrandIndex offering: TellYouGov. The usual way to do research is to ask people to fill out surveys: the researcher decides what topic should be explored and the formats in which people are allowed to respond. But TellYouGov allows people to give their views on any topic at any time – whatever and whenever they feel like.

Either through a text message, or through Twitter, or by email, or at the end of one of our regular polls, people can give us their opinions using a simple new format: first, they state the topic, then they give it a thumbs up or down by using a plus or a minus, then they make their comment.
Then 24/7, we pick up their messages and turn them into data, reporting the changing numbers live on our “Leaderboard”.

Because we only use messages from our 250,000-strong panel – people about who we know a huge amount – we can make our sentiment scores robust, meaningful and representative.

The bar chart below shows an early use of it – it’s only just into its beta stage, by the way.

Commentators had Lib Dems’ Vince Cable down as the best performer in the chancellor’s debate, as our tygs confirm, with the added and perhaps surprising information that people were more inspired to speak out positively about Cable than negatively about the other two combined. The chart shows the results 18 hours after they sat down, with Alistair Darling and George Osborne both negative at -59 and -61 respectively, and Cable strongly positive (+159), and on higher volume. Go to to see how it’s changing live (and for a full explanation), and by clicking on the topics you can also see exactly how people express themselves on all the various topics.

TellYouGov is a new take on that staple of market research, the “net promoter score” (NPS), introduced by Fred Reichheld, and Bain as a key metric of brand health. NPS is an imputed score – survey respondents are asked how likely they are to recommend a particular brand or product. But with tygs, we measure real-life promoters – and detractors.

These are people who are out there in public, making the effort to post a positive or negative comment, and providing valuable qualitative data in addition. Stephan Shakespeare is co-founder and co-chief executive of YouGov