What we learnt from our attendance at Nudgestock 2018

We recently attended Ogilvy’s fascinating festival of behavioural science, which delved deeper into human nature and put the legends of the specialism in the spotlight.

The festival put on a fantastic show with an array of speakers from a multitude of industries and disciplines – from economics to forensic science to internet dating. We took out 4 key lessons for loyalty marketers.

Lesson 1:
“Don’t look for rules – look for patterns. Context is key.”
Rory Sutherland
, Vice-chairman at Ogilvy

Data is influential in everyday marketing but can’t be applied in isolation. Contextual relevance is key to understanding the situations, pressures and feelings of your audience. He explained with an anecdote:

“Once I landed at Gatwick and the pilot said, ‘I’ve got bad news and good news. The bad news is we’re not going to get an air bridge because there’s a plane blocking our gate. The good news is that the bus will take you all the way to passport control, so you won’t have far to walk with your bags.”

It is pivotal to understand how, by showing something in a different context, you can change its desirability, even turn a negative into a positive. He urged marketers to search for behavioural patterns not rules, describing how rules stifle our success. Imagination, combined with data plus contextual relevance, is the key to creating something potent and everlasting.

What loyalty programmes can learn: Good member engagement is heavily reliant on the smart application of creativity, data and contextual relevance. Use all three, not just one in developing your loyalty strategies. For example, in our work with Virgin Red, we used our YouGov audience data to identify a need for a take-away partner from our members. That data told us that Papa John’s was the perfect partner. Creativity and smart application of contextual relevance meant that we developed a series of compelling rewards and offers for members. Offering a free pizza on England match days during the World Cup was the killer combo of data, creativity and contextual relevance in action – a partnership so good it made the news https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/shopping-deals/virgin-red-world-cup-pizza-12732889.

Lesson 2:
“Understand what the evidence means”

Ruth Morgan, Professor of Crime & Forensics

“We are experts at detecting traces, whether that’s gunshot residue or DNA. But to address this problem of misinterpreted evidence, we need to know what the evidence means.”

This segment focused on the importance of evidence and how it is critical to understand where it is coming from and what it actually means, not what we think it means. Often loyalty marketers lack the ability to decipher what the data they have truly means.

What loyalty programmes can learn: Invest the time and resource to understand what the data actually means. For example,in our recent study with YouGov on “what the British think of Loyalty Programmes”, http://www.mando-connect.co.uk/2018/06/what-the-british-think-of-loyalty-programmes/, we learnt that 39% of 18 to 24-year-olds don’t belong to a loyalty programme. They are far less likely to be members of programmes than older age groups. In order to understand the meaning behind that data, we conducted further primary research. 18-24s are in fact very interested in and engaged by loyalty programmes – but they do not want to carry loyalty cards. So they don’t sign up. They want apps. By offering apps programmes can significantly increase sign-up of 18-24s. This “meaning behind the data” offers great actionable insight for loyalty marketers.

Lesson 3:
“Everyone affects everyone”
Nicholas Christakis – Sol Goldman family professor

If you have Tom, Dick and Harry in a room, whether Dick is friends with Harry, it depends not just on Dick’s genes or on Harry’s genes, but on Tom’s genes.”

The professor highlighted that everyone’s habits affect everyone around them. When focussing on social connections, behavioural research studies suggest that the social effects of people using a product near your social circle can heavily determine your own behaviour. Numerous social studies also highlight that brands which target social groups to share a message can deliver a far higher ROI than those which just push widespread messages. These studies show that tapping into similarity and clustering can significantly amplify messaging effectiveness.

What are the causes of similarity and clustering?

  • Homophily – the tendency of individuals to associate and bond with similar others
  • Induction – where habits can spread from person to person
  • Context – Sharing exposure to a norm in the same environment

Through changing the rules of a social network or community with a number of ‘nudges’ and through connection, contagion and position, loyalty marketers can influence behaviour, change norms and spread messages.

What loyalty programmes can learn: By building communities which interact, share and even gift points or rewards to each other, marketers can improve programme effectiveness.

Lesson 4:
Mark BrooksFounder and president of the internet dating excellence association (IDEA)

People are very eliminatory when it comes to dating profiles. Shorter profiles are better.”

Mark highlighted that simplicity, personalisation and tapping into the sub conscious are essential for success in the dating industry; these same principles should be a core focus for loyalty marketers.

He explained less is more. Shorter dating profiles do much better due to the “halo effect” – which suggests that if the initial opinion of the individual is positive then it is more likely you will see them in a similar light in the future. He also attributed the success of the dating industry to tailored experiences, which always keep the user top of mind and keep them at the heart of the experience. And finally to the industry’s ability to tap into the sub-conscious – using the example of Tinder’s extremely compulsive interface and its revolutionary swipe function – as perfect ways to engage the system one part of the human brain.

What loyalty programmes can learn: Simplicity, personalisation and tapping into the sub conscious should be 3 areas of focus for programmes.

Loyalty programmes have a lot to learn from behavioural science and our day at Nudgestock merely scratched the surface of the opportunity. We are looking forward to finding out more.

 

4 lessons for loyalty marketers:

  1. Good member engagement is heavily reliant on the smart application of creativity, data and contextual relevance. Use all three, not just one in developing your loyalty strategies.
  2. Invest the time and resource to understand what the data actually means.
  3. By building communities which interact, share and even gift points or rewards to each other, marketers can improve programme effectiveness.
  4. Simplicity, personalisation and tapping into the sub conscious should be 3 areas of focus for programmes.

To find out more about Nudgestock 2018 check out https://ogilvy.co.uk/news/nuggets-knowledge-nudgestock-2018

    Joshua Kennedy
    Marketing Manager