A data analyst and a behavioural psychologist walk into a bar…

…to talk about who is more important for a loyalty program’s success.

They order some cocktails.
(DA = Data Analyst; BP = Behavioural Psychologist)

DA: I’ll have a Tom Collins please with 1.5 ounces of gin; 1ounce of lemon juice; 1.5 of an ounce of simple syrup and 3 ounces club soda or to fill (serious tone of voice).

BP: I’ll have a Martini please, shaken not stirred (smiles remembering the James Bond movie).

DA: Ok, so I am the most important person needed for a loyalty program’s success as I can identify statistically relevant clusters and insights on our member’s past behaviours as well as create predictions of their future behaviours.

BP: Well that’s fine however, facts are facts but stories are remembered. I can get to the feelings and emotions of our members to understand their stories, what their concerns, desires and wishes are for their lives so the program can make a difference to them.

DA: mmmm…sounds mildly interesting, however I can prove the performance of a program to all those who care about numbers. I can work out net member growth, depth of membership, incremental revenue lift, breakage, lifetime value past and predictive, return on investment, retention, contactability gaps, redemptions rates….do you want to know more?

BP: Stop! Those may be relevant but they are just numbers on a chart. What’s behind the numbers is more important. I understand human behaviour. I can provide a deeper layer of insights on social learning theory to help design a program’s earn and redeem mechanics to maximise behaviour potential[1].

DA: Wow, that’s impressive! So tell me, can you profile members whom, based on past behaviours are more likely to leave our program?   

BP: You have a point. That aside, I know what makes our members feel special and because of that feeling, they will tell others.

DA: Ok, ok…so how’s your cocktail?

BP: Delicious, it’s warming up my heart...how’s yours?

DA: It’s a bit too sweet, I think they need to reduce the syrup by 50%.

BP: You see, for you it’s about the science and measurement, it’s all about what you think, it’s about what’s in your head! What about the chemistry, about how you feel?

DA: Well, once I get the measurements right, then maybe I will feel better about it!

They order another round

BP: So, how’s the second cocktail

DA: Perfect. It has hit the spot and I feel great. How about you?

BP: I think I will slow down now to keep below the 0.05 limit!

A moment of silence ...


What do you think? What do you feel? Who is more important?

(For the record, I think and I feel they are both important)

Have a happy loyalty day!

[1] http://psych.fullerton.edu/jmearns/rotter.htm The Social Learning Theory of Julian B. Rotter (1916 - 2014). Behavior Potential (BP), Expectancy (E) and Reinforcement Value (RV) can be combined into a predictive formula for behavior: BP = f(E & RV)