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How human behaviour trends can benefit your rewards.


Ask any neuroscientist and they’ll tell you; the human decision making process is incredibly complex. Which is why many organisations have come to the conclusion that they may never completely own the consumer/employee experience.

A realisation like this might seem like acknowledging defeat. But developments in machine learning and AI has led to a focus on behaviour science, behaviour mapping and behaviour analytics. All powerful tools to help brands bond themselves to people.

It’s no longer about owning experiences. Good business is about understanding and directing the kind of behaviours that lead to success.

As technology becomes entrenched in the business matrix, we have unprecedented access to people data. Which is more than knowing where people live, how old they are or what their gender is. Computers can assimilate information in such a way that we now have the opportunity to analyse behaviour patterns. Allowing us to better understand how people feel, what drives their daily actions and what they aspire to.

And once you figure out the behaviour patterns of your audience or workforce, you can better serve them. Resulting in long-term loyalty, improved revenue streams and just better business, across the board.

Connecting rewards to behaviour patterns

At the heart of any successful rewards program lies the drive to a) influence behaviour and b) align individual actions with organisational goals.

So, ensuring rewards recognise and reinforce the right behaviours is an essential part of what we at GET Rewards do. And if you’re looking to reward the right people, at the right time and place (which you should), then it pays to keep track of current trends in human behaviour.

Which is why we’ve curated 3 major trends that you can align with to benefit your 2019 rewards strategy:

Tapping into the practical application of behaviour mapping

Part of the shift towards becoming a data-driven business is knowing what to do with all the information you’re accumulating. These are some practical applications for behaviour mapping:

1. Behavioural segmentation

Marketers have always used market segmentation data like geography and demographics to tailor campaigns. But behavioural data has changed the game. Allowing for the development of strategies that categorise customers based on how they engage with a brand, how they approach the purchasing process and other digitally-led, touchpoint moments.

Instapage explains it best; “Behavioural segmentation divides consumers according to behaviour patterns as they interact with a company. As the name suggests, this category of segmentation studies the behavioural traits of consumers — their knowledge of, attitude towards, use of, likes/dislikes of, or response to a product, service, promotion, or brand.”

For you: Imagine a personalised summer reward campaign. One where you are able to deliver rewards at the ideal moment in the buying journey, through channels you know your customer groups prefer. It’s the difference between sending out bulk rewards all at once or delivering with laser sharp precision. And in so doing, you’re able to drive loyalty and improve your ROI. Because you’re reaching people based on their unique behaviours. Not just as a ‘herd of grazing customer personas’.

2. Workforce and people data

The combination of machine learning and people analytics is helping organisations to boost productivity and ROI. Platforms like Qlearsite, take people data and assimilate it into a cloud-based system. That information is then turned (using algorithms) into trends, forecasts and sentiment data.

For you: People data helps take the guesswork out of recognition and employee engagement. We’ve seen this first hand. When you apply behavioural science to your reward program you are able to build better relationships and you definitely inspire loyalty.

3. The world’s first behaviour bank

Possibly the most exciting practical application of a behaviour model is Discovery Health’s behaviour bank, which promises to be an extension of the company’s innovative insurance offering. Only, instead of rewarding customers for taking steps towards a healthier lifestyle, they aim to reward healthy financial behaviours.

For Discovery CEO Adrian Gore it’s about five “controllable behaviours” for financial health: prudent spending; up-to-date and comprehensive insurance; consistent saving; retirement planning; and debt management.

Controllable behaviours. That’s what they’re building their offering around. When something this groundbreaking reaches the marketplace, it’s clear that the trends around behaviours are only just getting started!


Defining the behaviours that benefit your business

There are certain employee and customer behaviours that align perfectly with key business drives. And so data is being used to quantify the value of those behaviours that can be turned into opportunities.

For you: Ask yourself, what behaviours have the most impact on your business success? To start, create a list of key inputs and activities that drive the operational and financial results of your business. Then list behaviours that you believe will benefit those inputs. For example:

  1. Key input: Salespeople – Behaviours: Productivity, innovation, punctuality, making use of sales software tools, working as a team.
  2. Key input: Number of stores – Behaviours: Customer foot traffic, store staff absenteeism.
  3. Key input: Website traffic – Behaviours: Purchases, abandoned shopping carts.
  4. Key input: Number and price of products sold – Behaviours: Return customers/purchasers, quick turnaround on sales.


Using rewards to fuel repeat behaviour

While scientists haven’t quite figured out the human decision making process, they certainly know how the brain’s reward centre works.

On a biological level, neuroscientists will talk about the release of dopamine that happens when you experience a reward. Dr Martha Burns, says; “I like to refer to dopamine as the “save button” in the brain. When dopamine is present during an event or experience, we remember it; when it is absent, nothing seems to stick.”

A recent study has added more power to that concept with results stating that “the brain plays back and prioritises high-reward events for later retrieval and filters out the neutral, inconsequential events, retaining memories that will be useful to future decisions.” (Neuroscience News)

Now, when neuroscientists talk about rewards, they’re not thinking about promotional giveaways, or employee recognition (they’re more interested in our learning responses). But we can certainly translate the findings into favourable business practices. Like creating reward programs that reach people on both an emotional and rational level.

What can be better than becoming a brand people’s brains prioritise as a provider of high-reward moments? Tuning into behaviour patterns ensures you make that kind of an impact.



Knowing how to bond people to brands through rewards is not just good business, it’s a science.

It involves tapping into data to see behaviour patterns. Turning that power into personalised experiences that show you understand what drives the individual. And curating the kind of rewards that drive the behaviours that benefit your bottom line. Not to mention boost company culture, customer perceptions and so much more.

It’s certainly not a one-size-fits-all endeavour. Which is why it’s probably time to call us. Especially if you’re ready to explore the power of understanding human behaviour when it comes to your rewards.


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