. Unlocking the Science of Behavior | Northstar Meetings Group

Unlocking the Science of Behavior

Maritz's new agency scrapes big data for individual insights

Earlier this year, Maritz Motivation Solutions launched a new creative agency to focus on advertising, branding, content strategy, as well as digital and social marketing campaigns, and loyalty and employee engagement programs. Called Cartwheel, the firm's offerings will be based on and leverage Maritz's expertise in analytics, decision science, and behavioral science all of which is becoming more vital as companies seek to make their marketing more effective using big data.

Recently, Incentive sat down with Maritz Motivation Solutions President Drew Carter (pictured right) and Senior Director of Decision Sciences Jesse Wolfersberger (pictured left), as well as Cartwheel Managing Director Nick Foppe, to find out what the new agency is up to.

Q: Why did you decide to try to create this this new company within the company?

Carter: We help our clients attract, engage and retain their customers and their employees. We use a lot of tools. We use motivation, we use incentives, we use rewards. And we use creative, we use decision sciences. So, in the mission of helping our clients grow and become more successful and more profitable, the way to touch your customers and your employees is really driven by Cartwheel. 

Foppe: Nine times out of 10, the independent creative agencies didn't have things like decision sciences, behavioral sciences. When they looked at data, oftentimes it was from the focus-group mentality, you go through the traditional process of testing campaigns and building the analytics around that to understand what the success rate would be. Here, it's completely different. We're meeting with data that tells us where we're going, not necessarily where we've been.

Wolfersberger: I don't care what your gender is or in what age group you are, I care if you are a person who's in the market for a car. So, we use behavioral data to focus in on what the right audiences would be to communicate with and what the right message is for that audience. The old school way of demographics and things like that are much less in focus.

People tend to underestimate their data. They go, "we don't have that much" or "it's too messy" or whatever and then they send it over and we look at it and there's a lot of gold nuggets, but they just don't have the acumen or the time or the talent to look at that. We're able to provide that insight.

Q: In terms of loyalty engagement programs, what impact will this approach have on how you measure individual performance and what it's actually contributing to the organizations?

Wolfersberger: It's going to help us in a couple of ways. The first thought that came to mind is that the more individualized, the better in terms of incentives. If there's a finish line out there and you know that you have no chance of beating someone else in the race, that's de-motivating. So, we try to make our incentives as granular as possible so that that salesperson or that call center person or whoever we're trying to motivate with our program doesn't look at it and say, "I have no chance of winning." We would rather them have an individualized goal that makes them stretch a little bit, but it's achievable to them

The second part of this is communication. Let's say there's an incentive, some reward you get if you get 100 points and a person ends the year at 99 points.  That's a communications problem. That's not a program design problem, that's someone who did not know that they only had to get one more point to get this extra thing. Because certainly, if they would've realized that, they would have got it.