#502: Don't Mind the "Say-Do" Gap, Emotion it

This week’s episode of the “Wiser Loyalty” podcast series ties up the month’s focus into select constructs taken from the Psychology of Human Behavior course curriculum of the Loyalty Academy™.  Our hosts, Bill Hanifin and Aaron Dauphinee, will lead us into understanding why and how it’s emotion that explains the “say-do” gap.

Learn how this universal problem to all marketers can lead to unsatisfying and inaccurate observations or marketing actions that do not elicit a response or desired outcome as loyalty program operators would expect or like.  Understand the rising importance for

Each month Bill and Aaron draw a theme based on the courses required to earn the Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional™ (CLMP™) designation.  If you enjoyed this week’s episode or all the episode’s in February, then be sure to join us in March when we explore facets of the types of Loyalty Business Models in play today and possibilities yet to come that are on the horizon.

Show Notes:

1) ⁠⁠Bill Hanifin⁠⁠⁠

2)⁠⁠Aaron Dauphinee⁠⁠

3) ⁠⁠The Wise Marketer 

Audio Transcript

Paula: Hello and welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty, an industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m Paula Thomas, the founder and CEO of Let’s Talk Loyalty and also now Loyalty TV. If you work in loyalty marketing, you can watch our latest video interviews every Thursday on www.loyalty.TV. And of course, you can also listen to Let’s Talk Loyalty every Tuesday, every Wednesday, and every Thursday to learn the latest ideas from loyalty experts around the world.

Today’s episode is co hosted by Bill Hanifin and Aaron Dauphinee, CEO and CMO of the Wise Marketer Group, respectively. Wise Marketer Group is a media, education, and advisory services company providing resources for loyalty marketers through the Wise Marketer Digital Publication and The Loyalty Academy Program that offers the Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional designation.

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Bill: Hello everyone, I’m Bill Hanifin, CEO of The Wise Marketer, and with me today is our CMO, Aaron Dauphinee, and together we’re the hosts of the wiser loyalty series, Aaron. How are you?

Aaron: I’m well, thank you.

Good. Okay. We’re going to dig into some fun stuff today. So this series was created to highlight some of the really good findings from our Loyalty Academy curriculum. We hope this will bring listeners some information that they haven’t heard before. Maybe some new takes on it. And the way we’re going to highlight some of the material is just to have a conversation, and so you’ll hear some case examples. You’ll hear some research back findings, and you’re going to hear a little banter between Aaron and I, because we agree on sometimes and sometimes we don’t.

So this month’s focus is the psychology of loyalty. And today, we’re going to talk about maybe one of my favorite, most compelling issues, right, Aaron? It’s the “say-do gap”. Right, it’s this whole idea that what is it about customers and I’ve heard so many marketers express and frustration. Gosh, they’ve said one thing and now they’re going to, they did another, you know, they heard one thing in a focus group and then they see something in the transactional file that they did something different. So, aaron, I mean, you have expertise in this area. You spent almost a quarter of your whole loyalty career focused on market research.

So, I’m going to leave it to you to try to set the tone here and just explain what we’re talking about.

Aaron: Hey, yeah, thank you. I think this is a conundrum for almost any marketer or anyone in business trying to, you know, have some type of exchange with customers. I’ve certainly spent the time in market research firms focusing on both.

Consumers as well as small business owners over the years. But I think if we think of those two groups more as simply customers, both customers irrespective of what type they are, they really elicit and take actions that aren’t always aligned in how they said they’ll act. And that’s the conundrum you know, in fact it’s more of a dilemma.

I’ll say that the “say-do gap” is really quite a dilemma for us as loyalty marketers. And this is because, you know, Oh, actually before I do that, I’ll probably maybe define it. The “say-do gap” is defined as a reported intention, or it could be a concern in some instances that really is not followed up in some form of action that aligns to what that intention was first stated.

So, so really there’s literally a gap between what their mouth is saying and the actual body is emoting or is moving, pardon me. And so really what’s coming into play here is that emotion and reason are really intertwined. We recall, we kind of talked about this at, in the first segments a little bit when we talked about self determination.

But what we’re finding here in the “say-do gap” is that emotion and reason, they’re really in conflict with each other. And what we would subscribe to say is that emotion tends to win every time. And that’s not what we want to hear as loyalty marketers. That’s not ideal. We went tend to lean towards the rational but certainly reason leads to conclusions, but emotions leads to action is really the way to think about it.

And I recall, like, I believe you have a story about an elephant and the rider. Is that true bill that you could add in here or. Maybe I can…

Bill: Yeah, well, I read this when we were doing some research on the topic and they just like visualize for a minute, the elephant, which is an enormous animal.

And then the person writing on top diminutive in comparison, no matter how big that person is. But think of those two. And they said, if you think about the two, the elephant is the rational part of our psyche. It’s all the, you know, it’s that part of our brain. The rider is our emotion. And so as powerful as that elephant is, it’s the rider that can tweak the reins a little bit, and it’s that emotion that ultimately leads us to making a decision.

Aaron: And that’s what that can be. That’s what the problem is created essentially, right? Is that it can lead to unsatisfying and possibly inaccurate observations or even actions that we as marketers put out to individuals that just won’t, you know, elicit a response or get that desired consumer behavior change, right?

Because we’re based on what the elephant is doing and doing the behavior change with it, as opposed to the rider really being the one that’s leading the way, so to speak.

Bill: Right. So, so could you find a more frustrating sort of construct for us to deal with? We’re all data driven marketers, aren’t we?

And so the “say-do gap” seems like it exists. You know, what we’re talking about overall here in the psychology of loyalty is this increased awareness of understanding how people tick. And so what I want to know, it seems like the “say-do gap” is as much as it’s a thing unto itself, it’s a symptom of something larger, isn’t it?

Aaron: Yeah, I really believe that it is. I think it was Caine, C A I N E to spell that out, because for the listeners in the early 2000s that had a quote that might be helpful to put this where we’re going with this this tie. He said, the essential difference between emotion and reason is that while reason leads to conclusions, emotions leads to actions.

And that really is what we’re talking about here, is we’re talking about the rise of the emotive component coming into what we need to think about as Loyalty Markers today. If I tie this to a couple of examples that aren’t program oriented, but really speak to the way that the brand connectivity comes into play, Red Bull, Apple, they tend to create these communities where emotional connections are really created.

Another example of that is Tito’s Vodka. Down in Dallas or down in Texas. Pardon me. So Tito’s we know has had a bit of a cult following that they’ve, they built up around this community structure. And what has happened is as people are getting married, you know, going through their weddings and planning and whatnot, they think, Hey, we need to have some form of spirits in most cases to have people with strong libations at the event.

And so they’ve contacted Tito’s and said, Hey, can you know, for those events and Tito has responded in a positive way, which is to start to talk and provide these stories about Tito’s coming in and being the sole product for a particular wedding and it being captured on film.

Influencers then started to pick this up and talk about it. So we got a further rise and you think, well, no, this is just maybe a onesie or twosie, you know, a one off of some sort. And in fact, it’s not, I think it was reported at one point where almost a third of the employees at the headquarters had received some sort of invitation or request as a part for Tito’s to be a part of their wedding.

And so he really creates this culture of emotional rise. You think about a life cycle events such as a wedding you know, it really starts to tie through. And so you can’t really, in terms of emotion drive that much better than when you can establish a community where you’re starting to share and swap picks and one up the games and then starts coming to play.

Like what is the drink of a Jodour at your wedding versus what’s the drink at mine and these comparisons to come into play. So, I think from that perspective, that’s the tie to the emotion where you can start to play in and how that goes to say, do bias really is a function of individuals saying, Hey, you know what, I will only have a particular I only have one particular brand of vodka.

At my establishment, but when it then comes into a play of well, they can create an experience. Well, maybe I’ll try it and actually have a different brand of vodka. That is what delivered on that particular day because it goes beyond just the actual product. It starts to get into the emotion that ties into the experience as well.

Bill: So, so, you know, I read something really interesting. They termed the “say-do gap” as innocent hypocrisy on the part of people. Hypocrisy is sort of an awful term, isn’t it? You know, it’s so pejorative, but what they’re really trying to say is that people have these two ways of thinking. So, your example with Tito’s people are maybe thinking about.

With the emotional part of their brain at one point in time, but, you know, that might happen in the moment when they’re excited about something, or they’re pressed for time, who knows other factors, but then they’re when they actually get into a situation of making a purchase decision or in the voting booth or things like that.

You know, maybe then they’ve had more time to think and they make a rational decision. But either way, I think that’s what explains the say, do gaps to somewhat is that we’ve, as people, we’ve got these two ways of thinking, and it really depends on which one’s in control at any particular time. So, I mean, How do marketers cope with it?

That’s what I want to know. How do we know which way people are thinking or how do we have any influence whatsoever on getting people to think the way that we hope that they will.

Aaron: That last contract is really interesting because it kind of goes you know, the idea of in the moment is what’s driving it here.

The Tito’s example is a planned event. So it’s much more deliberative of thoughtfulness and then adding the emotion. Even higher order construct that coming together. So it’s kind of a spectrum between these things where emotion at the end of the day tends to start to win over some of the more tangible, rational thinking that we have.

Bill: Yeah, we always want more time. Don’t we?

Aaron: Yeah, I know we’re close here. Let me maybe wrap up. So this is the fourth and final segment for in February, where we’re focused on the constructs of our Loyalty Academy Psychology for Human Behavior Curriculum. Hopefully these connections were there between the four constructs.

If you listen to them throughout the month really with tying back to the idea and the elements of self determination, which were autonomy, competence. And those or in our inaugural episode from February 6th, if you missed that coming up next month we will divide into our loyalty business models curriculum for the month of March. And we’ll see you next week.

Bill: Thanks, Aaron.

Paula: This show is sponsored by Wise Marketer Group. Publisher of The Wise Marketer, the premier digital customer loyalty marketing resource for industry relevant news, insights, and research. Wise Marketer Group also offers loyalty education and training globally. through its Loyalty Academy, which has certified nearly 900 marketers and executives in 49 countries as certified loyalty marketing professionals for global coverage of customer engagement and loyalty.

Check out thewisemarketer.com and become a wiser marketer or subscriber. Learn more about global loyalty education. for individuals or corporate training programs at loyaltyacademy.org.

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