behavioural science, the bus industry & the £5k giveaway

Over the last couple of weeks, we've been listening to several podcasts where Richard Shotton is a guest and seeing if anything he says can be applied to the wonderful world of public transport.

Richard is the founder of Astroten, a consultancy that applies behavioural science to marketing, and he's also the author of several books on the subject.

One point he makes (all his points are backed up with evidence hence the 'science' bit) is that people are less likely to stop buying something if their reward for buying is random rather than consistent.

So, in the context of public transport - a customer is less likely to stop buying their regular week ticket if there is a random discount as an incentive, as opposed to the guarantee of 20% every time they purchase. 

So sometimes they may get 5% but other times they may get 50%, and it's the intrigue and unknown (total opposite of the guarantee) which keeps their interest.

Loosely based on this we had an idea. 

Every time a bus journey is made through a traceable method (contactless, app etc) it is given a unique code, and those codes go into a supersize hat. The more times someone travels, the more unique codes they have in there.

And then every quarter a draw is made where customers could win big, big prizes - along the lines of £5,000 cash. For people who are travelling anyway, it's a potential reward for their loyalty but it also acts as a carrot to those who don't use public transport. 

And let's be honest, twenty-odd grand every year is only a small marketing investment for most of the big bus companies.

Who knows, as a reward for catching the bus a little more often, it could be you!

(You can buy Richard's latest book 'The Choice Factory' on Amazon here or listen to the podcast here).