Showing posts with label Loyalty Cards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Loyalty Cards. Show all posts

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Ugly Side of Analytics - Casino Customer Loyalty

While listening to This American Life's episode "Blackjack", its Act 2 had me in the car saying, "oh no, they did not!"  The "they" is the Caesars Entertainment Corporations (the casino), and yes, they have a customer loyalty programme that they use to "attract more customers", and claim it's no different than other such programmes in industries like supermarkets, hotels, airlines or dry cleaners.

Well...there is a wee bit of difference.

No one is addicted to dry cleaning.

I am saddened that analytics is used to help the casino loyalty programme and hurt the pathological gamblers. The show indicates that the programme identifies "high value customers" using loyalty cards, tracking all spend and results, and then offer them the "right" rewards to keep them coming back. Most addicted gamblers are "high value customers". The bigger the looser, the more the reward. Rewards include drinks and meals, hotel suites, trips to casinos (if you don't live there), to gifts like handbags and diamonds.

Analytics and Operational Research is supposed to be the Science of Better.

I'd like to call on all professionals in the analytics field to reflect on the moral goodness, or lack of, in your work.

There is still hope though. If casinos can use analytics to identify problem gamblers, then others can too. Given pathological gambling is a mental health issue, is it time for NGOs or governments to catch up with technology and get their hands on those loyalty card data?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Jealous Supermarket II

Last week I wrote the Figure It Out article that was published to the Capgemini Consulting UK Operational Research team blog, My Jealous Supermarket.

I encourage to click through and read the article. To summarise, my supermarket is targeting me with discount coupons in order to maintain my loyalty which it mistakenly thinks it is losing because I am a travelling consultant and have shopped very little lately.

Anyhow, after returning from a week in the north of England followed by a weekend in Florence followed by another week in the north, it was immensely satisfying to see the "Spend £30, get £3 off" coupon roll off the receipt printer when I purchased ingredients for my meal this evening after making no purchases for two weeks. They DO care!

I wonder how this initiative is going for them? Are they successfully winning people back? Any proper initiative would have a benefits tracking element following implementation, but comparing before and after and asserting causality is always difficult. Consider myself. One day I will wrap up my project in the north and spend some time in London again. I will return to my supermarket and purchase lots of food. Success! After months of giving me coupons, they will have finally won back my favour and loyalty. Or not...