This research was funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, or NITC, a program of TREC at Portland State University.
Transportation -- United States -- Planning, Transportation and state -- Decision making -- Analysis
Social marketing seeks to develop and integrate marketing concepts with other approaches to influence behaviors that benefit individuals and communities for the greater social good. Social marketing is a useful transportation demand management (TDM) planning approach to promote travel-behavior change, and combines at least seven distinguishing features that sets it apart from other popular, behavior-change planning approaches, such as education and mass media campaigns. These seven features include a focus on socially beneficial behavior change; a strong consumer orientation; the use of audience segmentation techniques and the selection of target audiences; the use of marketing’s conceptual framework (marketing mix and exchange theory); the recognition of competition; and continual marketing research. Of particular relevance to influencing behavior effectively is the need to segment an audience and target measures accordingly. Segmentation refers to dividing a market into groups of customers to develop different products, services, and communications to meet their specific needs and to focus resources on those segments that have the greatest potential for change.
The study ‘SEGMENT: Applicability of an Existing Segmentation Technique to TDM Social Marketing Campaigns in the United States’ (https://nitc.trec.pdx.edu/research/project/1057) replicated the European’s SEGMENT methodology to determine whether their “golden questions” can be used to accurately predict segment markets in the United States. Individuals were surveyed using the long list of questions and discriminate analysis was applied to identify the most powerful questions among the segments. The results identified a unique set of questions that most accurately predict segment membership in the United States. These “golden questions” can be added to existing surveys to gather information about the proportion of individuals who belong to differing segments in an area, which will allow communities to easily classify and identify segments from which the appropriate services and incentives can be designed. As a result, adding these questions should reduce the cost, if not the need, for custom segmentation studies. As part of the study, the investigators developed a tool to provide transit agencies, transportation demand management (TDM) professionals, and others to predict market segment membership of individuals. Professionals interested in using the “golden questions” to predict segment membership can use the tool to categorize survey responses accordingly.
Winters, Philip L., and Amy B. Lester. Social Marketing: SEGMENT Prediction Tool. NITC-DP-1057. Portland, OR: Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC), 2018. https://doi.org/10.15760/TREC_datasets.02