SEGMENT: Applicability of an Existing Segmentation Technique to TDM Social Marketing Campaigns in the United States

Philip Winters, Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR)

Co-investigator:

  • Amy Lester, University of South Florida Center for Urban Transportation Research

Summary:

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. The purpose of this study was to explore a consumer market segmentation technique (SEGMENT) successfully used in Europe for its applicability to social marketing campaigns in the United States. Major contributions of this project are the validation of a successful existing segmentation technique for applicability in the United States, which will maximize the impact of TDM social marketing campaigns on changing travel behavior and reduce the costs of customized segmentation studies.

Impacts:

Major contributions of this project will be the validation of a successful existing segmentation technique for applicability in the United States, which will maximize the impact of TDM social marketing campaigns on changing travel behavior.  This research will build on previous research by Intelligent Energy Europe focused in EU’s 27 member states and expands the demographic profile and location.  Future research could expand to other areas of the United States and investigate whether the ‘golden questions’ accurately predict segment fit.  ‘Golden questions’ can be added to existing surveys to gather information about the proportion of individuals that belong to differing segments in an area.  Additionally, limited resources can be better allocated to target those segments that are most susceptible to behavior change.
The results of this research can also be used to support future TDM social marketing campaigns in these metropolitan areas.  For example, a current Florida Department of Transportation-funded project will be using a community-based social marketing approach to encourage Tampa Bay residents to increase walking and biking, increase use of transit, reduce traffic congestion, and create a more healthy and livable community; a program website offers personalized information to each household member based on their stage of change and mode preference.  Future iterations of this community-based social marketing project could leverage the results of this research to better segment household members and tailor information unique to their needs and attitudes.

From NCE 03/2018: Preliminary results suggest that several distinct market segments exist in the U.S. with regards to travel behavior, similar to the European study that this project replicated. The results of this study are currently being used in an evaluation project of the Florida Commuter Assistance Program.

June 2018: Major contributions of this project are the validation of a successful existing segmentation technique for applicability in the United States, which will maximize the impact of TDM social marketing campaigns on changing travel behavior and reduce the costs of customized segmentation studies.  

Project Details

Project Type:
Research
Project Status:
Completed
End Date:
June 30,2018
UTC Grant Cycle:
Natl Round 3
UTC Funding:
$97,621