TfL puts insight at the heart of marketing strategy

Transport for London (TfL) has taken learnings from its Marketing Week Engage Award-winning market researchto bolster other campaigns.

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Transport for London (TfL) has taken learnings from its Marketing Week Engage Award-winning market research to bolster other campaigns.

TfL picked up the Market Research award last year for its ethnographic study into teens’ attitudes to road safety.

The resulting marketing campaign, focused on young peoples’ lives cut short due to tragic road accidents, helped cut teenage road injuries and fatalities in London by 18%.

But the project had an even wider impact than anticipated. TfL research and insight manager Ian Pring says the findings of the teen study contributed insights towards other market segments, such as young women taking illegal cabs at night.

“We are increasingly finding that the same set of principles underpin many of our campaigns. We keep up with, and where possible, ahead of, the latest and best thinking on behaviour change, and evaluating marketing effectiveness,” says Pring.

“Research has been increasingly important: rigorous development research to make sure we get our communications right; and focused campaign evaluation based on hard key performance indicators to make sure we’re able to show we’re delivering value with our campaigns.”

Going into 2012, Pring says customer insight will have a growing influence its wider marketing and communications strategy. As a result, Pring has tasked TfL’s qualitative and quantitative research agencies to work together more closely.

TfL is also keeping a close eye on digital developments, as this is becoming a popular way of delivering customer information; for example, with its live bus arrival information service available via text message and online.

In terms of creating a compelling Marketing Week Engage Awards entry, Pring advises: “Write it like a storyteller. Narrative and structure are very important. But so are rigour and thoroughness. Marrying these things together isn’t easy when communicating research findings.”

If a market research project you’ve conducted in 2011 fed into a successful marketing strategy, then make sure you enter the Marketing Week Engage Awards 2012. Find out more here.

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