Does Individualised Travel Marketing Really Work?

Does Individualised Travel Marketing Really Work?


P Bonsall, A Jopson, ITS, University of Leeds, UK


The paper presents the results ofa statistical audit of the effectiveness of individualised travel marketing campaigns in two UK cities.

The results cast new light on some previously published findings.


Individualised travel marketing (ITM) involves the preparation of tailored information and advice about alternative travel options which should prove attractive to the recipients and simultaneously increase their use of sustainable modes such as public transport, walking and cycling, while reducing their dependence on the private car. The exact method of identifying the recipient?s needs varies, as does the range and nature of the information and advice provided. A number of applications of ITM have reported very impressive results in terms of changes in behaviour but there remains some scepticism about the reliability of the data used to produce estimates of changes in behaviour.
The authors were asked to audit the results of two ITM campaigns in two large towns in the UK and have had unprecedented access to before-and after surveys of the populations who were offered ITM and to a control population to whom it was not offered. One particularly useful aspect of the data is that it allows us to distinguish, within the population who were offered ITM, between those who accepted the offer and those who rejected it. Another is that data was collected on the willingness of people in the control group (i.e. those who were not offered ITM) to consider changes in behaviour and on their interest in receiving information about public transport, walk and cycle options.
The results thus allow us to identify whether the changes in behaviour associated with the ITM are in the expected direction and are statistically significant. They also allow us to explore alternative explanations for the apparent impact of ITM in other studies. For example we can test whether behavioural can be attributed simply to the fact that information and advice were offered (even if it was accepted), or whether a change in behaviour is associated with a willingness to consider change and an interest in receiving information (irrespective of whether it was actually offered).

Note that the names of the towns cannot be divulged until March 2007, they will of course be identified in the full version of the paper and in a revised version of this abstract.


Association for European Transport