Project: Market Research

Reference: UG432C

Last update: 16/01/2004 10:10:22

Objectives

The aim of this project is to establish what the public wants from Transport Direct, which aspects they will use and whether it will have any impact on their travel behaviour.

Description

Transport Direct can only go ahead with the support of transport operators and others. Transport operators have already indicated that they would like to see evidence of public demand for the service before committing time and resources to the programme. This market research will canvass opinions from the general public to help inform the future direction of the Transport Direct programme.

There are four areas of research. This project is concerned with just the last of these:

MR04 - Positioning Products in the Information Marketplace
The first part of this project involves a consultation with service providers to ascertain their understanding of their product position in the information marketplace and intended future developments. The second part of this research will entail consultation with members of the public regarding their level of experience of using the existing information services. It will consider public understanding of, and opinion regarding, different currently existing information services. It will also focus upon the potential usage of Transport Direct, both in terms of demand for the service and what it will be used for, and the characteristics and features that Transport Direct should include in order to ensure that the needs of users are taken into account in its development.

See also UG432A & UG432B

Contractor(s)

Accent Marketing & Research
Gable House, 14-16 Turnham Green Terrace, London, W4 1QP

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £38,725.00

Actual start date: 01 April 2002

Actual completion date: 12 October 2002

Publication(s)

MR04 - Positioning products in the Information Marketplace
Author: Accent Marketing & Research
Publication date: 01/10/2002
Source: DfT Website
More information: http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_control/documents/contentservertemplate/dft_index.hcst?n=8105&l=3

Summary of results

  1. Views from providers

    - Having a web presence is seen by providers as an essential part of information provision and information communication enabling them to 'put their products more firmly in the marketplace' and brand their company
    - For some more local operators this meant ensuring that people were aware of the company being "a very local company, owned by the directors and staff... providing a strong emotional link with the area" (Bus Provider), whilst for others this meant emphasising the national nature of the company
    - A web-presence offers a way of making providers more accessible by establishing a two-way communication process with members of the public
    - Most providers stated that it was difficult for them to ascertain the actual impact on their business through having a website
    - It is apparent that either providers have not previously identified what their unique selling points were or they do not necessarily think in these terms - rather they think in terms of what is good or effective about their website
    - Some providers feel that travellers wishing to undertake a search to ascertain how to get from A to B might not wish to be presented with too many choices by Transport Direct as this might be perceived as confusing
    - Transport Direct generally viewed in a positive way but considered ambitious
    - There is concern that Transport Direct will not succeed as a substitute for good local knowledge


    Views from the public

    - 72% of information users sought information for leisure travel compared to 21% and 29% for commuting and business respectively
    - Information accuracy is the most importance aspect of a travel information source, regardless of the type of enquiry
    - For short unfamiliar journeys and to a greater extent for long unfamiliar journeys, a significant minority of the travelling public do not decide on their means of travel prior to consulting an information service
    - Almost seven in ten respondents (69%) stated that they would prefer to consult a multi-modal travel information source rather than a mode-specific source when preparing for an unfamiliar journey
    - There is an overwhelming brand loyalty in the marketplace for mode-specific information sources and in the case of all modes except bus, the majority of site users having no dislikes about their chosen sites
    - Nespondents were fairly evenly divided in terms of whether they would prefer a local or a national travel information provider
    - Eight in ten respondents stated that Transport Direct was a service they might use to assist them in planning their journey
    - Approximately half the respondents, in spite of preferences for given existing sites, would consider using Transport Direct for rail and/or car information
    - The clear appeal of Transport Direct is the ability to compare different travel alternatives
    - Expectations of Transport Direct will be high since it is seen as a one-stop-shop that by implication must be comprehensive and convenient to use