2. Analysing the internal performance of the company: Regularly measuring customer satisfaction and the development of the number of passengers is important, but is only part of the information needed to know your customer and to identify their future needs and expectations. Other information needed is:
There are many methods and sources that can be used to answer these questions and these are described in more detail in guidelines Basic analysis, User needs and expectations, Market analysis / Monitoring of demand.
3. Segmentation, targeting, making choices: The ‘public transport customer’ does not exist; neither does the ‘car user’: Some car users are more likely to become frequent public transport users than are others. Given the different characteristics, needs and demands of the heterogeneous group of current and potential customers the market should be divided into segments. This enables a rational decision about the composition of the marketing mix and allows for a focussing of marketing efforts and campaigns on the most promising groups.
Many campaigns focus on price and the relative speed of public transport compared to the car (in peak hours). Of course these are important aspects, but real insight into the attitudes and values of the most promising current car users might show that other aspects such as reliability, ease and comfort (with no need to waste valuable free time waiting in a garage) are important aspects as well.
One should determine the segments based on different expected responses to changes in the marketing mix. For example, passengers in one segment might demonstrate a very strong response to a lower price whereas passengers in another segment are more sensitive to changes in quality of the buses. One can define the segments as follows:
Possible selection criteria are favourable demand characteristics (for example off-peak travellers), needs and wants that are not being satisfied, or the opportunity to compete effectively and profitably.
Further insights are given in ► Background information: Market segmentation.
4. Implementing Strategies: The last step is dedicated to the implementation of the strategies which result from step 1 to 3, and - if necessary - these steps can be returned to as part of the circle.