SmartMove’s partner in the Greek region of Thessaloniki wasted no time in meeting its project target. Concentrating efforts on the municipal conglomeration of Langadas, the campaign involved three trained canvassers walking door to door and asking residents to fill out a personal transport survey. Those who took part counted as campaign participants, and it took the team just 19 person days to net 506 households.
The quick turnaround was possible due to the very high response rate, according to project partner Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, AUTh. During the canvassing, 570 people were approached and 504 of them agreed to take part – a success rate of more than 85 percent. Fifty additional residents were contacted through surface mail, with just two returning filled-in questionnaires.
Langandas’s lesson: the most effective approach in personalised marketing is face-to-face.
To support the campaign, AUTh designed and printed leaflets with general information on sustainable transport, including about bus tickets and passes; walking, cycling and public transport amenities; and alternative methods of information provision. A template was prepared to help campaign participants make time and cost comparisons between public transport and car use. Αll materials sported a special campaign logo.
The AUTh team, after preparing the materials, sent individualised information packages to each of the 506 participants according to their stated preferences. Each package included a thank-you letter, general material and personalised information on mobility needs. A thank-you gift was included in cases where this wasn’t handed out during the contact phase.
In parallel, various active measures were implemented including public-transport promotion events. There was face-to-face recruitment of participants at local events; distribution of free public transport tickets and the organisation of focus groups involving various stakeholders.
AUTh is now moving into the evaluation phase of the project to investigate the AMC’s impact on public transport use. Households engaged in the first phase will be contacted by phone and asked their opinions about the usefulness of the AMC campaign and whether the provided materials have inspired resulted changes in their everyday mobility behavior.