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NCCPE-ESRC Research Synthesis on Using Segmentation Tools for Public Engagement Benefit

National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement
This project builds on conceptual work on new forms of public action developed during the ESRC Research Seminar Series on Emergent Publics (2008-2010).

This project was jointly supported by the Department of Geography and CCIG at The Open University. This Research Synthesis funded by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement and the Economic and Social Research Council, involves investigating the uses of market segmentation technologies and other segmentation practices for the purposes of public engagement. The project locates the deployment of segmentation tools in the wider context of the changing dynamics of various ‘public’ issues, including the public health, development aid, environmental issues, and climate change, and in particular the increasing use of social marketing principles and technologies to address problems defined in terms of behaviour change. It maps the range of areas in which segmentation tools are deployed, identify the imperatives shaping their deployment (e.g. personalisation agendas, behaviour change paradigms, public service reform agendas), to track the translations of these technologies across policy fields, and to indicate the strengths and limitations of these approaches when applied to public engagement issues.

A report, Segmenting Publics (2011), co-written by Clive Barnett and Nick Mahony reviews the use of market segmentation technologies and other segmentation practices for the purposes of public engagement. This report investigates the use of segmentation tools in various fields - environmental policy, political campaigning, arts and heritage sectors, charities and campaigning - in the context of various imperatives, including personalisation agendas, behaviour change paradigms, and public service reform agendas. It places the proliferation of segmentation methods in the wider context of the changing dynamics of various ‘public’ issues, including the public health, development aid, environmental issues, and climate change, and in particular the increasing use of social marketing principles and the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technologies to address problems defined in terms of behaviour change.

A podcast on this report is vailable here: http://www8.open.ac.uk/ccig/media/podcast-clive-barnett-nick-mahony-pres...

Downloaded the report on the NCCPE website

Findings from the report will be presented at the NCCPE Conference on 'Engange 2011: Making an impact - Public engagement and the 21st Century'. The conference will be held on the 29-30 November in Bristol. 

Contact: 

Clive Barnett (c.barnett@open.ac.uk) and Nick Mahony (n.mahony@open.ac.uk).

Learn more about the research programme: Publics