Hampshire County Council: Worked with the University of Southampton on rapid targeting of audiences

Creating a rapid segmentation tool to target communications.


This is part of a series of case-studies published on 20 April 2021.

  • Partnership approach helped create quick and easy to use tools to understand the best segments of population to target.
  • Using results to target social media advertising and placement of physical assets like billboards.
  • Communications seen more by those more at risk of not adopting the desired behaviours.
  • Used to target communications at BAME audiences.

Challenge

In supporting the public health response to COVID-19, we had changing weekly requirements to target interventions to different audiences e.g. to address take up of vaccinations and testing. The county council wished to make sure that audiences less likely to engage were accurately targeted and in a timely manner.

Approach

Working with University of Southampton placement PhD students, Charlotte Lee, Michaela Trescakova and Allison Noble, we put together a brief to design and apply new tools combining demographic, public health and commercial socio-economic profiles to rapidly identify segments most suitable to target.

These could then be converted to five-digit postcode sectors suitable for Facebook targeting and used to create a heatmap of target populations. PhD students built the tools and shared them with public health colleagues.

They have been used extensively to co-ordinate communications targeting both online and offline. We are now in a position to convert any demographic profiles or information from national studies or emerging data into a target audience in Hampshire.

Outcome

The county council was able to effectively carry out our policy of targeting communications at the most suitable recipients. In a rapidly changing situation speed is essential to aid targeting.

Contact: Dr Jonathan Baker
Senior Researcher, Insight and Engagement
jonathan.baker2@hants.gov.uk