Stakeholder research: improved understanding for more effective communications

Eurobitume’s mission is ‘To be the first reference for bitumen in Europe’, but for this to happen we recognised that a greater understanding was needed about the communication needs and channels used by our target audiences.

The first step was to commission specialist agency, 31Volts, to undertake detailed interviews with an anonymised selection of stakeholders drawn from across Eurobitume’s target audiences.

This qualitative research, which took place in early 2022, not only enhanced our knowledge about the communication needs and expectations of our stakeholders across all Eurobitume activities. It also provided insights to help us improve existing stakeholder communication tools and identify potential new tools and services, as well as helping us develop a long-term plan that will support and align with our mission and vision.

Interestingly, these interviews revealed that irrespective of which target audience the stakeholder interviewee was from, they could be characterised as having one of the following four different personas (generic profiles of people from any of our target audiences with similar communications needs, pains and gains):

  1. an industry-focused director
  2. a future-oriented engineer
  3. a progress-minded academic
  4. a challenge-seeking student

The research provided clear insights into four areas of common need that stakeholders of all personas expect from Eurobitume:

  1. to create dialogue
  2. to organise cross-links
  3. to reinvent knowledge sharing
  4. to be the voice of the bitumen industry

In the short-term, the results of this stakeholder research enabled the agency to develop specific personas, which can be referenced and help us improve many on-going Eurobitume communication activities, including events, social media, webinars and our website.

Potential longer-term gains

There will also be a strategic review of potential future activities and services that can be initiated or further developed and offered by Eurobitume, including:

  • Education & training programmes
  • Industry seminars and workshops
  • Industry exchange online platforms
  • New recruitment industry campaigns
  • Internship programmes for members
  • Relationship building with academia
  • Relationship with industry partners
  • Sustainability resource and expertise

The stakeholder research has identified some interesting insights into the profiles of the audiences which should result in more effective and efficient communication that will benefit Eurobitume members and the wider bitumen industry in Europe.

A special multi-disciplined task force will be created within Eurobitume to review the output in more detail and explore strategic opportunities to increase the effectiveness of Eurobitume in the future.