Introduction to the MAST data tool

MAST was developed by the Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership and supported by the Department for Transport under the Road Safety Partnership Grant Scheme. It is now available to the road safety community as an online tool provided by Road Safety Analysis Limited a not-for-profit company that exists to support road safety professionals with high quality data services.

There is a cost to subscribe to MAST online, the current rates are available by e-mailing



Definition: "A target market consists of 'customers' who share common needs or behavioural characteristics that the organisations wish to engage with."

There are essentially four broad approaches to communicating our message and these are explored using in the diagram below:

The green circle (1) represents the entire 'market', which for our purposes represents all road users; everyone who is exposed to road risk. Aiming to reach the whole market we would be adopting an undifferentiated or mass marketing approach. This can be very costly, demanding huge exposure and the returns are extremely hard to measure

The blue slice of the pie (2) represents a segment of the market; this might be a particular class of road users (e.g. motorcyclists or pedestrians), a certain geographic area (e.g. a county or police force), people who use the roads in a particular way (e.g. courier drivers), or those who exhibit a certain set of behaviours (e.g. speeders). This allows you to focus on key messages to particular groups making the communications more relevant and delivering them through appropriate means (channels). It allows you to improve the impact you can have with a more limited investment of resources.

The blue star (3) represents a small subset of a broader market segment, so we may be looking at something as narrow as weekend sportsbike riders on the A1. This would be a concentrated or niche approach. It allows you to be very specific with your message and very narrow with your distribution channels, but will have little effect on those outside the 'niche'.

Diagram to show different approaches to targeting

Some private sector companies who have very direct & personal relationships with their customers can follow the fourth approach (4) which is marketing to the individual (or micromarketing).

Broadly speaking we would strongly advocate at least the use of the 2nd approach; segmentation.


Definition: "Dividing the market into distinct groups with distinct needs, characteristics, or behaviour who might require separate 'messages' or marketing mixes"

Segmentation allows you to develop a clear idea about who you are trying target and what the message is that you want to communicate; this will instantly improve the chances of directly influencing the behaviour that is causing a problem. It also allows us to think critically about how the target audience is likely to respond to certain messages and what is likely to have the greatest effect.

MAST Online allows you to do most of this segmentation work in one place, and gives you a great deal more besides. MAST integrates a segmentation tool called MOSAIC which allows you to get a lot more information about the types of communities that people come from, the kind of communications they are responsive to and other dimensions of their lifestyle that might allow for smarter targeting.

How easy is this to do?

MAST Online allows all users to begin the work really easily, with pre-prepared reports that facilitate rapid analysis of road casualty data at local, regional and national level. There are also readymade segmentation reports that encourage the user to think through how they want to begin segmenting the market and using the functionality of MOSAIC to make that segmentation really meaningful.

If we apply the principles of targeting and segmentation to our road safety campaign work at the scoping and development stage, we will know a good deal more about the who, what, where and how we are trying to effect in changing behaviour. This means that when we come to plan and implement our evaluation we have a clearer idea about where to start looking for results.