Engaging members on hot topic

How an automobile association engaged its members on a controversial road tax reform to advise the government using Synthetron online dialogues

Situation

The ANWB – the Dutch national automobile association – needed a clear and complete image of what its members‘ opinions were on a controversial proposed law, in order to advise the government.
Following a quantitative questionnaire, more qualitative research  and engagement of members was necessary.

Approach


All ANWB members were invited to participate to one of 7 real-time Synthetron sessions, spread over 3 days. In total, 6000 people participated. They discussed all 7 parts of the proposed law, through carefully designed scripts that served as the basis for the discussion.

Discovery


Within two weeks,  Synthetron inventorised, classified and analysed the ideas, opinions, insights and feelings of those 6000 participants on one of the most delicate political topics at that time.

The final advice reflected an overall image as well as an insight into the 7 different aspects of the law. The results were presented by the head of the Association in  a public press conference.

Media, parliament and stakeholders systematically referred to the report in the following months. The automobile association  gained much credit publicly and from its members for having involved  members on a large scale in such an innovative way.

The results were combined with the results of the quantitative questionnaire, and were presented to the national government, which helped them in reaching a decision on road pricing.

“Synthetron helped us in a very professional way to reach more than 6000 members in online conversations on the key issues of the ‘car tax proposal’. Our members were happy as they found it easy and engaging to participate. And for us, getting a collaborative filtered outcome on such a large scale made the process very efficient and transparent. We got deep insight into what our members think, feel and why, on the different policy issues. The excellent report enabled us to bring balanced and motivated advice to the government with co-created stakeholder support.”

Guido Van Woerkom, President & CEO ANWB