Rancho Santa Margarita
BUS 462-002 Marketing Research
April 21, 2014
Stacey Jennings: email@example.com
Jessica Sadeckas: firstname.lastname@example.org
Allie Koehler: email@example.com
Michael Lutz: firstname.lastname@example.org
David Stevens: email@example.com
Table of Contents
Executive Summary 1
Introduction (Research Objectives) 2
Background Information 2
Research Problem(s) 2
Literature Review 3
Results (Emphasis on Quantitative Findings) 4
Literature Review Findings 4
Qualitative Findings 6
Quantitative Findings 7
Limitations of your Research 9
Conclusions and Recommendations 9
Conclusions based on interpretation of results 9
Recommendations for future actions 9
Data Collection Forms (Moderator‟s Guidebook, Survey) 12
Exhibits not included in body (if necessary) 15
BikeSafe NC is a motorcycle safety initiative, which offers Rider Skill Days for motorcyclists of
all ages and riding experience. Partnering with the North Carolina Governor‟s Highway Safety
Program (GHSP), the primary goal of this program is to reduce motorcycle collisions and
fatalities by offering professional riding techniques and safety courses covering topics such as
the system of motorcycle control and collision, collision causation factors, and security.
The purpose of our research is to (1) research the scope of the current BikeSafe NC marketing
campaign and (2) compare North Carolina motorcycle collision statistics with those of other
states who currently have their own motorcycle safety program in place. By the end of this
research process, we hope to offer recommendations for the program and its marketing to
increase attendance and awareness.
About the Research
Our research methodologies consisted of literature reviews, focus groups, and email surveys. The
focus groups consisted of North Carolina State University students between the ages of 18 and
21 who did not have motorcycle licenses and the email survey was administered only to North
Carolina State University students who had a motorcycle license.
Over 75% of focus group and survey respondents had never heard of BikeSafe NC
2/3 of survey respondents who had attended the BikeSafe program consider self-identify
as being safe drivers
One of the most successful motorcycle safety initiatives is the STAR program in Idaho
More than 95% of focus group and survey respondents strongly agree that a helmet
should be required when riding a motorcycle.
Based on our research results, we offer a number of recommendations including:
1. Provide pamphlets and brochures at motorcycle events
2. Work more closely with the Department of Transportation and DMV
3. Have an experienced motorcyclist who is certified teach the course as opposed to a cop
4. Attend Harley-Davidson events
5. Provide a basic skills and experienced course to attract more riders.
BikeSafe NC is a traffic safety initiative program that works with the Governor‟s Highway
Safety Program, the NC State Highway Patrol, as well as other local agencies, with the primary
purpose of reducing crashes and fatalities for motorcyclists.
An increase in motorcycle fatalities was recognized by the NC Highway Patrol, resulting in them
researching ways to minimize, and ultimately prevent, crashes and fatalities. BikeSafe NC is
modeled after BikeSafe London, a world-famous program created and taught by the
Metropolitan Police Department of London. Since the initiation of the program, London has had
a 25% reduction in motorcycle fatalities, the best results thus far.
London‟s program led North Carolina to adapt and enact the program. During 2007, Wake
County, NC held a pilot program that resulted in a reduction of motorcycle fatalities, a reduction
that was not found in other areas of the state. The Bike safety program brought the Federal
Highway Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on board to help
reduce crashes and fatalities state-wide. In 2009 the program expanded and North Carolina saw
the first state-wide reduction in motorcycle fatalities in 5 years.
The program gives motorcyclists the chance to participate in “Rider Skills Days” that offer
assessments on present driving skills and gives advice that will ultimately make their experience
as a motorcyclist more enjoyable and safer. Topics include the system of motorcycle control,
collision causation factors, and security. The pre-booked days are held in 31 counties throughout
North Carolina. They are offered on the weekends and consist of classroom-based lessons and
on-road “ride-out” sessions with motor officers as well as other qualified motorcycle safety
Whether you have a high powered motorcycle or a smaller commuter bike, you can attend the
classes. The only requirements to sign up are a current driver‟s license with legal motorcycle
endorsement and proof of insurance.
Research Problem 1: Research the scope of the campaign.
Questions answered will include, but are not limited to: how many safety classes are offered and
how often? Where are they located? Answers to these questions will lead to a better
understanding of the programs‟ marketing campaign and what changes should be implemented to
Research Problem 2: Compare statistics to different states offering similar programs.
By comparing the statistics of fatalities and crashes from other states, we will be able to research
their programs and determine any changes that should be made. The changes could be additions
or subtractions to the current N.C. program as a whole.
After the initial meeting with our client, we began the data collection process with exploratory
research. We chose this method because exploratory research would allow us to gain
information on our selected program, BikeSafe NC. In turn, we would be provided a platform
upon which a more descriptive research design can be utilized. In our case, this refers to the next
phase in our process—the quantitative section. The main benefits of the exploratory technique
are its versatility, low costs, and cost-efficiency. For our research, we collected secondary data
by engaging in a literature search, one of the quickest and least costly methods. In addition, we
gathered primary data by conducting two focus groups and creating an email survey for
motorcyclists to respond to.
In our literature review, we did thorough research of various websites including: the official
BikeSafe North Carolina website, the Governor‟s Highway Safety Association‟s website, the
program section of the North Carolina Department of Transportation site, and various websites
for state motorcycle safety programs in other states.
Our group utilized focus groups in order to obtain a better idea of how people feel about
motorcycles in general, the requirements for receiving a motorcycle license in the state of North
Carolina, and the rate of awareness these individuals may have on current motorcycle safety
initiatives in North Carolina. The primary goal of conducting these focus groups was to help
provide information based on Research Problem 1 (Research the scope of the campaign). This
research question involves determining the reach of current marketing efforts for the BikeSafe
NC campaign and any changes that should be implemented.
After conducting our qualitative research, we wanted to learn more about the individuals who
attend the BikeSafe NC courses. Our survey questions primarily focused on our first research
problems related to the scope of the campaign. We also were interested in seeing if reckless
drivers or safe drivers were the ones primarily attending this program.
Literature Review Findings
Despite the recent rise in its popularity, BikeSafeNC is still a fairly new program which made it
difficult to find scholarly resources that could be used for our project. Therefore, to find the
necessary information, we began with a comprehensive online search, using several well-known
search engines including Google, Bing, and Yahoo. We searched key phrases such as “Top
National Bike safety Programs”, “BikeSafeNC”, and “BikeSafe Collegiate Program”. By
searching these phrases we were able to find the necessary websites to aid in our exploration of
When selecting which Bike safety programs to focus our research on, we took into consideration
their location in the Google, Yahoo, and Bing search results. This is relevant to developing an
accurate comparison of success rates of BikeSafeNC and motorcycle safety initiatives in other
states. The location of a state‟s program in the search results is related to marketing efforts of
these campaigns. Search Engine Optimization is crucial in marketing for a non-profit because
money is limited and needs to be spent primarily on the safety programs.
Research Problem 1
After researching the scope of the BikeSafe, we found that they offer 17 classes every month in
various locations throughout the state. These classes are offered in the following cities (not
limited to): High point, Garner, Fayetteville, Asheville, Jacksonville, Holly Springs, Cary,
Thomasville, Greenville, Raleigh, Apex, Durham, New Bern, and Franklin. These cities each
offer one class every month per city.
BikeSafeNC gives motorcyclists the chance to participate in “Rider Skills Days” that offer
assessments on present driving skills and gives advice will ultimately make their experience as a
motorcyclist more enjoyable and safer. The agenda also includes classroom discussion with
topics such as the system of motorcycle control, collision causation factors and security. The
pre-booked days are held in 31 counties throughout N.C. They are offered on the weekends and
consist of classroom-based advice and on-road “ride-out” sessions with motor officers as well as
other qualified BikeSafeNC assessors.
The main difference in North Carolina Motorcycle safety and D.C safety is that in D.C., in order
to be allowed to drive a motorcycle you are required to be 18 years old and take a safety test and
an "on the road test" before receiving your license. In N.C you teach yourself how to ride then
go to the DMV to complete a brief field test that takes a maximum of 20 minutes. D.C.
implements stricter restrictions to receive your license, which may explain why they only had
two motorcycle fatalities in 2012.
Research Problem 2
As previously mentioned, based on their location in the Google, Yahoo, and Bing search results,
we chose to focus on three states which include North Carolina, Oregon, and Florida. To begin,
we compared the fatalities that have occurred in each of the selected states. The information was
compiled from two different time periods over a two-year span: January 2011 to June 2011 and
January 2012 to September 2012. The fatalities were recorded in a 6 month time period in 2011
and in the same 6 month time frame in 2012 in order to determine any differences in results. The
same scenario is then repeated with a 9 month time frame. The results are as follows:
79 86 +7 134 141 +7
19 15 - 4 34 45 +11
227 194 - 33 312 287 - 25
As you can see, the most fatalities occurred in Florida and the least amount occurred in Oregon.
North Carolina‟s fatalities fall in the middle between Oregon and Florida. Interestingly,
although Florida has the most fatalities by far, they are the only state of the three to have a
decrease over the recorded time with the exception of the first 6 months in Oregon.
Each state has its own Bike safety program: BikeSafe North Carolina, Ride Smart Florida, and
Team Oregon. Each of these programs are quite similar in that they all offer educational classes
for several levels of difficulty, offer „Rider Skills Days‟ which consist of on-road ride-outs
motorcycle courses as well as in classroom information sessions. Each state‟s program also
includes a section dedicated to safety precautions to take into consideration such as awareness,
physical capabilities, but mainly the appropriate apparel to wear whenever riding a motorcycle
which is consistent throughout each state‟s program. This appropriate apparel includes: a legal
helmet, eye protection, long sleeve shirts, long pants, full fingered gloves, over the ankle foot
protection, and rain gear.
By using convenience sampling, we created two focus groups each comprised of six North
Carolina State University students. The participants consisted of students currently in their
freshman, sophomore, or junior year of undergraduate studies. The age range was between 18
and 21 years of age, with eleven students from the United States and one student from China.
Each group was asked eight identical questions and held a discussion offering their ideas,
insights, and opinions. All interviews were recorded for later review.
After completing these focus groups, we learned quite a bit about how people view motorcycle
safety and what they know about various North Carolina safety initiatives.
When discussing the safety of motorcyclists, the only concern was of protective clothing such as
long sleeves, long pants, boots, gloves, and helmets. Like many motorists on the road, many
crashes are often caused by speeding and carelessness. For motorcyclists, however, these bad
decisions can be detrimental. Both groups agreed that many accidents are a result of adrenaline
and the „need for speed‟ attitude rather than lack of specific motorcycle training.
When asked if the age that an individual is allowed to obtain a motorcycle license should be
changed, most of the respondents argued that that is not an issue. One student stated, “If you can
drive a car, you should be able to drive a motorcycle.” On the other hand, all were in agreement
that it should be a harder process for someone to obtain a motorcycle license.
One of the last questions we asked was about the students‟ current awareness of any initiatives
specifically created for motorcycle safety. The response was unanimous across the board: as far
as they all were concerned, there aren‟t any initiatives in North Carolina. One participant said, “I
usually just see bumper stickers on the back of cars that say „look out for motorcyclists.‟”
Another stated, “I might have seen a billboard about motorcycle safety once.”
Below is a visual created from Wordle.com.Wordleis s a tool for creating a “text cloud” that uses
the size of the text to represent the frequency of each word in the given source sample. After
reviewing the recordings from the focus groups, we grouped each response into a certain
category including obtaining a license, crashes, safety, and protective clothing. Each phrase was
entered into the Wordle document and the image below was created.
The purpose of this diagram is to show which issues were brought up most frequently, either
those involving safety training requirements or those related to issues on the road and causes of
crashes. There are a large number of responses relevant to safety in general such as causes for
crashes and need for safety. The only noticeable response about training is related to making it
more difficult for individuals to obtain their motorcycle license.
After coding the results of our eight respondents, our general idea about the low awareness of
this program was confirmed. More than half of the respondents had never heard of the program.
Though our sample size is very small, the demographics of our respondents were all males
between 16 and 29. This is a positive because we are able to compare results across the same
gender and age group and their answers across the board to come to a general conclusion.
However, this is a negative as well because we are not able to explore the thoughts and
experiences of females or older individuals.
We also hoped to see if there was any correlation between the individuals who attend the
BikeSafe NC programs and whether they self-identify as being a reckless driver or not. Half of
the respondents considered themselves to be reckless drivers.However, of the three that had
taken the BikeSafe NC program, only one considered himself to be a reckless driver.
The last main focus of our survey was to see if motorcyclists would rather learn or gain riding
advice from a police officer or a professional motorcyclist. The results were unanimous,
everyone selected „strongly disagree‟ when asked how they felt about being taught by a police
officer. We believe that by changing who instructs the course could potentially make a
significant impact on attendance.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
BikeSafe NC participants vs
One of the limitations that we had when doing our research was the lack of information/sources
on BikeSafe NC. When searching online any information we found was the same across all
boards. It consisted of basic information on BikeSafe NC, including its purpose, where classes
are held and when, what kind of training is offered, etc. There were plenty of statistics on
motorcycle fatalities and crashes but as far as the actual program itself, little was found. This
was not surprising seeing as how the focus of our report is to raise awareness for BikeSafe NC.
Another limitation was the lack of access to motorcyclists. After reaching out to the North
Carolina State University‟s transportation office with our survey, who we hopes would provide
us with a convenience sample, we received no reply. Our original quantitative research method
was to ask them to send our survey to any motorcyclist who was listed with their office from
parking pass purchases. After receiving no answer we had to find another convenient group of
motorcyclists, which was a challenge. After our research group members reached out to friends
and family to find motorcyclists to answer our survey, we ended up with a sample size of eight.
Although this did allow us the opportunity to thoroughly evaluate responses of college males,
this small sample size created a serious limitation. This created a limitation because we were able
to explore the thoughts and experiences of females or older individuals.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Conclusions Based on Interpretation of Results
Even though BikeSafe NC offers 17 classes each month, less than 100 people total sign up for
them.Attendance is extremely low, especially in the Research Triangle area where the majority
of training courses are being held. This low attendance could be linked to low awareness in this
BikeSafe NC is a beneficial initiative created to help prevent crashes and fatalities for
motorcyclists. However, the low awareness of the program as well as the minimal attendance at
the program events has shown the ineffectiveness of its campaign. Therefore, through
exploratory research of other successful programs, we were able to make strong
recommendations that will hopefully increase brand name awareness, increase attendance at our
programs, and ultimately decrease the fatalities to zero in North Carolina.
Recommendations for Future Actions
One of the major limitations we found was the awareness of BikeSafe NC. To increase
awareness, we suggest working more closely with the Department of Transportation to help
promote the program. They have a complete website that has a list of programs offered but
BikeSafe NC is not found on this website. Further, the Department of Transportation is
promoting the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. This would be an ideal spot to advertise the
BikeSafe NC program and offer a link to the website for potential motorcycle attendants to find a
location and time that fits his/her schedule.
We also found that many people didn‟t like that the class was conducted by a police officer.
Instead, we wanted to bring your attention to having the class taught by an experienced
motorcyclist. This person would be certified, just as the police officer was, but it may be less
intimidating for attendants if a cop was not the one instructing him/her.
Harley Davidson offers meetings, rides, and gatherings for motorcyclists. Working with Harley
Davidson and attending some of these events with pamphlets, brochures, t-shirt give-a-ways, and
other prizes may increase the awareness of our program among the motorcycle community.
Furthermore, Harley Davidson is a very well respected brand in this community. If we could get
Harley Davidson to endorse our efforts and promote the program, we may attract more people to
attend as well. For example, the Tilley Harley-Davidson of Salisbury, NC is having a Garage
Party on April 26, 2014. This event is given to specifically attract new riders to learn about the
Harley Davidson lifestyle and bikes. This would be an ideal opportunity to engage with new
riders and promote BikeSafe NC as the place this person should come to learn to safely ride a
Another suggestion we have is to work with the DMV to make taking the BikeSafe NC course a
requirement to receive a motorcycle license. This will further ensure the motorcyclists safety on
the road. Beyond that, defensive riders will be able to better protect themselves from the cars on
the road. If a car and a motorcyclist were to have a collision, the car is not going to have near as
much damage as the individual on the motorcycle would have. Therefore, to keep causalities
down, motorcyclists should have to attend this course for their own safety.
Finally, we think one of the best ways to reach both experienced and inexperienced riders is to
introduce a two course program. The first course will be run very similar to our current program.
Going off of the Idaho STAR program, which has a nationally recognized program motorcycle
safety program, we want to implement the following to increase awareness and attendance at our
Basic Skills – This will be a continuation of our current program where we will provide
classroom and rider courses. This course will go over basic skills, regulations, and safety
requirements as well as include a short-ride where the riders will be initially assessed.
The riders will take a long-ride as well later in the day to be re-assessed and test the
riders‟ improvement of skills and knowledge. This class will also go over making
motorcyclists better defensive riders by covering basic in street strategies as well as what
to do in emergency response situations. This course should be a requirement to receive a
motorcycle license. Washington D.C. requires completion of a similar course and only
had 2 fatalities in 2012 compared to North Carolina‟s 172. Therefore, completion of this
course could potentially improve the overall safety of NC riders. The ultimate goal of
this program is to have zero crashes and fatalities involving motorcyclists and the riders
need to know how to respond and react in any given situation.
Experienced - This part of the course will also include classroom and cycle time.
However, the curriculum will include a more diverse range of topics. This class will be
designed for the risk-adverted rider who is considered an “expert rider.” A minimum of
two years experience will be required for enrollment or the successful completion of the
Basic Skills course. An additional intensive focus will be placed on in street strategies
and hazard response skills that will include practice cornering, braking, and swerving.
Topics will also include master precision vehicle handling control, advanced low-speed
maneuvering, and hazard response skills.
After speaking with the director of Idaho Star, Stacey Axmaker, we wanted to reconstruct this
program and follow this already successful initiative. The phone conversation with him listed
the struggles that their organization faces with reaching the target market. It takes a good
amount of research to find out where and when these motorcyclists meet. However, it is crucial
that we attend these events to raise awareness of our program, attract potential and existing riders
to engage in our program, and show the importance of being a safe rider.
Data Collection Forms
i. Moderator‟s Guidebook
ii. Survey Questions
Focus Group Date Collection Form for BikeSafe NC
Moderator: Jessica Sadeckas
1) When you see a person riding a motorcycle, what is your initial reaction? Keep in mind that
the term motorcycle can include a scooter as well as a moped.
2) What would you consider to be the most important safety precautions when riding a
3) What do you think initially provokes a person to want to become a rider? If you find yourself
4) What makes the idea of riding a motorcycle/scooter either appealing or unappealing to you?
5) Are there any specific types of accidents you think motorcyclists are particularly at risk for?
And what do you think the main causes of motorcycle accidents are?
6) How do you feel about it being required by law to receive proper knowledge and training of
motorcycle safety skills before being able to obtain a license?
7) How important do you think our state places on motorcycle safety awareness and training
initiatives? Have you heard of any in particular?
8) Is there anything else you would like to say about the risks or rewards that are involved with
being a motorcyclist? Or anything involved with motorcycle safety?
1. Do you have your motorcycle license?
2. How old were you when you obtained your motorcycle license?
3. Have you ever heard of BikeSafe North Carolina?
4. What do you relate this program to?
Bicycles Motorcycles Other_______
5. Have you ever taken the BikeSafe NC course?
6. IF YES to #5, do you feel the course increased your knowledge about motorcycle safety?
7. IF NO to #5, do you have any interest in taking a BikeSafe NC course to increase your
knowledge about motorcycle safety?
Yes No Not Sure Haven‟t Heard of this program
8. Have you ever received a ticket while riding a motorcycle?
9. IF YES to #8, what was the reason for the ticket?
Speeding Drunk Driving Running a Light Other_______
10. Would you consider yourself to be a reckless driver?
Yes No Not sure
11. Have you or anyone you know ever been involved in a collision involving a motorcycle?
Yes No Not sure
Please indicate your agreement with the following statements:
12. It should be required by law to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle.
Strongly disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree
13. I am interested in learning more about Bike safety from a police officer.
Strongly disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree
14. I would be more interested in taking a motorcycle safety course if the instructor was a
Strongly disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree
15. Do you have an interest in learning more about BikeSafe NC?
16. Please add any addition comments:
17. Please indicate your gender
18. What is your age?
Less than 20 20-39 40-59 60 or older
Description Response Options
ID Survey response ID 1 through 7
License Have motorcycle
Obtained Age when obtained Enter response
Awareness Heard of program 1=yes 2=no
Relate Relate program to 1=bicycles 2=motorcycl
Taken Taken program 1=yes 2=no
Yes Increase knowledge 1=yes 2=no
No Interest in program 1=yes 2=no 3=not sure 4=never heard
Ticket Received a ticket 1=yes 2=no
Why Reason for ticket 1=speeding 2=drunk
Reckless Considered reckless 1=yes 2=no 3=not sure
Collision Been involved 1=yes 2=no 3=not sure
Helmet Should be legal 1=strongly disagree 2=disagree 3=agree 4=strongly
Officer Taught by officer 1=strongly disagree 2=disagree 3=agree 4=strongly
1=strongly disagree 2=disagree 3=agree 4=strongly
More Want to learn more 1=yes 2=no
Comments Additional comments Enter response
Gender Male/Female 1=male 2=female
Age Age options 1=less than 20 2=20-39 3=40-59 4=60 or older
Exhibits Not Included in Body
See Excel spreadsheet on the following page.
Axmaker, Stacey. “Idaho STAR.” Telephone interview. 27 Mar. 2014.
"BikeSafe North Carolina."BikeSafe North Carolina.N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.
"Governor's Highway Safety Program (GHSP)." NCDOT:.N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.
"Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety."- FHWA Safety Program. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.
“RIDE HARD OR STAY HOME.” Harley-Davidson USA.n.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.
"State of Oregon: State of Oregon." State of Oregon: State of Oregon. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar.
"The Mission."BikeSafe.N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.
"What is GHSA?." Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.
"Wordle.com." wordle.com.N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http://www.wordle.com>.