How towns and cities use Maybe* chatbots to make evidence-based decisions.

Like any large business, evidence-based decision making is essential for towns and cities.

Finding an investment balance between increasing local footfall, attracting new visitors, drawing families into town, engaging with young people, launching events, supporting independent shops and attracting relevant chain shops is a nearly impossible task. This is made even more challenging by the lack of feedback from local constituents and visitors.

Through a localised chatbot, thousands of people offered their opinions to give BID’s the information they need to invest in evidence-based planning.

By reaching out on social media, through a chatbot over 24,000 relevant points of evidence were gathered. This data was compiled nationally and then broken down for each city or town, allowing a benchmarking of responses otherwise unavailable.

To experience the chatbot for yourself, comment on the Facebook post below.

What we learnt

The chatbot asked a series of questions relating to what people love about their city, where they would like to see improvement, what would make them more engaged in their community, what each location could do to support young people, and more.

The insights for each town are built into the Maybe* platform, allowing each town or city to share the results as they develop, encouraging further discussions online.

Asking consumers directly how they would improve their local high streets highlighted a need for better or more diverse shops (35%), followed closely by a requirement for increasing the quality, price, and availability of parking (21%).

When asked what was missing from their high streets, the runaway insight is the need to offer more activities for youth (33%). Following this is a desire for more family activities (22%).

Interestingly, when asked what they would suggest for activities to engage youth, the recommendations were clear:

    • 22% said affordable shops
    • 19% said more trendy shops
    • 14% said more youth-focused activities
    • 10% said to focus on nighttime activities for teens
    • And 9% said to offer more creative spaces… Instagram anyone?

Consumers were clear in their recommendations from where they want their BID’s to invest any future windfalls (supporting local shops - 45%) to what would inspire them to become more involved in their community (more local events - 25%).

They were also clear in their impressions of their communities. We asked about shop vacancy rates (24% of people asked said they felt that 10-15% of their local shops are currently vacant) and the mix of independent vs chain shops (30% vs 68%).

Access the full report

To learn more about how consumers think high streets can be improved, sign up for your 30-day free trial of Maybe* to download the full report.  

As part of our #WDYT (What do you think) campaign, Maybe* is offering all towns and cities access to the full results report and the ability to request a chatbot for their town, allowing them to benchmark their results. Learn more about our award-winning, Government endorsed #WDYT campaign, which helps towns and cities evolve faster through evidence-based decision making.

The campaign is delivered through the Maybe* platform.

Join us every Wednesday for our "What's working best" social media insights webinars