Yes or No? – Segmenting the Australia Day Debate with geoTribes

One of the great benefits of using geoTribes segments is the power to add new dimensions to other segmentation schemes. A recent report, created as a collaboration between RDA and Review Partners, Lightspeed and Strategic Precision, provided the opportunity to use the geoTribes to gain a better understanding of the debate surrounding changing the date of Australia Day.

This remains an evolving issue, with annual trends revealing a gradual increase in public acceptance of a date change from 16% support in 2017 to 22% support in 2019. Despite this, if a referendum had been held over the Australia Day weekend in 2019, the national result would have been 70% no change and 30% yes.

But are the views around this issue as binary as yes or no?

Within the report, “Are we there yet? The annual battle for changing the date of Australia Day 2019″, eight values segments were identified which covered the spectrum of views towards the date change. These ranged from “Refuse Change” to “Insist on Change” and while the extreme views were polarized, the majority of responses trended towards being less passionate. These segments are shown on the chart below:

When these segments were filtered through the lens of geoTribes, it revealed a detailed picture of how these divisions were manifested in the Australian population across life cycle stage and socioeconomic status (SES).

Analysis with the geoTribes segments demonstrated that:

  • Those most passionately opposed to the change (“Refuse change”) tended to be older (Survivors, Grey Power and Fortunats) and spanned across the extremes of SES. These tribes are typically more conservative and their personal values reflect a respect for tradition, preservation of social order and moderation.
  • On the other hand, those most passionately in favor of the change (“Insist on change”) covered less of a range of segments and were clustered around those which are younger and higher SES (Crusaders and Preppies). This could be explained by their exposure to the debate through university culture, as well as, their personal values being centred on rebelliousness, social status and preserving a public image. SES appeared to act as a moderator among younger segments with the lower SES Twixters and Independents being less interested in the debate.
  • These two points highlight how life cycle stage plays a key role in shaping people’s degree of passion around this issue, with some of the youngest and oldest segments holding the most extreme views.
  • On the other hand, those who were more disinterested (“Not relevant to my life” & “More important priorities”) were more likely to be couples and families who were facing other pressures in life (Suburban Splendor, Debtstars and Achievers).

Beyond its discussions of geoTribes, the report contains a plethora of interesting information about attitudes towards Australia Day. See the full report here.