Understanding Domestic Commercial Vessel Audiences: Engagement and Communication

Understanding Commercial Marine Users: Engagement and Communication

Project dates: 01/03/2019 - 30/11/2019

This project aimed to understand existing gaps in knowledge with regards to Domestic Commercial Vessel (DCV) audiences, through the creation of a detailed audience profile of DCV industries in the form of personas. These personas profiled the barriers, motivators, value propositions and other characteristics of DCV audiences to help inform communication and engagement activities and future education campaigns.

Why is this important?

Maritime safety requires effective compliance strategies, but given the dynamic context and diverse audience, compliance is a complex undertaking. Australian domestic commercial vessel audiences include a diverse range of industries that vary in structure, size and type. Given this breadth and diversity, understanding as much as possible about DCV audiences is key to engaging with, and supporting, these audiences now and in the future.

What did we do?

A review of the existing academic and grey literature surrounding compliance and safety behaviour, relevant barriers and motivators, and maritime audience segmentation methods was conducted. From this review, relevant theoretical frameworks were chosen and implemented to design exploratory co-design workshops. Thematic and pictorial analysis then proceeded in order to derive insights regarding segmentation and engagement of DCV audience in the context of safety and compliance.

What did we find out?

  • Segmentation methods of the past have focused on industry characteristics, not the individual
  • Barriers and motivators and diverse and complex
  • Social support theory helps to explain barriers and motivators
  • Best practice interventions take a multifaceted approach
  • Personas are determined by motivation, focus, and value
  • DCV audience journeys are hampered by paperwork and requirements
  • Options for engagement indicate the need for ease and support
  • Personas respond to different types of messages


For more information about this project, please email: best@qut.edu.au

Funding / Grants

  • AMSA commissioned funding (2019 - 2019)

Chief Investigators


Other Partners

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)