FEATURE17 June 2021

Shifting gears: How the AA uses insights to drive decisions

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Insights are central to the AA’s decision-making – but can they help the breakdown specialist navigate a period of upheaval in the car industry? By Liam Kay.

AA recovery van towing a car at side of rural road

If your car suddenly breaks down on a dimly lit, winding country road, there is a good chance the AA will be your first call to get you back up and running. Since 1905, the motoring organisation has been rescuing drivers of all kinds, acting as a de facto ‘fourth emergency service’. As the age of the petrol car winds to an end, however, the company is at a crossroads, and insights are helping its shift to a new future.

When Robert Gruszka, senior consumer research manager, joined the AA in 2015, it was looking for a fresh start. The company has long been an icon of British motoring, but older customers formed a large part of its membership, and the company had been absent from television and radio advertising for a long time.

The biggest issue remains the radical changes on the horizon for the car industry. Electric vehicles, and the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel ...