PeopleForBikes Has a New, Data-Driven Podcast
By: Kiran Herbert, PeopleForBikes' content manager
“Inside the Outdoors” is a collaboration between Patrick Hogan, PeopleForBikes’ senior research manager, and Kelly Davis, research director at the Outdoor Industry Association.
In the fall of 2021, PeopleForBikes, with the support of its Coalition board of directors, made the decision to double down on its data, statistics, and research program. After all, it’s nearly impossible to grow the number of bicyclists and the bike industry as a whole without having a firm grasp on things like participation trends and forecasting, the direct-to-consumer market, or an understanding of people’s proximity to recreational trails. For those that don’t often deal with research, however, sorting through charts, numbers, and analyses can quickly become overwhelming. That’s where “Inside the Outdoors” comes in.
A podcast produced by PeopleForBikes (PFB) and the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), “Inside the Outdoors” isn’t just about bikes or data. The show features each organization’s chief data person, however, and episodes speak to larger trends in the outdoor industry, often with a special focus on bicycling. In each 20 to 30-minute episode, co-hosts Patrick Hogan, PFB’s senior research manager, and Kelly Davis, research director at the OIA, provide insights to help outdoor recreation-related companies grow their businesses.
“Inside the Outdoors” launched at the end of last year and has steadily released a new episode each week, available wherever you listen to podcasts. The name is meant to evoke the show’s mission: to peel back the curtain on the outdoor industry and help any listener understand what’s happening at the top level. As industry nonprofits, PFB and OIA want to welcome people at all levels to join in on industry happenings, ultimately leveraging the knowledge shared to help guide better business decisions.
“We are hoping that this medium will offer members of the outdoor recreation industry a way to easily access information about trends we're seeing,” says Hogan, who directs all of PFB’s research related to bicycling participation, market sales, and consumer insights. “In addition to conducting the research, PeopleForBikes is prioritizing new ways of communicating our findings with audiences, which is why we've chosen to begin podcasting.”
Since its launch in November, “Inside the Outdoors” has covered a variety of topics, some timely — an episode on 2022 holiday shopping, for example — and others more evergreen. The latter category includes an episode on what goes into forecasting and how it should influence business decisions (“Forecasting the Future”), as well as on the rise of direct-to-consumer sales (“Shifting Market Channels and the Rise of DTC”). Other episodes respond to bigger trends in outdoor recreation, like youth participation and social media. Curious about how outdoor recreation contributes to the U.S. economy? There’s an episode for that, too.
“Only a few hundred individuals will travel to conferences and events for live presentations of research, and only a handful of people will open a 20-page PDF research report,” says Hogan. “This podcast helps us fill the gaps by serving up data to our audience in bite-sized chunks.”
It helps that Hogan and Davis are affable hosts — episodes are filled with witty banter, personal anecdotes, and a lot of “aha” moments. While many of the topics discussed are complex by nature, the show makes for easy listening. While the content will primarily appeal to brands, it offers a great deal of value to dealers, marketers, local clubs and organizations, and other types of groups making, selling, or using products related to the outdoors.
“The intended audience is really anyone working in the outdoor recreation industry,” says Hogan. “We are working to help folks access critical information and stay successful in an environment that is constantly changing.”