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The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity

The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity wanted to attract regular givers. Our challenge was to develop a new product that would give them stand out against charities with a much bigger spend and profile.

We began by pinpointing their audience.

After reviewing prospective audiences and drawing up profiles, we identified ‘mature families’ – people established in their career, with older children, and at the peak of their earning years.

But what about that brand profile?

Well, our thinking was that audience proximity to The Royal Marsden was going to be important. So we drew upon some research into people who fitted our profile in the local boroughs. This helped confirm and quantify our initial profiling as well as give additional insights into our newly identified audience. Linking this with insights from the charity’s existing supporter base, we drew up a series of hypotheses:

Our audience know cancer is a big problem. So they want to see the whole world come together to solve it.

They can be inspired by the brilliant people who have come together to beat cancer at The Royal Marsden

It’s all about ordinary people. Our audience wants to see the benefit our work is having on patients.

Armed with these hypotheses, we were able to draw up a longlist of ideas for propositions.

Each one explored how we could package up the work of The Royal Marsden to best meet the needs of the audience. These were then workshopped with our key stakeholders, and a shortlist of ideas was put into focus groups of people from around the two hospital sites.

Finally, we had our core idea… 
‘Join the world-leading Team Marsden’.

To stand should-to-shoulder with those surgeons, nurses and researchers making a difference.

The focus groups were clear – this was a product territory they’d be willing to give their financial support to. But to be sure our creative connected with them, we also carried out a second wave of testing, using a salience testing tool. We placed three different creative executions of Team Marsden in front of a panel that matched our audience – scoring the creative for Drive, Attention and Relevance as well as utilising eye-tracking technology.

And so to the creative development.

For our initial launch we wanted to create a product and a journey with enough perceived value to engage supporters, but without committing to a full – and expensive – donor journey:

The majority of our testing was in digital, as this gave us the most learnings, most quickly.

Online activity was supported by advertising in the local press and in the local vicinity.

Retention was fostered by the supporter receiving a genuine ‘welcome’ into the team and a sense of excitement generated around what was to come.

We created a low-cost, online video tour of The Royal Marsden, to create an air of expectation for new donors. This also allowed us to capture their email addresses.

We also created three further communications to combat key attrition points in the donor journey.

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