How Movember became more data-driven to communicate all year round

Movember partners with The Lumery to make better used of its martech and get personal with supporters

It’s November so, naturally, the call out to grow a ‘mo and help prevent male suicide for Movember is top of mind. But how does a not-for-profit like the Movember Foundation harness its data to create a strategy for better personalisation, targeting and all-year round messaging? And, most importantly, how can it do this in a cost-effective way?

Chief fundraising and development officer at Movember Foundation, Charlotte Webb, realised a few years ago the organisation needed to leverage technology, like CRM and marketing automation, in order to drive a better fundraising experience, year round. Enter The Lumery, which has been working closely with Movember to help it become more data-driven.

Traditionally, not-for-profits have been reticent to invest in martech or platforms to manage data because of the expense. However, Movember already had a platform, it simply needed to learn new ways to use it more effectively.

“We realised we needed to get Movember on this journey, and start moving towards a more data-driven approach and start driving towards leveraging all this new technology,” Webb explained to CMO.

The partnership has been running for more than two years. As Rajan Kumar, co-founder and managing director of The Lumery, explained, it has seen the agency supporting Movember across various aspects of its data strategy moving forward.

“We're supporting the customer journey and mapping work, to helping the team understand available data about supporters and the differences between all different kind of groups of people it's interacting with, and helping identify how to prioritise initiatives and tactics in a world where you could do lots of stuff,” he said. “But also how do you really go about making sure you make sense of the things that you need to focus on first?”

Off the back of this work, Movember has changed the way it engages and builds relationships with its supporters.

“Even though Movember has had enjoyed huge success since its inception in 2003, it actually really needed to transform the way in which it approached revenue generation. It needed to work strategically and use its CRM more effectively,” Webb said.

“When it comes to privacy and the way in which you look after your supporters’ data as a responsible charity, there is no choice but to be more data-driven. There is a requirement and it is an ethical responsibility to take care of people's money and their details." 

That said, Webb agreed diving into the world of martech, and what organisations can do from a marketing and customer perspective is enormous.

"You can dive into a world of complexity, whether you're looking at incredibly sophisticated acquisition strategies, your marketing, whether you are looking at the way in which you build up your retention, whether you are trying to scale or pivot or launch a new product – you can do almost anything," she continued. 

“It's a very big organisational learning for us. You want to have a lifetime of loyalty and a really simple beautiful, reliable one-world view of data and have everything makes sense. That's a beautiful unicorn dream state, but the reality for most organisations, whether they are new or not, is it's very complex to achieve.”

As Kumar explained, organisations have to drill down into what they are really trying to achieve from their data.

“Given it is a charity, obviously the vision [at Movember] is very strong. And the entire organisation gravitates around that, which is fantastic," he said. "That's probably quite different to a commercially driven organisation. However, the churn rate for fundraisers sits at about the 70 per cent mark. So imagine if we were able to retain and continue to engage those donors and fundraisers over a longer period of time and achieve even more loyalty.”

Webb said it was vital to be very clear on priorities when embarking on this journey.

“Movember is based on an incredibly simple, scalable idea that grew rapidly with the emergence of social media. However, there was suddenly a moment where every other brand was on social media. There was an increasing sophistication in how both non-profit and commercial organisations were engaging supporters and customers,” she said.  

“What has happened is by running an annual campaign, and then going silent between the months of December and September, it eventually it stops working. And of course, the income starts to decline. So Movember really did have to think on its feet. We had a database, we had Salesforce, but really nobody would use it. We were using it in pieces, because people weren't hired to manage it." 

Key to The Lumery’s approach was to better use what Movember had, rather than buy something new.

“So we had to work out what the strategy was, making sure we had a way in which we can actually access all of our supporters’ data from the one place as the core goal," Webb said. "Then we could understand how someone has supported us over a number of years and actually work on personalising the message.

“We needed to build a central place to store the data, we needed a martech stack, and digital marketing tools that would enable us to build our EDMs off the back of the data points.”

Today, Salesforce is Movember's CRM, Oracle Eloqua is running marketing automation, and there are internal data warehousing capabilities feeding into the strategy. An internal insights team then runs an algorithm-based system, which looks at behaviours of people.

"The simple things they do enable us to understand whether or not people are more or less likely to engage with us and to raise money for the cause, and it has an effect on the planning, and groups them in a way to understand who's the most valuable, who’s showed huge potential, and who is really likely to engage. That way we can spend our efforts in the right way," Webb said

“Understanding what type of message resonates with some, understanding what kind of channel that might be tied to this, is vital. Once a consumer gets to the website, it's then about understanding where they're most likely to engage. Throughout their experience, people have a number of different touchpoints with us and we are engaging with them in a way that feels personal and is as relevant as we can possibly get it."

The vision is to be at a point where Movember is giving people a year-round experience that is incredibly relevant to them, and very personal.

“The idea is serving up incredibly interesting content that engages them, and ultimately brings them back to our events or enables them to want to to keep supporting the cause. And then we're actually giving them an experience and inspiring enormous loyalty and connection to us.

“But this is probably a couple of years away at this point. We have focused on getting our campaigns smarter and we do communicate people with people year round, I would say we've only now got to a position where we can genuinely flip to a reasonable model," Webb said. 

“We're running tests all the time in different markets, across different segments to look at what is driving engagement. We want to know what is helping conversion, what are people responding to, what is likely to elicit a positive response from a member of our community. We could do lots of different things, but it isn't necessarily the right thing for the supporter, and we want to make sure that experience is as great as it can be." 

Organisationally, understanding was the key to success. "We deliberately set out to be unlike anybody else in terms of how we branded and how this manifested itself every year, and how non-traditional we were.

“And I would say there was an understandable nervousness around whether or not people wanted to hear from us all year round, and now our understanding is that they do. So as long as we're talking the right way about the stuff that they care about, they do want to engage with us.”

Read more: How Movember used real-time push notifications to generate double-digit revenue gain

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