Tag Archives: American Cancer Society

Award-Winning, Top-Tier Research on a Budget! by Marc Harwitz and Kimberly Cason #FOCI14 #MRX

Live blogging from the #FOCI14 conference in Universal City. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.foci14

Award-Winning, Top-Tier Research on a Budget!
Marc Harwitz and Kimberly Cason, AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY, INC.

  • budget does not mean cheap research, it means maximizing dollars
  • ACS is 100 years in their industry – 2 out of 3 people survey cancer now
  • cancer.org is the most often accessed website for cancer information
  • fitbit is a sponsor of the ACS  [neato!]
  • CVS no longer sells cigarettes [AWESOME!!!]
  • market research team works on identifying donors and awareness, tracking campaigns, which celebrities will create buzz
  • Relay for life is their largest donation program [I just donated to the run. your turn!]
  • There are over 5000 relays in the US, and more than 4 million participants.
  • a camel is a horse designed by a committee – don’t design a camel!
  • no room for errors as there are watchdog companies reporting on everything they spend
  • have consistent reliable partners so a project can be handed over as if it was being done internally, saves a lot of learning time and expectation setting
  • have you already collected the data before? can you re-use existing data and avoid collecting new data
  • official logo of the American Cancer Society R...

    official logo of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    get all the teams together once per year and try to marry a lot of data points together, find new stories, find new aha moments. [mmmm it’s like mixing chocolate and peanut butter. and where can i get that?]

  • can literally tie financials to data [every vendor’s dream!]
  • research should be at every table as strategies are scoped out – PR, marketing, planning
  • “11 million cancer survivors are celebrating birthdays” – this message wasn’t understood by the general public. Changed message to focus on what ACS DOES and it improved tremendously.
  • they have brand tracker metrics and customer experience scores

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Richards and Bland: Audience Segmentation, American Cancer Society #MRA_AC #MRX

American Cancer Society

Image via Wikipedia

Session summary of the Marketing Research Association 2011 annual conference. These are my interpretations of the session. They were written during the session and posted immediately afterwards. Any inaccuracies and silliness are my own.


Using Audience Segmentation for Event Growth
Melanie Richards, Ph.D., American Cancer Society, Inc.
Alex Bland, American Cancer Society, Inc.

  • American Cancer Society – Official sponsor of birthdays
  • Help people stay well, communicate information, find cures though own research and funding research, help people fight back through advocacy and empowering volunteers –> do this through events, Relay for Life, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, DetermiNation
  • DetermiNation – prepare athletes for endurance events, as they train they raise money to fight cancer
  • Problem – Needed to identify right audience for program, motivations, demographics, psychographics, behaviours for people interested/supporting endurance event. Not trying to convince new people.
  • Approach – create a set of persona groups.
    Segmentation was used. E.g., Best Buy sets up stores differently depending on the geolocation, some have cell phones at the front, some have movies at the front
  • Started with a survey – past and future participation, motivations, awareness, 1500 completes. Used clustering and Bayesian algorithm. (Ha! Crazy hard math)
  • Created 5 personas, must be culturally inclusive, segments are generalized ideas not exact descriptions. (Would have liked to see the personas. 😦  )
  • (Latercomer Dan Womack took the obstructed seat behind the column. We all laughed at him.)
  • Decided to target 3 personas all of which were high income folks who generate more donations. Developed 1 communication that spoke to aspects of all 3.
  • First develop creative materials and ad testing. Then they tested tthe creative on the three personas. Started with bulletin board focus groups. Moved to online focus group. Then did flash polls. (See multi-method style here)
  • Winning ad is similar to: If you can run you can run further; If you can train you can train harder; If you do you can fight cancer
  • Wanted to use the data for more than just the creative. Apply personas back to original constituent database to communicate to them better and develop better event experience.
  • Lessons learned: Discuss important variables ahead of time. Choose variables that matter to you. Learn the next steps that will make the results immediately actionable. (Oh yeah!)
  • It’s never going to be perfect (We need to hear that a lot more.)
  • (Have you sponsored an ACS athlete today?)
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