Background and Context:
Caring for someone with cancer can have significant emotional, physical and financial impacts. In the UK, over 1 million friends and family provide unpaid support to someone with cancer at an economic value of over £12 billion. However, over half this group don’t identify themselves as ‘carers’ and miss out on support available from the health and social care system. Health professionals are ideally placed to identify cancer carers and signpost them to support, but often fail to do so, and may not see it as part of their role.
In 2013 Macmillan delivered a marketing/influencing campaign to increase the identification of cancer carers, to ensure they are signposted to support.
The campaign had two strands:
(1) Influencing the new Care Bill, calling for government to place a duty on the National Health Service (NHS) to ensure health professionals identify carers and signpost. Tactics included forming strategic relationships with key national health bodies such as NHS England and Department of Health, and other charities including Carers UK.
(2) Digital marketing aimed at hidden carers to help them self-identify and access support. Tactics included targeting people who match known demographic of cancer carers.
Activities were aligned to ensure cross-selling of messaging and maximum take-up.
Macmillan is currently working with NHS England to influence the Care Bill’s statutory guidance, which is due to be launched in October 2014. Further digital marketing activity is planned for October, based on learning from 2013 activity.
Outcomes/What was learned:
The influencing activity successfully resulted in a commitment to include statutory guidance on the identification of carers by the NHS in the Care Bill.
The marketing activity resulted in a 550% increase in traffic to the carers pages of Macmillan’s website, equating to over 30,000 visitors accessing information and support.