Rapid Fire Session 2014 World Cancer Congress

Macmillan cancer support: World’s Biggest Coffee Morning (WBCM) segmentation (#510)

Jenny Ritchie-Campbell 1 , Clara Avery 1
  1. Macmillan Cancer Support, London, UK

Background and Context:

WBCM is Macmillan’s flagship fundraising event and one of the most successful in the UK. Started in 1990 by a local fundraising committee, it has grown exponentially. In 2012 WBCM made £15million. The challenge was to continue the remarkable increase in participants and income under increasing competitive pressure.


To enhance our communication with previous Coffee Morning hosts, making it more effective and targeted to generate more income.


Patterns were uncovered which allowed translation of soft measures like loyalty and engagement into hard measures.

Programme Process:


1. Longitudinal analysis of registration and behaviour patterns to analyse attrition, return and inactivity patterns. The correlation of these with length of relationship allowed us to understand parameters we needed to apply to represent loyalty levels and evaluate future engagement.

2. Profiling supporters to understand their donation behaviour and value, length of relationship, frequency of hosting, acquisition method, responsiveness to communications taken before, during and after their WBCM relationship allowed us to develop measure of engagement.

Costs and returns:

Growth was driven by dramatic increase in registrations, up 60% on 2012; a direct result of targeting and messaging insights delivered. In addition the value of these hosts increased by £10 on 2012. ROI on Coffee Morning increased 21%.

Outcomes/What was learned:

Segmentation enabled us to achieve objectives;

1. Increased participation and value of previous host registering for WBCM 2013
2. Improved ROI by 21% with better targeting, saving direct marketing cost
3. Allowed confident estimate of future income and acquisition population required to achieve targets.

The segmentation’s power lies in its simplicity, based on hard measures and yet representative of complex behaviour. This project formed a key part of a suite of analysis undertaken to ensure that WBCM broke all records in 2013. Income increased by 37% to £20.5m and attracted 154,000 participants, up 39%.