American Cancer Society – Making Strides local market campaign

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Integrated local market campaign motivates greater event participation, awareness and revenue

The challenge

American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC) walk was in a great position for growth. Only 40 percent of the target market was even aware of the event prior to 2012. Each Making Strides event traditionally had done much of their promotions on a local level. So, there was little real integration of campaign elements or lockup with national TV spots. This too was an opportunity to make a big difference.

Russ Reid solution

Defeating breast cancer is essential to the American Cancer Society’s Mission. So they sought to generate greater awareness, participation and revenue through their Making Strides event. By testing market awareness and direct response fundraising at the local level, we determined the most effective way to fight back.

A 3-fold local-market strategy in 6 key markets, which leveraged the following testing strategy:

Test 1 – Local awareness only. Leverage the brand to help raise event awareness and participation.

Test 2 – Local direct response engagement. Leverage brand, but hit with strong calls-to-action to fundraise and register for the event.

Test 3 – Multiple treatments. Awareness and direct response engagement and experience enhancements. Leverage brand, use a combination of awareness and direct repsponse methods in addition to event experience improvements.


In the markets receiving experience enhancements, greater awareness and an integrated direct response treatment, the local market campaign helped achieve:

  • 26% increase in event participation
  • 29% increase in year-over-year revenue
  • 14-pt growth in awareness

The next step is to build a sustainable local market campaign effort that achieves ongoing revenue growth.

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