How we delivered a full consultancy package to a leading charity


8th May 2019

By Adam Wilkinson

The brief

Macmillan operates a well-respected and substantial helpline operation handling over 145,000 enquiries a year. It also runs a mobile information service to target hard to reach groups that visits locations based on local population characteristics. The goal of the consultancy was to analyse existing insight on the needs of under-represented groups (men, younger people, BME communities, people in Celtic nations and northern England and those with rarer cancers) and develop a matrix of who is already well served in terms of support from Macmillan and other organisations and who isn’t to identify which groups they might want to focus on developing channels for.

The work

In our ‘discovery’ phase we spent a day on site at Macmillan exploring the helpline function to gain an understanding of the helpline operation, demand, channel availability, technology, types of enquiries and the challenges faced.

We also connected with the Macmillan mobile bus team to gain an understanding of Macmillan’s work in the community and the challenges of reaching ‘hard to reach’ groups before gathering views from the inclusion team on how Macmillan approaches issues of equality, and the marketing insight team to explore brand perceptions expressed through tracking research.

In the following ‘identification’, ‘market reality’ and ‘insight’ phases we reviewed research about Macmillan’s audiences and channels, mapping what was available, what is currently used and the gaps. We also looked outside Macmillan, reviewing digital channel usage in the UK and the application of technology in the healthcare sector.

The result

We produced a set of practical recommendations accompanied by a comprehensive insight report identifying gaps and offering solutions and recommendations covering supporting technologies and operational delivery.

We asked Connect Assist to explore Macmillan’s ‘hard to reach’ groups and make recommendations around building a multi-channel offering.

They gathered insight from across Macmillan and brought it together into a comprehensive report offering clear and practical recommendations; from technology options to insightful observations about how our outreach and helpline teams can work more effectively together. Overall, it was an excellent collaborative experience and several teams are using the report conclusions to shape our strategy.

The value of Connect Assist’s consultancy service is to combine their helpline, CRM and communications platform experience with the reality of what happens ‘on the ground’ to produce specific and practical recommendations. We would not hesitate to recommend them.


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