Riding to End Childhood Cancer

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Case Study: Great Cycle Challenge

Great Cycle Challenge is a month-long national cycling event that recruits riders to raise funds to fight kids’ cancer. Each year their goal is to register more riders and raise more money than the previous year.

The Challenge

At the outset of the campaign, Media Cause was simply challenged with driving better results (a lower cost per lead and cost per registration) than Great Cycle Challenge had seen the year prior. 

We knew the previous campaign had impressive prior success using Facebook, but realizing the budget allowed for more, we wanted to balance the tried and true with testing the new and unknown. 

As the campaign unfolded in winter 2020, and the country began to shut down due to COVID-19, we were faced with new and unexpected challenges. The event date was pushed to be respectful of the pandemic, and campaign benchmarks were reset, but in the end, the event and the campaign, continued.

The Strategy

We took a test-and-learn approach to the campaign. While we sought to build off of the success of previous campaigns, we also wanted to test new direct response platforms and targeting tactics But the bulk of the testing was in regards to iterative versions of creative. Throughout the flight, we tested a number of ad formats, ad copy, and messaging themes as we set out to reach everyone from the avid cyclist to the everyday exerciser. We also moved beyond just social, finding success with programmatic partners using custom audience, contextual, and endemic targeting on a relevant white list of sites.

Implementation

  • Understanding the Biking Community

    We began with an audience discovery where we looked at the client’s existing audiences, analyzed previous campaign data, and conducted market research to identify new audiences to guide messaging. This led us to understand our audience consisted of everyone from the avid cyclist to the average exerciser.

  • Keeping the Campaign Fresh + New

    We delivered a multi-channel, cross-screen program that allowed for frequent and on-going creative refreshes. We were continually putting new ad formats, creative designs, and new messaging into the market and testing what resonated with our various target audiences. We even tested different versions of the landing page at the outset of the campaign.

  • Regular Testing + Optimization

    We leveraged extensive data in order to be able to gain insights on what was working and not working. Frequent reporting and optimizations allowed us to quickly pivot and focus only on the tactics that were driving the best results.

    • Graphic Style: Static vs. Animated
    • Advertising Platforms: Social Media, Reddit, Programmatic; Paid Search
    • Ad Placement: Newsfeed vs. Storties

Results

Despite all that 2020 threw our way, the Great Cycle Challenge was a huge success! The campaign helped register over 134K riders and raise nearly $15MM to help fight kids’ cancer.

 

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