King’s Fund

From mass e-mailing to prioritised relationships in one smart analytical step

Client: King’s Fund
Location: London
Type of Project: Data and Analytics; Digital
When project completed: 2011


The King’s Fund seeks to understand how the health system in England can be improved working with individuals and organisations to shape policy, transform services and bring about change.

Why they asked for support

The King’s Fund needed to be more sensitive to its contacts and to react quickly and appropriately – especially to those contacts of greatest influence.

During 2010, the team sent nearly 700,000 e-mails from various departments. The average contact received 29 separate e-mails. This bombardment of communications was leading to contacts removing themselves from the mailing list.
The King’s Fund records job details, including title and organisation, for 60,000 individuals. Event purchasing and attendance records are available for a minority of records and preferences are not always captured or updated. Information about responses to e-mails is also available, but this is not recorded in their main CRM system. It is held on the e-mailing system as it logs successful receipts, opens and click-throughs.

What we did

Purple Vision was appointed to identify and track meaningful clusters or segments of contacts. Typically, segmentations are based on RFV (recency, frequency and value), but relationships at The King’s Fund are not based on financial activities so this data source was not available, or appropriate. Instead, it was necessary to identify an alternative combination of their engagement with, and value to the organisation.

Data from the Integra CRM system and Cheetah mailing tool was exported and used to assess how recent interactions had taken place on three dimensions: recency, engagement and quality.

Recency, is based on the time elapsed since the most recent contact with a particular contact. Using the frequency of contact the level of engagement of the contact was also assessed as a second dimension. Finally, a ladder of ‘potential influence’ was constructed to incorporate the value that The King’s Fund seeks from its relationships.

This was an appropriate measure for an organisation where value is based on thought leadership and advocacy, not simply financial indicators.

Using these three variables 2x2x2=8 segments were developed. This enabled analysis into eight statistically discrete groups or ‘segments’. Segments were ranked from 0 (no recent contact/engagement or no known
quality) to 7 (recent contact, engaged and of known high quality).

Statistical analysis across each month of the year ending May 2011 enabled Purple Vision to identify how contacts moved between the segments as they engaged (or disengaged) with the organisation. Comparing the relative size and stability of each segment provided clear indications of the success of marketing activities in engaging contacts at key stages in their relationship ‘journey’.

Taken as a whole, two clear ‘sets’ of related segments emerged from this analysis. One set included segments 0, 1, 2 and 3, whilst the higher segments (4, 5, 6 and 7) composed another set. Contacts did move between sets, but this was relatively rare, with distinct flows identified within the two systems.


How the client benefitted

The new approach is readily available and understandable across the organisation, and integrated with The King’s Fund’s CRM system by an automated monthly refresh procedure.

As a result of these new insights all contacts will receive communications that are more appropriate in terms of quantity, tone and content. Key contacts can be identified and treated accordingly ‘at-risk’ valued contacts, or those with potential that has yet to be developed, can be identified and treated appropriately the cost of wasted communication and time spent on those contacts of limited value can be reduced future developments (especially in the use of social media) can be integrated into segmentation activity and communication planning.

Feedback from the client

“We are very pleased with the outcomes of this work. Purple Vision provided a powerful new way to understand the behaviours that were previously hidden to us. Through the segmentation process, we now have a much better understanding of the value and potential of all our contacts. Working with the new segments, our next step will be to develop personalised communications with the aim of moving contacts to their highest point of engagement; keeping them and investing at a level appropriate to their status. And because the segmentation rules have been embedded in our database, we will be able to refresh and track our progress in the future.”

Saul Harris, Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications – The King’s Fund

Explore more about this client

Visit the King’s Fund website

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