Marketing Transformation at Cancer Research UK

On this multi-million pound marketing transformation, Kivo was responsible for business change, engagement and training. When we joined the programme was already underway. We knew that the programme was going to impact at lot of people, but we didn’t know who or how. With £80m of identified benefits at stake, there was a lot counting on the programme’s success.

The first step was to develop a strategy for engaging disparate groups across multiple locations, with complex and different needs, in order to understand how we could manage impact, improve productivity, and minimising unplanned attrition.

Working with the programme director, we mapped out the leads of each operational area and, through interviews and existing insight, assessed how they were responding to change so far. We developed relationships with each of the key stakeholders and worked them to understand how their respective teams were likely to be impacted by the change and how we could expect them to react.

Analysis showed that circa 200 people would need to change how they worked across 20 different teams. Furthermore, no two teams would be impacted in the same way!

Next step was to design and recruit a programme change team. Kivo brought in an amazing team full of energy, who took on responsibility for the management of a network of change champions, each taking ‘ownership’ of up to five key relationships and working with teams to identify opportunities to increase efficiency and effectiveness as well as adding new capabilities.

We fostered positive, open and energetic relationships and we worked hard to break down the barriers between the programme and stakeholders, and we soon considered ourselves on cross-functional team. It was by no means an easy ride, with resistance, complexities and challenges along the way. However, the strategy proved successful and teams took full ownership of the changes and did a fantastic job.


The programme delivered its benefits smashing its targets in the following years. Adoption was a success and the people changes stuck, with fundraisers utilising the new tools to maximise and optimise relationships. The programme itself was applauded as the one of the smoothest CRM change programmes that the sponsors had seen thanks to the accurate and tailored communications that helped address resistance and deliver the programme successfully.