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Opposites attract: why ethnography and predictive modelling are a surprisingly happy couple

July 15, 2021 @ 11:00 am 12:00 pm BST

A study by Boxclever has provided a clear picture of the link between the cancer population and the supporters who donate money and time. This shift in understanding provides an important missing element in quantifying the impact that delivering cancer services has on donation income – thereby enabling Macmillan, for the first time, to predict future donation behaviour and know exactly where to focus its resources to maximise this.


  • Stephen Laver, Head of Research Insight, Macmillan Cancer Support
  • Lucy Hobbs, Research Director, Boxclever
  • Sam Gardner, Partner, Boxclever

What you’ll learn:

  • A case study that showcases how you can unlock complex issues with research approaches that don’t always sit comfortably together
    • Using ethnography to reveal our human connections and mindsets, and combining this with complex conjoint analysis and smart data modelling to link to ROI and fundraising strategies
  • How research can shift our understanding of the customer or patient
    • How casting a different lens on the same fundamental issue from different perspectives can be enlightening
    • How brands should consider targeting the network that surround the individual, customer or patient
  • How analytics can aid business planning and ultimately drive strategic change

In this webinar, Boxclever and Macmillan Cancer Support show how tackling a challenging topic with ethnography and analytics (not the most natural of partners!) can have a significant commercial impact. A combination of exploratory qualitative research followed by clever data analytics drove strategic change, in this case to inform Macmillan’s fundraising and service strategies by quantifying the donation impact that each interaction with cancer services has.

Ethnographic interviews were initially used to explore a challenging, sensitive topic using a methodology that unearthed the intimate experiences and needs of a person living with cancer and those within the cancer ‘network’ – their family and wider social networks.

The same moderator conducted both sets of ethnographic interviews, establishing meaningful connections and opportunities to play back experiences. This provided a 360o lens on all those impacted by cancer, layering in different views to gain richer insights for Macmillan, who often saw the experience more through the eyes of the person living with cancer than the broader network.

Analytics @ Boxclever then took the qualitative insights that identified different behaviours and mindsets across the cancer networks and fed them into innovative modelling, which defined a causal relationship between mindset and donation behaviour. This resulted in a powerful tool for the charity, enabling it for the first time to predict future donation behaviour and inform both service and fundraising strategies.

Disclaimer. This is a 3rd party event, prices and details were correct at the time this listing was published.

£25 Free for MSR members