For over 60 years, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada has been dedicated to fighting the effects of heart disease and stroke. The organization’s work has saved the lives of thousands of Canadians and improved the lives of millions of others. For the past two decades, the Heart and Stroke lottery has been at the forefront of raising the funds necessary to help the 1.6 million Canadians suffering with heart disease and stroke.

“We were definitely facing a considerable challenge with a business that had been around for nearing 20 years, had stagnated, and was starting to experience some decline,” says Jan Mollenhauer, VP Lottery, Heart and Stroke Foundation. “We realized that we would benefit from having a subject matter expert come in to give us an external perspective and take a hard look at our business.”

Before starting their journey to becoming an IDO, the Heart and Stroke Foundation first had to understand the root of their business challenges – they had to understand their customers and ascertain areas in need of improvement for future customer acquisition and retention.

“We started off with some straight analytics across what the market was like, where it was growing, who was winning, and what the drivers of success were,” says Geoff Craig, the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, in describing how the lottery unit has returned to exceeding its goals. “We then took that information and applied it using advanced analytics against our existing business, going back more than 10 years.”

Data analytics key to returning growth to Heart and Stroke lottery

Now, through the strategic application of data analytics — using analytics for customer segmentation, understanding client profiles, and establishing marketing investments and targets — the Heart and Stroke Foundation has been able to increase organizational proficiency and rejuvenate the Heart and Stroke lottery, positively impacting the lives of even more Canadians in the process.

“Geoff made it clear this isn’t about selling another widget and making more profit. This is about saving lives with every dollar generated in profit going straight to research that impacts every Canadian,” says Adrian Borys, Director, Financial Advisory Services, Deloiite. “We committed to helping Heart and Stroke achieve their goal and our analytic approach enabled them to make their lottery more profitable through better targeting and more efficient and effective use of their dollars.”

“The customer segmentation model developed through the application of data analytics was instrumental in providing insight into our customers, from our most loyal purchasers to those who were newly acquired and would be important to hold on to,” says Mollenhauer. “Being able to break that apart and know the value of each of those customer groups was invaluable in allowing us to allocate marketing investments, while reallocating resources to areas where we were not achieving our goals.”

Industry leaders including the Heart and Stroke Foundation use analysis, data, and reasoning in each of their decision-making processes. For these organizations, analytics is not a one-off project, but is reflective of how they work every day. And it pays off. According to research conducted by Deloitte, 85 percent of insight-driven organizations — defined as those that have truly embraced analytics in every corner of their business — exceeded their corporate goals over the past 12 months.

“The power of analytics has been to give our team a central reference point where everyone understands goals, metrics, and what we need to achieve,” says Mollenhauer. “It has also really benefitted us in being able to manage expectations, create business plans, set achievable goals, and ultimately deliver on our revenue and profit commitments.”