The Alameda County Food Bank is a lifeline for many in the Bay Area, a region with the highest income inequity in California. The impact of COVID-19 caused an explosion in need and families seeking help jumped tenfold from 800 a month in 2019 to almost 8,000 per month by mid-2020.
In 2020, its second year partnering with the Alameda County Community Food Bank, MMWW donated hard dollars for media spend, gave media at cost and volunteered time and expertise to drive donations. The campaign exceeded the Food Bank's goals by 800%, getting $2.5 million in donations by focusing on contextual and keyword targeting around COVID.
In 2021 industry obstacles like the iOS changes on Facebook, which was previously a huge driver of success, and economic declines would create new challenges. The team had to be creative and deploy more diverse media tactics.
The goal was to reach a similar level of donations, but more importantly, volunteers. The altruistic volunteerism of 2020 had dropped off. Without people to collect, pack and distribute food, the food bank would not be able to serve everyone in need during the holiday season.
Fall of 2021 found people getting back to their regular schedules, with many people vaccinated, traveling, and visiting family for the first time since the pandemic. This left Alameda Food Bank without as many volunteers as in 2020, but with similar levels of need from the community, especially during the holiday season. The disparity would be difficult to overcome.
MMWW again put money behind the campaign and volunteering time. We wanted to convey the emotion of the moment that would be equal to the emotion of seeing one's own family. So, for the first time, a video was the crux of the campaign, run programmatically and with creative social tactics.
In addition and with great fortune, NBA star Steph Curry and his wife Ayesha partnered with the program. Their content was published on social channels with a prospecting and retargeting set of tactics that drove the highest volume of donations.
Our goal was to leverage improved buying strategies and more diverse media tactics -- to reach past donors, as well as find new audiences to build Alameda County Food Bank's database and nurture those potential donors down the funnel.
We deployed a holistic media plan using programmatic and social media to nurture donors through the marketing funnel. Budget weighting was flighted to focus on key giving periods, Giving Tuesday and End of Year.
We tested multiple ad formats, creative messages, and platforms to amplify, elevate and drive deeper engagement with the brand at scale. Channels were continuously optimized toward the main KPIs, with metrics and analysis guiding channel allocation on a continual basis.
The results are below, but first, here's how the client felt about the success:
"Media Matters has been a critical partner of Alameda County Community Food Bank for more than 5 years. The relationship has been tremendously important to our ongoing hunger relief efforts – and its success starts with the passion the MMWW team has for our mission. While the efforts have long played an important role, the work MMWW has done during COVID—to help raise our profile and generate support through its strategic ad campaigns—has been vital as we’ve seen need remain at unprecedented levels for more than two years. The 2021 campaign alone helped us raise enough funds to provide more than 2 million meals—all while raising more awareness of this issue, driving volunteerism, and keeping us at the forefront of this emergency response effort. We don’t look at the MMWW team as a “vendor”; they are very much partners in our work: they’re strategic, collaborative, creative, data-driven, and guide us to build off the previous year’s learnings. The level of trust we have in the MMWW team cannot be overstated—to the point where we could entrust them with driving visibility for one of our most critical and highly visible partnerships: Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation. All this to say: We are grateful for Josy, Taji, and the whole MMWW team for helping ACCFB—and more importantly the 1 in 4 Alameda County residents currently experiencing food insecurity."
–Michael Altfest, Director of Community Engagement and Marketing at ACCFB
The results were better than expected. In less than 3 months and a budget of $80,000, the 2021 campaign delivered 2,987 donations with over $1M in revenue, with an efficient CP donation of $27.
Most importantly, the food bank received 2,863 volunteer engagements. Enough help and engaged community members to support an incredibly successful Holiday program.
And, we’re already thinking about creative media strategies for this Fall.
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