Movember may have started as a fun idea 15 years ago, but we’ve grown into a global movement, having inspired support from more than 5 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas, and helped fund 1200 innovative men’s health projects across more than 20 countries. What’s underpinned our success? Technology and a Trailblazing spirit.

In 2003, two Melbourne mates, Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, were having a quiet beer in a Fitzroy pub when conversation turned to moustaches and how the once-popular mo had seemingly disappeared into fashion obscurity. The pair decided they were going to bring back the mo, and convinced 30 of their mates to grow a moustache throughout the month of November, with the talking point used to raise awareness for men’s health and prostate cancer.

From these humble beginnings, Movember has since grown into a charity tackling men’s health on a global scale, 365 days a year. We’re addressing some of the biggest health issues faced by men – prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention – on a mission to stop men dying too young, and ensure they live happier, healthier, longer lives.

We achieve this mission by supporting groundbreaking research, as well as running awareness and fundraising activities year-round that get men talking about and taking action for their health. Of course, the pinnacle event is our annual, global Movember campaign.

Technology is the foundation for growth

Technology has been a key component of Movember’s growth story. You can’t grow and scale a business globally without the right support systems – or at least that’s what we’ve learnt.

Rewind a couple of years and the technology we had in place was struggling to support our mission and global growth plan. Like a lot of organisations, we had quite fragmented IT systems that didn’t talk to one another. We had a lot of data in spreadsheets and a lack of global transparency. There was also a lot of work required to generate reports, with the need to manually pull and filter data.

All of these factors combined made it challenging to do a lot of things, but particularly to communicate effectively with our Mo Bros and Mo Sistas. We knew that if we wanted to push the Movember movement further we needed to evolve and adopt new technology.

A game-changer

We’ve been able to pull all of our data into one central, global system, which has given us complete visibility of our customers and operations. It’s completely changed the game. We’re able to make better informed decisions, be more efficient with the resources we have, be more effective by leveraging our data and have a much bigger impact on men's health globally.

While the Movember Foundation operates year-round, October and November is an intense period of work for us. So it’s also critical we have technology that can not only handle a massive influx of traffic and transactions, but be able to turn this immense amount of data into actionable insights, quickly.

Introducing customer journeys

One of the most significant ways we’ve been able to leverage Salesforce is to improve the way we communicate with our supporters, having introduced customer journeys. Previously it was a one-size-fits-all approach to our communications, but now that we have better access to our data, we’re able to provide a much more personalised marketing experience that’s tailored to the individual.

For example, if a Mo Bro or Mo Sista has identified on their Mo Space they’re interested in mental health, we’re able to tailor a marketing journey that’s focused on mental health, such as what we’re doing for World Suicide Prevention Day in September. Previously, this data would have been buried too deep in our IT systems and too hard to action.

Now we’re able to leverage this information and communicate to people in an effective way that keeps them engaged throughout the year. This simple shift in our outreach approach has contributed to a monumental uptick in both customer retention and funds raised.

And we’ve been able to achieve this change with the same level of resources. We’re a not-for profit, so it’s important we’re leveraging automation to do the heavy lifting as much as possible.

What’s ahead for Movember Foundation?

We have some big goals! By 2030, we’re committed to reducing the rate of male suicide by 25%, halving the number of deaths from prostate cancer and halving the number of men dying from testicular cancer, among other targets.

We’ve definitely come a long way from that first year when 30 guys grew a moustache, but we’ve got a long way to go still – there’s still so much untapped opportunity for the Movember Foundation.

As an example, one of the projects we’re currently working on is extending Salesforce to bring together thousands of men from around the world who are living with the diseases we support and create an active community.

Fighting ‘Mo-fatigue’

There was always the potential for Movember to be a fad – for it to make an impact for a couple of years and fall away. But, fighting ‘Mo-fatigue’ and staying relevant year-on-year, all-year round, is something we take very seriously here at the Movember Foundation – we need to if we’re to make a lasting, positive impact on men’s health.

This means connecting more deeply with our Mo Bros and Mo Sistas, sharing the impact we’re making more regularly and keeping people energised in the cause – technology is helping to make this possible.

Be a Trailblazer like the Movember Foundation. Download the We Are All Trailblazers e-book to find out how you can drive customer success within your organisation. And, don’t forget to take your health seriously – this means staying connected, having open conversations with your mates and knowing your risk.