How Battersea Dogs & Cats Home put digital at the heart of its work

Battersea Dogs & Cat’s Home has used digital to transform its outdated application process and underused social media to connect with the public online.

battersea dogs and cats home homeIn 2018, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home was in need of a digital transformation. Since 1860, the charity has rehomed more than 3.1 million dogs and cats but two years ago the brand found itself lost in an increasingly digital world.

Its marketing team was using an outdated application process, while social media was underused. This meant it was failing to connect with the public online.

To battle this, it executed a three-pronged strategy aimed at digitising its services. Now, technology runs through the organisation at every level and it is this transformation, along with impressive results, that saw it win the Digital Transformation of the Year at the Marketing Week Masters awards.

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The first stage saw Battersea Dogs & Cats Home digitise its communication by updating newsletters, creating an improved online rehoming application service and using SEO to get the charity’s pet advice to the masses.

It then focused on advertising, adopting an ‘always-on’ strategy to ensure the right messages were seen by the right people at the right time. This user-led approach signalled a step change from the previous approach of static messages being broadcast to mass audiences.

The third area in which Battersea Dogs & Cats Home transformed its digital capability is its content production. Creating broadcast-quality YouTube series and Facebook Lives, the brand created deeper connections with its audience that helped it boost donations.

The changes led to a 63% increase in online donations and 34% increase in online fundraising revenue. On social media, the pet charity grew its followers by more than 100,000, with Instagram seeing 50% growth year on year.

The success has not just been financial. The charity has a stronger connection with the public, for example online videos are helping audiences better understand Battersea’s work and the importance of rehoming, according to a survey sent out to supporters by the charity.

Since June 2018, the charity has also received 60,000 online rehoming applications, with almost 2,000 animals being rehomed to customers who applied online.

However, what the brand says is its biggest achievement is building trust in digital from colleagues. The digital transformation has created a path for further innovation with digital now at the forefront of Battersea’s strategic plan.