cri-thumb About


The Cancer Research Institute (CRI) is the world’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to harnessing the immune system’s power to conquer all cancers. This important work has led to a promising new class of cancer treatments called cancer immunotherapies, which mobilize, strengthen, and sustain the immune system’s natural ability to destroy cancer cells wherever they are in the body.


The Challenge

The Cancer Research Institute (CRI) has an incredible brand and online presence with many moving parts that work together toward their mission. CRI needed a better understanding of how the site led turned traffic into donations and impact. Its team wanted clearer analytics dashboards, to increase web traffic, donations, and leads through AdWords/advertising, and to build internal digital capacity.

What We Did

Beginning in 2015, Whole Whale worked with the CRI team to update web analytics tracking, run digital advertising, and offer technical campaign strategy to improve growth of their community.

Google Analytics

We updated Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager to accurately track engagement and acquisition goals of the website. The next step was to create several custom dashboards to help content, marketing, and fundraising teams better understand the relationship between traffic and impact. Through insight reports we helped CRI better understand the relationship of web traffic to donations and community growth.

Google AdWords and Digital Advertising

The next phase of the project optimized the Google AdWords Grant and qualified CRI for the $40k AdWords grant. We helped rebalance paid vs in-kind advertising spends to maximize how CRI was spending money to drive their goals. 

For paid advertising, we were able to manage several patient acquisition campaigns that optimized for CPA and came in under budget while still hitting the campaign’s goals. This surplus allowed the CRI team to build out a webinar campaign strategy that also far exceeded initial patient engagement goals.

Digital Strategy + A/B Testing

Insights around SEO, content marketing, and conversion rate optimization helped lead to a 30% increase in year-over-year organic traffic and a 500% improvement in lead acquisition. These improvements were owed in part to many A/B tests and implementation of pop-ups that worked to grow the CRI community.



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