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Lisa Munro of RCP shares the organisation's digital journey

Trillium and Royal College of Physicians "Highly Commended" at the memcom membership excellence awards

Trillium's partnership with the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has resulted in organisational transformation that provides their members with greater value through digital services. Lisa Munro, Application Technical Lead at RCP, shares the organisation's digital journey.


At 500 years old, RCP is the oldest medical college in England. We play a pivotal role in raising standards and shaping public health both on a national and international level. Our 37,000 members include physicians at every career stage. 

In more recent times, the legacy that comes with our history was impacting our ability to remain relevant to current members and attract new, younger demographics. Our membership model and offering were outdated and engagement levels low. This was reflected in an increasing churn and decreasing recruitment rate.

Our organisational structure and technical platforms were siloed and neither enabled us to easily innovate and keep pace with members’ expectations. In addition, our ageing and extremely bespoke back office systems were time consuming, expensive to maintain and limited our desire to change.



A key strategic goal was to grow our membership from 30,000 to 40,000 by the end of 2020. It is critical for busy doctors that the interactions and touchpoints with the College are slick, efficient and professional looking. We now have a new membership model and are seen as a modern, responsive organisation delivering outstanding value and a personalised experience. The membership joining process has been greatly streamlined, boosting first-time joining rates and reducing renewal losses and churn.

A fundamental element of the change programme that delivered this was our digital transformation strategy. The implementation of our new CRM has been key to improving our member insights, experience and internal working efficiencies. In the last two years, its insights have enabled us to embrace change as a cultural mindset.


Target Audience

To ensure we kept our members at the heart of the change, we conducted extensive member research. We surveyed their attitude to RCP, analysed their interactions with us (online and off), training and qualifications usage. We mapped this against our own existing and Experian data to create a set of fully rounded personas.

We used this to create a new set of membership grades and services that accurately reflected the needs of physicians at each key stage of their career. Our communications and interactions with them are now personalised to their individual career paths and engagement preferences.



  1. New CRM agreed and delivered on time and on budget.
  2. Single view and tracking of donors and members from all touchpoints, interactions and communications
  3. Centralised, integrated platforms breaking down silos and enabling collaboration
  4. Automation of most common processes (2-hour task reduced to 15 min)
  5. Online member renewal path streamlined (From 14 click journey to 3) including new self-service and single-sign-in features



  1. 8,000 increase in members by Dec 19 (28% increase in student members (under 25s)
  2. 60 % online joining dropout reduced to 40%
  3. A 70% increase in members’ use of Direct Debit
  4. Huge increase in online member engagement; email open rates up from 29% to 36%. Click through rate grew by 7%
  5. Time and budget saved - membership support calls reduced by 50%

Trillium were key to the successful delivery of this change.

Project details

Our initial focus was to rescope and streamline our existing working practices. Process changes require a careful approach.  Much of Trillium’s focus was in working directly with our internal teams to ensure everyone had the opportunity to contribute and be part of the change journey.

Trillium integrated our siloed legacy systems including membership, finance, events, fundraising, qualifications, portal and website/CMS. Our new CRM (Microsoft Dynamics) provided a single source of truth. For the first time we had the ability to accurately understand what was working for our members and – perhaps most crucially – what wasn’t. This greater insight allows us to pre-empt member needs and proactively respond to them, such as in the reinvention of our membership structure, engagement strategy and corresponding online journeys.

Before Trillium, we had almost 10,000 visits to our join page but couldn’t see what was happening when they navigated away. Without this visibility, we were unable to identify and address the drop-off points at which we were losing potential members.

We were also seeing approximately 3,000 joiners through the online portal, but this was also very clunky and not user friendly. With a dropout rate of 70%, there was significant room for improvement. Drawing on our new data insights and in collaboration with Trillium, we identified an opportunity to enhance the user journey to stop people from navigating away from the site and failing to complete an application. 

Perhaps most significantly, the comprehensive view of our members highlighted that the member categories we were using were completely at odds with the reality of our membership and their career stages. As a result of this mismatch, our membership fee structure was inappropriate when considered in line with income and affordability. By drawing on data insights, we were able to redesign our pricing structure to ensure that it was fair and attractive to both prospective and existing members.

Our improved segmentation also meant that we could create dedicated, personalised communications and marketing strategies that deliver member engagement, retention and acquisition.


Our strong partnership with Trillium has transformed RCP

Digital transformation is first and foremost about change. Our partnership with Trillium is key to our change management strategy, particularly in the development of the mindsets, skillsets and trust required to do it successfully. They have supported this challenge in two ways.

As an extension of our internal team, they have filled skills gaps and provided outstanding technical support, from high-level technical architecture to daily service support. The fact that we barely rely on any of our own IT resources is testament to the degree to which this has been successful. By alleviating this pressure on the RCP team, we have been able to restructure and redirect our resources to focus on strategic and analytical elements of delivery.

Secondly, Trillium have worked with teams across the organisation to support the use and ownership of our systems. By freeing teams up from time consuming administration processes and by constantly looking at ways to improve all stakeholder experiences.

Trillium, as our strategic partners, have really supported the creation of an internal change mindset that has helped RCP innovate and create better membership value and experiences. At last, after 502 years, we are becoming an agile, modern digital organisation with CRM and Trillium at the heart of it all!

Justin Smith, Executive Director of Corporate Services

Royal College of Physicians


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