Translating Plans into Action with I-GO
Rapid Growth Expectations Required a New Approach
Founded by The Center for Neighborhood Technology in 2002, I-GO’s mission is to reduce car ownership rates, decrease transportation costs, reduce urban congestion and improve air quality in Chicago through a membership-supported car sharing program. Members can rent a wide range of cars, including hybrid and electric vehicles, in more than over 40 neighborhoods and 4 suburbs.
In late 2011, Cook County, Illinois was looking to increase public transportation use among local residents. To achieve this goal, the county funded a program that provided Chicago residents a discounted I-GO membership and free transit rides on transit if they purchased the I-GO/CTA Joint Smart Card by February 2012. However, to receive the funding, I-GO needed to commit to unprecedented new membership signups during that timeframe. Aggressive growth goals? Short timelines? Compass(x) Strategy was tasked with figuring out how to get it done.
Meeting a Challenging Goal
Aggressive growth goals needed to be achieved on a tight time frame. How could the I-GO team be sure that their plan would work?
Breaking Down The Sources of Growth Goals to Drive Action
The growth needed to meet their funding requirements was more than double what I-GO typically accomplished during similar time frames in prior years. While they had run successful membership promotions before, the team had never reached those kinds of numbers. The only way they could accomplish these goals was to to create a specific plan, highly orchestrated and a means to track performance by vehicle to modify tactics quickly as necessary.
In close collaboration with the I-GO team, we reviewed the overall goals and past tactics and brainstormed potential new ideas. We helped them create an understanding of how much volume past programs had driven so that we would have confidence that the current plans would deliver the expected new members. We worked with the team to ensure that all members clearly understood their responsibilities and what was necessary for successful execution. Finally, we created an environment where the team knew that they could reach out with questions whenever they were uncertain about any aspect of the project or their work.
As the promotional period went on, we met with the I-GO team regularly to review membership totals, analyze the source of the membership growth, and to make decisions about program changes where necessary. At the end of the two month program, I-GO had increased their membership by 133% vs the prior year, with February membership +300%.
The program led to the largest membership increase in the organization’s ten-year history.
The Compass(x) Strategy Difference
We make big efforts manageable by small organizations by focusing on what matters.