Facebook recently held a special, invite-only breakfast for drug marketers about recruitment for clinical trials, educating them on targeting consumers and announcing their latest initiative, “clinical trial strategy”.
Digital, mobile, programmatic. These terms have become buzzwords in our industry when discussing new and emerging trends in patient recruitment support. However, for me, the most interesting part of these concepts is not the way in which programming display ad buys work, or the mobile trends we are seeing with users in different age groups. When you consider that that these advertising vehicles have been in use for almost a decade, what’s most interesting to me is that the healthcare industry is just starting to adopt these as viable tactics for patient recruitment.
There are many variables to consider when creating an advertising campaign for your clinical research study, but among the most important is the decision of which mediums to deploy. It can be staggering to think about all of the ways in which your potential patients might learn about your clinical research opportunity, and deciding how to make your campaign most visible can be challenging.
Hyper-local advertising is poised to transform how clinical trial marketers connect with patients. By providing a cost-effective platform to engage their audiences by matching ads in context of consumers’ physical location, hyper-local targeting delivers relevant messages to the right person at precisely the right time and place – and can cost as little as one-fifth of search engine marketing.
We all know that social media has the power to reach the masses in record speed. According to Quorum Review IRB, which recently led a webinar on embracing social media for clinical trials, there are more than one billion users on Facebook and 500 million users on Twitter. Within clinical research, social media can be an easy way to connect with the patient population. It offers the chance to get personal with like-minded people who are open and willing to share their journey regarding a specific diagnosis or indication.
It feels like we’re always on our mobile devices. But what exactly are we doing when we’re on them? Sure, we make phone calls, check email, and browse the web. But in terms of average mobile usage, we spend nearly 80 percent of our time in apps. With many of those apps being supported through paid advertisements, in-app advertising is creating exciting new opportunities for clinical trial marketers to identify, segment, and target potential participants inside the mobile universe.
Streaming radio adoption has been astronomical around the world. People tune in every day on their phones, tablets, and desktops (BBK even has its very own Spotify playlist!). This gives you the perfect opportunity to get your clinical study in front of the right people – straight to their earbuds! Oh... did we forget to mention how cost-effective it is?
As we strive at BBK to re-concept services and strategies that help sponsors retain the patients they enroll, we find ourselves discussing the places we routinely visit, and what keeps us coming back. For me this always gets me talking about food. There’s a sandwich shop in Jamaica Plain, my neighborhood in Boston, which I hit almost weekly despite pretty intense local culinary competition: El Oriental de Cuba, home of the best Cuban sandwich in Boston (yes, I know Chez Henri’s is also amazing, but I would argue a different sort of beast).
You own a mobile phone, right? I mean, who doesn’t these days? They’re becoming indispensable – a natural extension of oneself. From checking Facebook to paying bills, users can do almost anything on their mobile phone. It’s clear that smartphone use is on the rise – iMedia Connection reports that of the four billion mobile phones in use globally, more than a quarter (27%) are smartphones. And according to Forrester Research, mobile ad spend was predicted to reach nearly $15 billion in 2012. It seems only natural that the growth of mobile advertising would coincide with the growth of mobile use.
As my colleague Jaime Cohen discussed in a previous blog, BBK continues to establish key alliance partners around the world to support the growth of patient recruitment. Today marks the first blog in a new series on multinational studies in patient recruitment. So let’s dive into the media buying challenges and opportunities that we work through on a daily basis. How do we determine what works where and for who?