A crucial component to having a successful clinical trial is enrolling participants, but not just any participants—the right ones. With already full plates, where do busy sites begin the process of patient recruitment advertising?
Utilize Advertising Funds
More often than not, the sponsor of a clinical trial allots advertising funds within the study budget. Many sites do not realize that there is already money set aside to use specifically towards an advertising campaign. Utilizing these allotted funds requires no out-of-pocket fee for the site, which makes spending the funds worthwhile.
In the case that an advertising budget is not initially allotted, the site has full ability to negotiate advertising funds with the sponsor. It is also important to note that once the original or negotiated funds are exhausted by the site, additional funds can be requested to run another campaign.
Understanding that time is of the essence, advertising agencies, such as PatientWise, have immense experience negotiating advertising budgets with the sponsor on behalf of sites across the nation, and are more than happy to assist with such tasks in order to free up time for research sites.
Identify Your Audience
There are numerous outlets through which a site can advertise. Whether they choose a digital route or a traditional one, the focal point should always be the audience. Honing in on the study’s demographic is crucial. A COPD study that requires participants who are age 40+ may utilize newspapers or radio, yet an acne study that enrolls volunteers who are age 16+ may gravitate towards social media, online banner advertisements, or TV.
One thing to keep in mind is that the advertising funds should be dispersed throughout numerous media outlets. Diversifying the funds produces a better chance for hitting the right audience. Utilizing an advertising agency is often an effective tool to make sure funds are being spent in a thoughtful and efficient manner. They not only have the industry experience, but they are able to get the best rates, as well as supply effective marketing options that sites may not be familiar with.
Produce Appealing Material
In this particular industry, supplying enough content but not too much content is beneficial. Sites want their potential participants to be valid volunteers, so it is important to give them enough information about the study without overwhelming them. Having too much text on an advertisement can be confusing and can ultimately turn-off a potential patient from wanting to participate in a trial.
First things first, make sure the indication is loud and clear. This information is what catches the eyes of the audience. Another component to highlight on an advertisement is the inclusion/exclusion criteria. Although there may be an abundance of qualifying components, only list the most important. The material needs to wean out some patients, but not defer any due to confusion. It is also smart to highlight any incentives. Reimbursements of study medication, study care, time and/ or travel, along with patient stipends are all attractive to potential participants. Last, but not least, make sure there is a strong call to action with subsequent contact information. Listing your site name, logo, phone number, and website will not only give clear direction, but will also add site credibility.
Unfortunately advertising is at times about luck, and not all campaigns will be a home-run. However, when utilizing the three important steps listed above, sites are more likely to have successful clinical trial recruitment.