Perhaps the most important ingredients for running a successful clinical trial are patients. Without patients, clinical research becomes impossible regardless of doctor, nurse, or facilitator participation. Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest issues plaguing clinical trials.
In fact, a little less then 20 percent of clinical trials won’t even enroll a single participant, and for those trials that do begin, the average drop out rate is around 25 percent.1 In a time when outsourcing and remote trials should be more accessible than ever, without proper patient recruitment, these advancements that are meant to increase research participation are nullified. This prevents a lot of drugs or treatments from ever getting approved, making it to market, and helping patients in need.
To work past these roadblocks and achieve proper patient recruitment, clinical research organizations (CROs) need to increase their clinical research marketing efforts to boost the awareness of available programs that are actively enrolling patients in clinical trials.
If you’re wondering how your organization can increase awareness and better recruit right-fit patients for your trials, we’re sharing some of our best clinical research marketing strategies:
✔ Be Open & Transparent
There are a lot of unknowns when participating in clinical trials. Put yourself in the shoes of a patient as someone who is terminally ill, or with a chronic illness – you’re taking a risk when enrolling in a clinical trial and aren’t guaranteed to benefit from your participation. This can be scary for potential patients. Furthermore, physicians or other professionals who are advocating for patients in these trials may mirror the same apprehensions which prevents them from enrolling patients in trials who could really benefit themselves and the study.
To ease anxiety and aid in patient recruitment, provide marketing materials that give clinicians and patients as much information as possible upfront. Be honest with potential participants about exactly what they can expect and provide them with any resources they may need when making their decision. Using a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) format in marketing materials, brochures, and webpages promoting the clinical trial is an effective way to address their concerns.
✔ Partner With Patient Organizations, Increase Local Outreach
Utilize organizations and foundations both in and out of the local area to improve patient recruitment. This can help connect you with patients directly, or referring doctors, donors, and so on. Attending or advertising at local events that are relevant to your recruitment mission is another way to increase awareness of your open opportunities, and to boost current and future patient recruitment quotas.
✔ Build Brand Awareness Through Clinical Research Advertising
Market yourself accordingly. Don’t expect patient recruitment to be an automatic process. Create content and marketing materials that will appeal to patients, referring physicians, donors, family members, and others involved in the research process. When conducting clinical research marketing specifically, make sure your materials like brochures, posts, and ads on social media are educational, open, and transparent. Avoid vagueness and provide details. Market your offerings widely toward your specific target audiences and make your calls-to-action clear and easy to follow so you can successfully gather contact information from your potential participant.
✔ Improve Patient Experience & Engagement
Whether for a trial on-site, remotely, or through another outsourcing method, you need to ensure that the patient experience is as smooth and effortless as possible. Participation in a clinical trial is not meant to be an added stressor in a patient’s life, rather it should be a benefit and a way to alleviate some of their anxiety. Strive to build patient rapport, maintain engagement, and make them feel like the valued members of a community that they are. Making the trial experience as comfortable as possible will not only help with patient recruitment, but retainment as well. Emphasize this messaging in your clinical research marketing, and practice what you preach. If possible, garner testimonials and quotes from patients who had a favorable experience with your organization, and use them in future marketing tactics.
✔ Get Professional Marketing Assistance
Clinical research marketing, as with most marketing, can be confusing. In fact, a lot of independent organizations are prone to overspending on both time and money on ineffective or outdated marketing tactics. That’s why we recommend outsourcing to an experienced clinical research marketing agency, such as Sagefrog. Working with a professional firm that has experience in this industry can ensure you’re marketing properly and effectively and positioning your messaging in a manner that will effectively reach potential patients, providers, and so on. For a company like us, we’ve done this before, and we have proven experience in this industry that we can replicate for your CRO.
✔ Kickstart Your Clinical Research Marketing with Sagefrog
Don’t delay bringing in an experienced agency to help with your patient recruitment marketing. We’re a premier provider of marketing services during this crucial stage of clinical trial development, and we’re ready to provide this essential service to your organization. Reach out to us today and let’s see what we can achieve together.