Don’t Put All Your Recruitment Eggs in One Basket
As you begin the patient recruitment process for your study, it can be tempting to put all of your money towards one method. You place all bets on digital advertising because that generated the most referrals during your last study. What happens if digital doesn’t perform for you this time? It’s best to spread your advertising budget out over a number of recruitment methods. This gives you the ability to truly test what is most effective. If after some time, digital is proving to be the dominant source of referrals, shift some more of your budget to digital – but still leave some for the others!
Different Channels Can Help Each Other
Placing advertising on different channels creates a multiplatform message that allows these channels to boost one another. Patients will have many touchpoints with your study prior to expressing interest, so it is important to make sure your central message is in each of these places. No matter where they are and no matter which channels they are using, you are getting in front of patients who may enroll into your study. If you put all of your money towards Facebook, you will never reach the patients who are searching in Google for information related to their condition. By having a multifaceted approach, you can connect with your patient population wherever they are in their journey.
Every Site Will Have Different Needs
When it comes to recruitment, what works for one site may not always work for the rest. While you can develop centralized materials that can be used across all sites, the methods of recruitment used should be customized at the site level. Each market will present different challenges when finding patients for your study. Having options to support each site’s needs is important.
A Recruitment Strategy Will Help You Plan Accordingly
Before you begin spending money, take time to understand your target patient population. Where are they looking for information? How do they want to be contact? Who do they trust when it comes to receiving medical information? Answering these questions will help you identify the best methods to use when recruiting patients for your studies.
Here’s a list of tried-and-true recruitment methods to consider as you develop your plan:
• Recruitment Materials
• Digital Advertising
- o SEM – Search Engine Marketing (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.)
- o Social Media Ads (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.)
• Traditional Advertising experiment
- o TV
- o Radio
- o Print
- o Direct Mail
• On-Site Support (chart reviews, database searches, etc.)
• Community Outreach Programs
• Medical Professional Outreach (Referral Networking)
• National and Local Advocacy Outreach
Planning out the best ways to reach your audience will ensure you spend your budget most effectively. If you spend all of your money on one method, and that method doesn’t work, you are left with a limited number of enrolled patients and zero dollars to go out and recruit more.
Not sure how to get your recruitment strategy started or which methods you should use for your study?