Patient recruitment tactics, especially digital patient recruitment have evolved quite rapidly over the past years. From simple ads in the newspaper to elaborate data-driven marketing campaigns. However, not many companies possess a deep technical understanding that allows them to use the new digital possibilities to identify patients faster and with less marketing budgets spent.
The following 6 trends are the biggest shifts in patient recruitment that we have identified over the past 12 months.
- Data becomes more important
As targeting options for online marketing outreach become better, the use of data that is collected plays a growing role in identifying the right patients for any trial. These days, you can use data to only target people in a specific city, people with a certain age or interest. On top of that, you can show ads only to people that have shown a prior interest in a certain medical condition or therapy. Using these options can help allocate marketing budgets better and only show information to people that are in the relevant set. In addition to that, all of that can be conducted completely GDPR-compliant so that your recruitment won’t be having any data privacy risk within the online outreach.
- Behavioural data will play a bigger role
As the big platforms such as Facebook or Instagram face regulatory changes in regards to data privacy, the need arises to collect own data and to use it to identify patients rather than relying on third party data to do just that. Collecting patient data on your own website can be done by tracking peoples user journey, what they read and clicked. It goes without saying that (at least in Europe) you need to tell the person surfing on your website that you are tracking this behaviour and using it for analytical purposes. But by having this data yourself, you are less dependent on large US platforms which face regulatory risks and can draw better conclusions as to where you can reach your potential patients.
- Video will play a major role in new patient recruitment approaches
Patient engagement and transparency are becoming more important than ever (find out more here). As patients demand more information and are no longer convinced by a plain banner ad, the need for more elaborate marketing becomes imminent. Video can be a good way to portray more information in a clear and concise way. Videos should be short and information should be summarized to avoid losing the patient in too much detail. It is important to deliver the advertisements and information within the media where the patients are consuming information not where it is the easiest for your service provider.
Pre-existing patient databases are a good source for reaching patients and will become even more important as Facebook and other platforms become more expensive. As more advertisers bid for the attention of the same user, there has been a constant rise in the marketing costs associated with using platforms like Facebook. Databases with registered patients interested in clinical trials can be an alternative for reaching and targeting patients in a certain therapeutic area. Databases can be owned by recruitment vendors like Mondosano or be part of a medical website or health application.
Patient communities have become a major source of information for patients seeking advice. They can help patients be heard and feel connected and are a great way to place information about studies in a closed space. Owning these communities is essential to control the discussions, feedback and comments coming from patients.
Events can help reach patients that do not trust online mediums. Some people prefer knowing who they talk to and interacting face-to-face. For those patients it can make sense to organize patient events, informational meetings or the like. Especially, when it comes to recruitment for rare diseases, outreach to patient advocacy groups and meeting them in person can be a good way to portray information about a potential study.
The best recruitment tactic will always differ by the therapeutic area and age of the desired population. Thus, it is important to develop a unique patient recruitment approach to each clinical trial. A comprehensive list of active providers for your research can be found here. If you want to learn more about Mondosano or if you would like to talk about a particular project, feel free to reach out to us!