Digital Evolution of Patient Recruitment and Engagement

welocalize July 23, 2020

Patient and consumer behavior—specifically how information is accessed and digested—continues to change rapidly, even more so in the COVID-19 era. In the clinical and healthcare spaces, there is an ever-increasing amount of content that is intended to reach, engage, and protect patients—many of which are shifting to digital. For example, electronic informed consent (eIC), patient platforms, and electronic clinical outcome assessments (eCOA).

Physician use of technology to provide televisits or virtual visits has doubled since 2016, with nearly 30% of doctors adopting the digital health technology, according to an AMA survey of 1,300 physicians.… Click To Tweet

But how can we make the most of this change in patient behavior that’s combined with a rapidly developing digital environment? The opportunity that digital advertising provides is centered around targeting, allowing organizations to be in the right place at the right time with the right content. Could this improve the efficacy of such campaigns and prove to be more cost-effective vs traditional patient recruitment techniques?

If this is your first introduction to digital marketing and advertising, how do you navigate the landscape and make the most of the opportunity? And, thinking about this on a global scale, how do you increase effectiveness by considering cultural and language nuances?

The Amplification of Digital

In recent years, digital has transformed industries from retail to real estate and the life sciences industry can, and should, take advantage. The biggest advantage – digital platforms can target people based on their previous behavior (searches they carry out, websites they visit) and organizations they associate with.  During Welocalize’s recent webinar, our digital and SEO experts looked at how marketing can amplify existing patient recruitment efforts.

Another key benefit of digital advertising is the ability to measure and test. The journey from click – whether it’s on Facebook, Google, or Naver – to sign up, is transparent. The dollars you spend on a digital advertising campaign can be measured against desired actions (or conversion) within your web analytics system. Further to this, having multiple versions of ads allows you to better understand the language that resonates best with the audience you’re targeting – how you speak to parents of juvenile diabetes patients will differ from how you speak to adults with diabetes. This testing can carry over to offline campaigns or other digital recruitment methods.

Advertising is Only One Step in the Journey

With any type of patient recruitment campaign, digital marketing can offer a further advantage – landing page optimization. Using qualitative and quantitative data analysis, landing pages for clinical trial sign ups can be optimized to increase the likelihood of someone signing up when they get to your website. Using our standard optimization framework, assessing against benchmarks and evidence of relevance, simplicity, clutter, USPs, reassurance, and urgency can inform potential changes that can increase the likelihood of sign-ups for no additional marketing or advertising cost.

Patient Recruitment is a Global Endeavor

Clinical trials are rarely restricted to one country. So, if your patient recruitment team is based in Spain how do you ensure that they speak to each locale in the nuanced way that potential candidates will find reassuring and appropriate? Cultural and language factors – everything from colors schemes to colloquialisms – can have a huge impact on campaign engagement levels. Using the same imagery and text (regardless of translations) worldwide is unlikely to maximize the number of sign ups you’ll get from any given campaign. As with landing page optimization, getting this right from the start can deliver an increased return on investment vs. a straightforward translation.

Data-Driven Results

Done well, digital presents an enormous opportunity. The ability to target, measure, and test allows for ongoing optimization that will impact existing and future digital campaigns, as well as inform offline strategies. It’s unlikely to replace traditional recruitment methods, however it should be an integral part of any campaign given the increasingly data-driven digital world we live in.

Embracing the power of digital marketing is one way to attract and engage with patients, consumers, and customers. Learn how you can amplify your marketing and recruitment efforts. Watch our recent webinar or contact our team.