Clinical Trial Marketing and Advertising

The importance of design in clinical trial marketing and advertising

26/05/2019 9:37 am

Design in advertising is about more than simply the logos, images, page layouts and fonts that comprise a brand’s aesthetic; it is the main artery connecting your company to your brand and ultimately to your customer. In the world of clinical trials, the level of care with which a trial is developed should be reflected in the clinical trial marketing advertising and recruitment process.

The emotion behind clinical trial marketing and advertising

Humans are essentially emotional creatures and never more so than where their health is concerned. Appealing to them at a logical and intellectual level usually isn’t the most effective, but a good design adds life to the underlying message. Design can provide more persuasion than thousands of words and it’s not the message itself that elicits a response, but the visual attraction. Research indicates that the use of emotion resonates with people and increases their chances of conversion into clinical trial participants.

Using design to attract

Getting people to sign up for—and stay the course of—clinical trials can be challenging, for a number of reasons. Success depends on various factors, the most important being the way in which your message is presented. Sponsors need to find out what will capture the attention of their target audience before they create materials for a clinical trial marketing and advertising campaign. People have a wide range of feelings, reactions and emotions towards messages and design conventions such as colours, images and copy cause them to react in specific ways. Whether the responses are intentional or unconscious, it’s vital to bear them in mind when you’re developing a campaign and to speak to the factors that are most likely to bring the desired results.

The ROI on engagement

Clinical trials typically require massive financial investments. To justify the value of your clinical trial marketing and advertising campaign and generate maximum return, the advertising needs to engage, recruit and retain the number of study participants you require. Engagement depends largely on the ability of the designers to understand the audience. Being aware of their triggers and motivators and recognising the way they think and absorb information enables you to create a campaign that both targets and engages them. This increases the chances of them joining the study.

Design criteria

Designing clinical trial marketing and advertising that speaks to the people you want to reach and encourages them to sign up for a clinical trial requires you to follow certain criteria:

#1 Consider competitor activity

At any given point in time, the number of people eligible for participation in clinical trials is limited. This becomes more challenging when you factor in pre-existing medical conditions that could disqualify potential participants, as well as geographical location, transport difficulties and competing trials. It’s important to know what your competitors for the participant pool are doing, or you may find you’re losing the best prospects to them.

#2 Use human insights

Personalise your clinical trial marketing and advertising through segmentation. You can get valuable human insights by determining what participants say they are doing versus what they are actually doing, which helps you to uncover the driving forces behind the clinical trials they choose. Foster trust in your company by showing through your clinical trial marketing and advertising design that you understand their challenges and support their struggle. Use insights to identify and address potential objections up front, which will reassure prospects that the sponsor cares about their issues.

#3 Choose appropriate channels

Customisation for particular channels is a primary component of good advertising design, so it’s essential for sponsors and their clinical recruitment agencies to carefully choose their channels and platforms before developing a campaign. For example, a U.S. study showed social media to be one of the most suitable channels for recruiting clinical trial participants, with up to 79% of respondents recalling seeing clinical trial advertising. Facebook ranked as the third most-recalled medium, with only the doctor’s office and television ranking higher.

#4 Include essential information

As important as it is for your clinical trials advertising strategy to focus on engagement, it’s equally vital to deliver essential information to prospective participants. Designers can use a variety of tactics to improve the health literacy of the audience, because the more people know about the conditions and treatment research, the more likely they are to sign up for a trial. A clinical trial marketing and advertising campaign also needs to incorporate dependable, trustworthy messaging to set it apart from trials that tout pages and pages of facts and medical jargon. This helps to build a level of trust in the clinical trial and put people at ease.

#5 Appeal to altruism

While details such as financial compensation are important, research suggests people are more spurred on by the idea of helping others and contributing to science. By using words such as “help,” “volunteer,” and “need” you can engage the public and appeal to their interest in benefitting others living with the same medical condition.

Whether you use written copy, audio-visual content or explainer videos in your campaign, select the wording for your copy cautiously. Remember, you aren’t selling to your audience in this instance, so “Find out how you can participate” is likely a more appropriate call to action than “Sign Up Now” would be.

Testing the process

With any other advertising campaign, running A/B testing will help you get the best results and clinical trial marketing and advertising is no exception. When you submit your campaign materials for approval, include a range of different options for copy, benefits, tone and imagery. With the right research, planning, design and testing, clinical trial advertising can engage people and recruit participants successfully for your trials. Incorporate the feedback from testing into your strategy and the advertising will have a better chance of being effective.

Click here to download our white paper and find out how to balance your compliance with creativity by developing a clinical trial marketing and advertising campaign for recruiting and retaining participants.

Clinical Trial Advertising and Marketing

About the author

COUCH is a new breed of health communications agency that, due to a very personal experience, has at its core a mission to improve the lives of everyone. And so we are motivated by the profound understanding that, collectively, we need to do better. We are human to work with because we focus on using our skills and expertise for the common good.

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