We place great emphasis on the importance of clear communications - employees attend seminars, couples work with counselors, politicians hold “town hall” meetings - all in the name of improving communications, but sometimes this is easier said than done. This is especially true in clinical trial marketing because of the different target audiences such as prospective recruits, the medical community, or journalists. Each involves a unique way of communicating, and one cannot be confused with the other.
Here are several useful tips clinical trial marketers can use to improve overall communications with prospective participants:
- What your prospective participants need to know: Take some time to sit down and think about what prospective participants need to know about your clinical trial. Then frame easy-to-understand answers to questions such as what is this study about, why do you need my help, what do you hope to learn, and who can benefit from my participation. If there is anything unique about your study, you need to boil that down to a strategic sentence or two that instantly conveys an urgent message to recipients.
- Try not to sound like a clinical trial marketer: Remember that most study participants are ordinary people who do not have a background in science or medicine. They are people who are interested in helping others and need to be sold on why they should help. Don’t get caught up in the science of the study.
- Focus on your keywords: Find a few keywords that will resonate with your audience, and then use them in your online marketing. Not only will this help potential participants understand what your trial is about, it will also improve your potential for being found organically through higher search engine optimization (SEO) results.
- Shorter is smarter: Try to use shorter sentences as you break down your message into its salient points, or explain the steps in the study. Use bullet points and short paragraphs to make your explanations easy to read. Speak in the active voice whenever possible.
- Help lead the target audience to a decision: This may be the first time this person has participated in a clinical trial. It is incumbent upon you to help lead him or her through the decision-making process. Provide easy “Yes” decisions along a path that leads to the bigger decision regarding participation.
- Graphics are good: A picture or infographic is always helpful in breaking down complex ideas into understandable segments.
- Keep up the communication efforts: Communications cannot stop just because the trial quota has been achieved. It must continue throughout the trial to keep participants involved and motivated. Social media marketing can be used to effectively achieve this goal.
Don’t forget that communication is a two-way street. Have an outlet through email or social media for participants to ask questions and assign a specific person to be responsible for providing answers. Keep a clear line of communications open at all times and your recruitment levels will remain high.