Study Reveals Traditional Digital Advertising Rules Don’t Apply in Clinical Trial Recruitment

Study Reveals Traditional Digital Advertising Rules Don’t Apply in Clinical Trial Recruitment

Original Research to Be Presented at Digital Pharma East

Syneos Health, the only fully integrated biopharmaceutical solutions organization, released a study providing real-world patient insights into the effectiveness of digital advertising to speed clinical trial recruitment. Research highlights of the study, which was conducted by the Company’s Communications business, will be presented at Digital Pharma East in Philadelphia, PA.

The study, conducted online with 432 patients in the United States with epilepsy and migraine –  two conditions with active late-phase pipelines – aimed to help digital marketers better understand patient perceptions surrounding online clinical trial advertising. Research evaluated patient trust levels with specific online channels and platforms, and what factors contributed to content success. Syneos Health is committed to identifying behavioral insights to deliver meaningful communications to shorten the distance from lab to life.

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“As we move toward a future where more personalized therapies make enrolling the right patients more difficult, social media advertising plays an increasingly important role in effective clinical trial recruitment,” said Michael Pearlman, a lead author of the report. “Our study reveals that the rules for social advertising in clinical trial recruitment aren’t the same as traditional advertising. Understanding these key differences can be critical to the success of social marketing campaigns that have the ability to accelerate patient recruitment efforts.”

“Content That Clicks: Effective Social Marketing for Clinical Trial Recruitment” findings include:

  • Recall of Clinical Trial Ads is High: Sixty-six percent of epilepsy patient respondents and 79 percent of migraine respondents recall seeing clinical trial advertising. Among places where people recall seeing clinical trial advertising, Facebook ranks as the third most-recalled medium with only the doctor’s office and television ranking higher.
  • High Trial Intenders Trust Social Media: Survey respondents who indicated a high intent to enroll in a clinical trial showed higher levels of trust in every digital information source included in the study. Most social media channels clustered closely together in terms of trust, with YouTube emerging as the most trusted channel. Trust in YouTube among those with high intent was 19 percentage points higher than those with low intent.

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  • Trust in Healthcare Professionals Translates to Creative Execution: When shown creative imagery that included a doctor in a white lab coat versus creative imagery that included a woman in discomfort, the creative execution featuring the physician outperformed the non-clinical imagery by nearly 10 percent.
  • Standard Social Rules May Not Apply: While shorter content is typically viewed as gold-standard on social media, with clinical trial social ads, longer content performed better. Eighty-one percent of respondents who indicated their condition has a high negative impact on their quality of life preferred an ad with longer and more detailed copy.

The Syneos Health research team will present full findings from this study to more than 1,000 innovation, digital health and commercial and customer strategy attendees at today’s conference. Presentation will convey which elements of digital ads are most effective in reaching potential study participants, positioning clinical trials as a viable medical option and impacting clinical trial referral rates of healthcare professionals.

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