Here’s the thing about media and marketing for pediatric or adolescent clinical trials that we all know: You want children to participate, but you need to reach parents for that to happen.
Pediatric recruitment efforts mean targeting and reaching a decision-maker who is not the patient. Media strategies for minors are really all about the gatekeeper and that usually means Mom. So, the successful media plans that drive enrollment are the ones that use Mom-targeted strategies.
Still, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Moms are busy and time-starved – and not just as managers of their child’s health. They also handle households, employment, finances, and a raft of other obligations. What media works best to grab their attention and drive enrollment to your study? What are some of the enrollment barriers and how can a well-planned, well-executed media strategy overcome those?
One of the biggest hurdles is the target population itself. The childhood population is smaller and healthier than the adult population. So, already there is the challenge of reaching this limited group. Television broadcasts to an entire market’s population, so if your budget can accommodate this medium, a daytime television schedule can be an effective way to target your recruitment efforts to the largest percentage of Moms in your area. Don’t be too quick to assume that she is a working mother. For a variety of social and economic reasons, the share of mothers who do not work outside the home has risen to 29%, an increase from a low of 23% almost 15 years ago (pewsocialtrends.org). So television will definitely reach those Moms at home during the day when your site is open. Keep in mind, however, that a higher percentage of Moms return to work outside the home once their children are older/school age, so adjust your media choice accordingly.
Geography may also be a limitation. Time missed from school and social activities for study participation is an important consideration. Geo-targeting the media in a tighter radius around the site will ensure that the recruitment message reaches Moms who will have a shorter commute time to the site. Radio is often an excellent media choice, since all moms, whether working-from-home or employed elsewhere, spend a lot of time commuting and carpooling with the radio tuned to a favorite station. The choice of radio stations can be fine-tuned to include not only formats that have the most Mom-listeners, but also the biggest Mom-audience in your county or city.
Finally, today’s Mom-generation is hyper-connected to social media and all facets of the internet so that is a key piece of the media puzzle since online advertising can be micro-targeted to parents and children living in close proximity to your site.
Once a Mom is introduced to a study via one of these media vehicles, it is important that she receive vital and key information about the trial. This is the first, and possibly the most pivotal step in the consent process. It is of great value that each mother understands the importance of research within pediatric and adolescent patients, and also finds some interest and value for her own child to participate in a clinical program. Having a carefully developed advertisement that resonates with this key caregiver is vital to trigger enough interest that she will become educated about the clinical trial and ultimately consider it for her child.
What’s the right media mix for your next pediatric study? And what is the right message? At CSSi, we specialize in accelerating patient enrollment for all clinical trials. We create perfectly balanced and integrated marketing plans that optimize each media component and stay on-target and on-budget. We also spend time creating a message that will resonate within the target audience, and lead them to seek more information and to consider a trial. Give us a call today to discuss your next pediatric study!