Friday, May 6, 2016

Emojis and Pharmaceutical Advertising: How do I really feel?

Earlier this year, Facebook invited users into a world beyond the “like” button via an expanded array of emojis. The new Facebook Reactions are the result of over a year of global research to develop icons that work effectively across a wide range of cultures, resulting in six new expressions: love, haha, yay, wow, sad, and angry:

Facebook Reactions

The addition of these new emojis raises questions for Facebook advertisers: What does it mean when a consumer “yays” or “sad faces” your sponsored post? How do brands most effectively engage with customers through expressions rather than words? The expanded set of reactions raise even more potentially complicated issues for pharmaceutical advertisers who must navigate complex legal, medical, and regulatory norms in the rapidly evolving world of digital advertising.

Does this new phenomenon mean pharmaceutical advertisers have even more reason to stay far, far away from Facebook? Perhaps, but there are equally compelling reasons to engage with consumers on a more emotional level. Consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow points out that great advertising has always “circumvented the rational parts of our brains by relying on visual images to conjure up emotions". Emotional experience accounts for almost half of customer loyalty to a brand, according to Forrester Research. Emoji reactions also provide rich data about consumer response, providing the opportunity to understand not just emotional responses, but the drivers of these consumer emotions.
Pharmaceutical marketers are unlikely to be embark on “emoji-filled campaigns” in the near future given the nature of their products. Migraine pills and asthma inhalers don’t necessarily lend themselves to customized emojis in the same way that new chip flavors and artisanal beers do. Nevertheless, if we can give one piece of advice to pharmaceutical advertisers, it is this: Patients are people, too. People who grapple with strong emotions about the medical conditions that affect them.

Patients suffering from a medical condition might respond emotionally to your products. Let them. Combining “facts with emotion” to engage customers on an emotional level is the next generation of marketing. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Facebook: An Online Advertising Platform of Choice for Patient Recruitment Programs

In the last couple of years, Facebook has surprised us with the strength of its performance as a platform for connecting potential study patients to open clinical trials. The high volume of Facebook users—over 200 million monthly active users in the US and Canada—is the primary reason we are able to reach potential research study patients effectively via this platform. However, the diversity of demographic characteristics (age, gender, etc) and high level of engagement of the audience with advertising content is also very impressive.

As part of the background research conducted to define the media strategy for a patient recruitment program, the CAHG Trials group developed an audience profile of the target patient population for a clinical trial involving caregivers of adults with Alzheimer’s disease. The final demographic profile had highly specific characteristics:

As we explore the viability of reaching potential study patients on social media, we have been impressed with how closely Facebook was able to match this demographic profile with their own audience profile of Facebook users interested in either Alzheimer’s disease or family caregiving: 

We were able to match on age, marital status, gender, educational status, household income, and health interests (Alzheimer’s disease or family caregiving), and still reach an audience of up to 2–2.5 million Facebook users nationwide.

While there are a multitude of channels to choose from when planning online advertising campaigns to support clinical trial enrollment, the reach and cost-effectiveness of Facebook make it a top tactic to consider for patient recruitment. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Importance of Clinical Research Education & Awareness

As a patient recruitment provider, finding the right strategy or tactic to locate the right patients for a study is central to the job. While identifying the proper initiative for a recruitment campaign is a critical piece of the work we do, building awareness for research is the elephant in the room that is rarely given its proper due.

Often times, locating the right patients is not enough. Through well-publicized historical events and a deep-seeded mistrust of the pharmaceutical industry, there exists a general public bias against clinical research that makes patient recruitment an uphill battle. This inherent obstacle is something that should always be accounted for when developing materials for studies, as patient education is critical to overcoming this stigma and boosting enrollment rates for the trials we support.

There are many organizations in the healthcare space that are advocates for clinical research. CISCRP stands out as a group that is trying to build awareness for trials and their importance in all of our lives. In particular, their AWARE for All events are a significant initiative to educate patients about the importance of research, and serving as a forum to empower patients around their healthcare decisions.

Since 2003, AWARE for All Clinical Research Education Days have been offered in cities across the country. An upcoming  Chicago program will offer free health screenings and information, complimentary refreshments, and an engaging talk with local doctors and patients. If you are associated with clinical research, we encourage you to attend or refer your patients to the event to support this worthwhile endeavor.

Location: Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, 2160 S. First Avenue, Maywood, IL. 60153
Website for more Information:
Date & Time: September 28th; presentations from 6:00PM-8:00 PM, with health screenings and our Informational Alley opening promptly at 5:00 PM
Highlights of the Day: Free food & giveaways, free health screenings & informational resources, and a chance to connect with local physicians and patients!

First 75 to pre-register will be given at $20 gift card at the end of the event! Plus, in honor of each AWARE attendee, a vaccine will be donated through the Greater Gift Initiative to a child in a developing country.