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Promo Success: Retention Incentives for Clinical Trials


Over the years, we've assisted a sizable number of pharmaceutical companies that employ promotional items to engender loyalty, foster a sense of teamwork and reward people for staying committed to the clinical trial process.

How important is retention of participants in clinical trials? Well, it can literally amount to millions of dollars worth of lost time and effort when retention efforts fail. The companies who run clinical trials may budget for 30% attrition rate (or churn rate) to accommodate for participants who lose interest or find it difficult to stay involved as time goes on. The cost to replace participants can be debilitating to clinical trial budgets and if too many participants drop out, the entire clinical trial may become null and void. That's a sizable loss on several levels.

Clinical trial incentives to the rescue!
Clinical trials that allocate budget for promotional items to reward participants along the way find great success in retention. Our clinical trial clients (whose names cannot be shared) have been successful by 1) Presenting a promotional gift to all participants at beginning of trial, 2) rewarding participants with gifts to celebrate milestones (such as 30 or 45 days into the trial) and 3) using strategic rewards for participants at times that the requirements of the trial produce increased stress for participants.

Targeted promos hit the mark on demographics and psychographics. Here are two examples.

Clinical Trial Retention Gifts Example #1 Hormone Replacement TherapyIn the case of our client who successful retained participants for a Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRP) drug, three gifts helped to keep morale high throughout the course of the trial.
All study participants were female, ranging in age from mid-40s to mid-50s. At the beginning of the study, a plum colored reversible tote bag, coordinated with the brand's theme color, was provided as a gift, along with prescriptions (and placebos) to the group members.
clinical-trial-promotional-productclinical-trial-promotional-product-bag1
At various times throughout the study, the women were said to compliment the professionalism and support of the staff members administering the study and expressions of gratitude for the great-looking reversible tote bags were another consistent bit of feedback received as well.
As a benchmark gift, after 30 days in the trial, participants were provided another thoughtful incentive. On behalf of the pharmaceutical brand, participants were thanked, encouraged and provided with an EnduraCool towel a chemical free, reusable towel that has remarkable cooling properties when wet with water or sweat. For individuals dealing with the sweats and hot flashes associated with menopause, this gift was a perfect support mechanism that confirmed the organizer's desire to comfort participants. Needless to say, it was a big hit with trial participants. At this point, organizers were becoming encouraged with the low churn of participants leaving the study.
clinical-trial-promotional-product-towel clinical-trial-promotional-product-water-bottle
At the halfway mark of the study, the organizers provided another uplifting gift to for trial participation an impressive 22 oz. fruit infusion water bottle along with messaging about the benefits of staying hydrated and nurturing the body with vitamins and minerals.

Results:
Study organizers realized a stronger than average rate of retention and the clinical trial was able to be completed on time, saving the pharmaceutical client time and money and moving an important new drug through the regulatory process and on to market.

Clinical Trial Retention Gifts Example #2 Medication for Adolescent Acne

When organizers of a clinical trial testing the efficacy of acne medication came to Farfromboring for products to bolster their retention strategy, our team of promo geniuses went to work. The tools used in this case were three products with strong appeal to the target audience of teenage participants. Soon after beginning the clinical trial, participants were presented with an attractive thank you gift from the sponsoring brand, a modern looking, rubberized, water-resistant wireless speaker perfect for streaming music from a cell phone or other mobile device. The orange speaker with suction cup was to serve as an omnipresent reminder to apply medication as prescribed, twice daily.
clinical-trial-promotional-product-speaker
Needless to say, the participants were overjoyed with the promotional product, and the note from the organizers that thanked them for working in concert to assist with this important research. Three weeks later, the adolescent participants were provided another reward for their commitment this time in the form of a digital download card.

The digital download cards were inexpensive to mail to participants and each provided $20 worth of music downloads. This promotion also served to reinforce the original gift, the branded wireless speaker. Just like the speaker, the digital download cards carried the brand's hip messaging in signature orange and white colors and again the participants were thanked for being part of a process that would bring to market a drug that would help other adolescents successfully combat annoying acne too. The organizers received enthusiastic feedback from trial participants, who indicated their commitment to seeing the trial through to the end.
clinical-trial-promotional-product-charger
Finally, at a crucial benchmark point of the trial, when organizers were most concerned about losing user focus, another promotional item helped to create excitement. Once more participants were thanked for their efforts this time with a mobile power bank perfect for recharging mobile phones, tablets and other electronic devices while on the move.

Results:
Organizers of this clinical realized significantly less participant churn than anticipated. Budget allocated for recruiting new participants if populations dropped to precarious levels were left unspent. The ROI provided by retention strategy, including use of promotional items, was estimated to save a minimum of $100,000 for the pharmaceutical client that was able to conclude this clinical trial, moving the drug closer to reaching market.

If you're company is conducting a study and needs help to engender the type of loyalty that keeps participants motivated and on track, contact Farfromboring. We know what works!


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