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Clinical Trial Recruitment Success Story: The Power of Digital for Rare Disease

2019 began with an exciting challenge: drive record levels of patients to register for groundbreaking pharma-sponsored clinical trials. The client? NephCure Kidney International, a leading advocacy group dedicated to education, support, and research of rare kidney diseases like FSGS and Nephrotic Syndrome. Our audience? Patients living with rare kidney disease.

To date, there is no cure for Nephrotic Syndrome but more clinical trials are available than ever before. Through using testing methods such as bioanalysis, these trials can eventually lead to potentially life-changing new treatments. Outcomes so vital demanded a dynamic, forward-thinking media plan and, by the conclusion of our pilot campaign, performance exceeded every expectation.

Results established unprecedented traction in rare kidney disease trial recruitment.

We’d be delighted to discuss these winning results with you next week at Digital Pharma East in Philadelphia. Will you be there? Come meet Brenda and Shannon, our Client Services Director and Media Supervisor, and let’s discuss your media goals.

In the meantime, let’s dive into the 3 tactics that propelled our pilot campaign to success…

1. Know Thy Audience

Our research and discovery process revealed five key audience segments. Through additional social listening, first party research and collaboration with NephCure’s patient-outreach and marketing teams, we determined two priority opportunities (Altruist and Resigned) most likely to take advantage of Kidney Health Gateway, the newly-created clinical trial database.

This due diligence ensured our resulting messaging would resonate and spur meaningful action.

2. Develop High-Impact Multichannel Messaging

Our key patient personas (Altruist and Resigned) informed every aspect of our messaging. Altruist patients and caregivers sought to help themselves and others; we empowered them with information about Kidney Health Gateway and how to participate. The Resigned group believed options were limited to their current steroid treatment or the slow painful road to dialysis. We let them know they have more treatment options through clinical trials.

Using intent signals, behavioral triggers and contextual cues, we created a multichannel framework to reach, educate and convert these audiences through strategic Paid Search, Display, Organic and Paid Social, and Email.

3. Execute targeted multichannel media

Confident in our messaging and media mix, next up was cohesively executing the campaign to maximize registrations. We started by building awareness and growing the conversion-ready patient pool through a halo of broader messaging with lower-cost/higher reach placements and broader search terms to efficiently maximize reach and frequency.

From there, we engaged priority rare disease patients with keywords and context featuring close to 100% share of voice on FSGS and Nephrotic syndrome and continuously optimized bids, placement and creative.

Results established unprecedented traction in rare kidney disease trial recruitment.

At the conclusion of the 20-week pilot, 4,968 qualified kidney disease patients had registered on Kidney Health Gateway, including 689 FSGS patients accounting for 3.4% of the total US patient population.  The campaign drove 73% of all traffic to the patient resource website and, once on site, visitors converted at a lofty average of 5%. We ensured continued traction by growing NephCure’s Facebook followers by 35% and reducing the cost-per-click of Google Ads by 12%, to call out just a couple additional successes.

Equally important to us was ensuring client satisfaction and we were honored to gain NephCure’s final seal of approval:

“[Prior to working with CPM], we already had an impressive database of patients as our organization has been actively interfacing with the community for almost 20 years, and yet over 80% of the CPM outreach responses were new to us! [In just the pilot], CPM’s outreach programs achieved double our planned response rates, not an easy achievement in rare disease. Their team was strong and knowledgeable and worked very closely with us while offering many unique and productive new approaches.”
– Joshua Tarnoff, Chief Executive Officer of NephCure Kidney International

We’ve been honored to stand alongside NephCure Kidney International in this life-changing endeavor; how can we partner with you?

From activating patient, caregiver and healthcare professional audiences to fast-tracking awareness and adoption of breakthrough treatments and groundbreaking research, we’ve fostered a legacy of excellence. And we’re just getting started. Come see us at Digital Pharma East to learn how we can innovate, execute and realize your lofty media goals. Brenda and Shannon, our Client Services Director and Media Supervisor, would love to meet you!

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In the meantime, check out more healthcare marketing case studies here!

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