In this series, we have discussed elements of branding, including what branding is, different creative elements, and how to work well with others. Now let’s look at strategy. These are the big-picture things to keep in mind throughout the process — from developing your branding materials to charting progress after their release into the world.
Connect with your customer. This includes the content and appearance of your materials and where they go. Connote professionalism and trust with professional materials that show your audience respect. Think of your potential participants as individual men and women – not as indications. Traditional marketing channels like support groups and physicians make sense, but in today’s world you have to be using online channels to spread the word, such as Google Adwords, Bing Ads, and Facebook.
Stand Out. On the surface, it makes sense to market your prostate cancer study to associated support groups and male media channels such as sports sites. But how about targeting women instead? There might be channels to reach women with husbands who have prostate cancer. And those women could likely have more influence than you on whether their men will consider participating. The clinical trials industry is more competitive than ever, so open your mind to some out-of-the-box thinking.
Be cohesive and consistent. Make sure your materials work together. The message and overall look of your materials should be in sync, whether it is printed, electronic, or web. When you have different individuals and teams creating your materials, it can get more difficult. Creating a style guide with samples before everyone revs up to create their part of the pie is a useful tool. However, make sure your creative teams do not feel so restrained that they can’t come to you with great ideas that might not fit the mold 100 percent.
Set goals and be flexible with all of the above. The days of having an unwavering, sacred mission statement or a five-year-plan chiseled in granite are behind us. Regularly assess what is and isn’t working and make changes if necessary.
We hope you’ll find these strategies helpful. The clinical trials industry is a big one, and it’s smart to call on others for help. Let us know if you need ideas or help with your study.