As medical research advances, clinical trial protocols are becoming more detailed, resulting in more complicated budgets. Having a thorough and inclusive budget is critical to your site’s success. One common budgetary item that many sites often under-utilize is advertising. Many times sites are either not aware of their options for advertising funds or are too afraid to ask. In this blog, we’ve outlined some practical advertising budget negotiation tips.
Don’t be afraid to ask
Simply asking the sponsor early on if an advertising budget is possible will save you time in the long run. There are times when the sponsor includes an advertising budget up front, but there will also be times when it is not provided – in that case you should always try to negotiate one. In this industry, we are all working towards the same goal and while we may each take different steps in the process, sponsors and sites alike share a common interest: randomizing patients.
The way you position the need for a budget is important. “We are very interested in gaining ad dollars in order to meet our enrollment goals…” More about this later.
Takeaway: Gaining an advertising budget is a possibility – ALWAYS ASK
Outline your Patient Recruitment Strategy
Once the sponsor has confirmed they are open to providing funds for advertising, it’s time to prepare your strategy. Sometimes just showing interest in being successful in a study is enough for the sponsor to want to provide or increase an ad budget. Ask sponsors what they need from you: some may want just a general idea of your recruitment plan while others may be very involved and request a detailed document outlining your site’s recruitment strategy.
What sites seem to find most difficult is outlining the patient recruitment strategy if needed. When sponsors want a detailed patient recruitment plan, they mainly want to know where their funds are going and which vendors will be used. It can be difficult to show specifically which tactics would be best or even how much to budget for each if you don’t have the experience or access to a dedicated patient recruitment strategist.
In a recent study, our client requested a very detailed proposal outlining where the funds will be allocated. What we found to be the most important to the sponsor was our potential patient population reach (our case study shown below). We used digital advertising tactics including Google Ads and Facebook Ads, both of which will show you a potential reach (can be determined after some research). Based on where the sites were located, we included some traditional advertising as well (Radio, newspaper, among others). Typically, sponsors also like to know what vendors you will be working with, but since BTC Network launched our sites’ full integration services, our clients know we handle every aspect of the clinical operations in-house and typically do not utilize outside vendors.
Takeaways: Preparation is key – showing potential population reach will show value in your patient recruitment strategy.
You may also be interested in: How to Successfully Negotiate Contracts & Budgets & Top 2 Hurdles Research Sites Face in Budget Negotiations
About BTC Network
BTC Network is North America’s leading clinical research group. Based just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, our network includes more than 50 multi-therapeutic sites. All BTC research sites collaborate with or are part of private practices, giving us access to over 100,000 patients.