Skip to main content

Johns Hopkins completes COVID-19 clinical trial recruitment with the help of PESO strategy and The Next Practice

OOH Poster Example of integrated marketing for Clinical Trial Recruitment

Example: Out-of-Home (OOH) Poster

Johns Hopkins Medicine and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health turned to The Next Practice for an integrated marketing strategy. They urgently needed to recruit participants for a major national clinical trial. The study of an early COVID-19 treatment, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, could only be effective if they could recruit a significant number of participants. Previously, they found that traditional clinical trial recruitment methods were not getting the participation they needed.

The Next Practice’s approach of fully integrated media planning, included Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned + Technology (PESO+Tech), leveraged expertise from across our companies in an agile process to educate, enroll, and manage candidates throughout the screening process, and to deliver the number of patients needed for the trial. We believe this is a case study for a powerful clinical trial recruitment.

Paid media strategy and tactics from RocketSauce Media Labs included a combination of digital, traditional media channels, and experiential engagements to geo-target specific audiences across the nation, near the trial testing locations. The paid media planning was designed to support the entire PESO effort by delivering efficient mix of channels to key audiences. Throughout the campaign the mix of traditional and digital channels were optimized to take the audience through the marketing funnel, from awareness and education to engagement and lead generation.

During the initial phase, traditional media channels offered a heavy-up to digital tactics. Using tactics like Out-of-Home (OOH), Radio, TV to build additional awareness with audiences and drive reach and frequency to enhance Earned efforts to educate the public during a time of confusion and misinformation. These efforts also helped to build the new website’s traffic and build retargeting pools for digital tactics to ramp up quickly. As the campaign progressed, digital channels, from social media to digital video and audio maintained efficient traffic to the site and leads. Specific key locations were given additional tactics, such as street teams and geo-fenced retargeting. These tactics aided in further education and lead generation among key communities or near sites with additional capacity for new recruits.

Paid channels also led the way to efficiently test new creative messaging and Calls-to-Action (CTAs) across PESO efforts.

Earned media coverage by The Bliss Group was targeted to educate and inform various key communities across the nation about the trial to gain support, decrease misinformation, and improve participation.

Shared strategies were developed by The Next Practice to engage the public on social channels with content from earned coverage, monitoring chatbots and responding to questions.

Facebook Ad example as part of media planning mix

Example Clinical Trial Recruitment Facebook Ad

Owned capabilities created by Victory CTO  included a proprietary website capability that allowed influencers and paid programmatic ads to share the entire site within a self-contained module across the web, while providing a one-stop presence that could be optimized for driving the best conversions of new candidates. A powerful candidate management platform was developed for call center pre-screening of candidates, while helping all participating testing sites get alerts and track the status of candidates throughout the process.

To ensure all of these efforts worked together seamlessly, Ringer Sciences led the effort to build out the first fully-integrated PESO reporting dashboard to help the team understand correlations and opportunities in best performing tactics and give crucial insights to evolve the overall strategy over the course of the campaign. They also used their proprietary Audience Architecture process to identify and map key target audiences, community, and healthcare influencers as well as active COVID-19 testing sites that could be targeted for Paid and Earned efforts.

This amazing team effort helped make an impact to public health. We congratulate Johns Hopkins Medicine and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health on successfully completing this study and releasing the results, which reported an early treatment that reduced the need for hospitalization by 50%.

If you would like to get additional details on this case study and our approach to PESO media planning, we would be happy to connect with you and your team. We can review a more detailed case study and help build a comprehensive marketing strategy for your business.


Example digital video advertisement used in Programmatic Display, Facebook, YouTube, Hulu and other Connected TV (CTV) placements

How can you use the power of PESO to solve your organization’s marketing challenges? Contact RocketSauce Media Labs.

Or any of the other The Next Practice Companies:

The Bliss Group

The Next Practice

Victory CTO

Ringer Sciences