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Table 1 Activities within the five stages in marketing a trial

From: Marketing and clinical trials: a case study

Stage Marketing Purposes
Set-Up 1. To gain the buy-in of the necessary authorities and stakeholders.
2. To gain the buy-in of opinion leaders whose explicit approval provides legitimacy and prestige for the trial.
3. To construct a marketing function within the trial and devise robust systems for ensuring that the marketing (and later sales) activities are undertaken efficiently, effectively and in accordance with the values and goals of the trial.
Market Planning 1. To identify and describe the distinctive features of the 'segments' of the 'market' to be targeted.
2. To discover what people in each of the selected market segments value (i.e. what would encourage them to 'sign-up').
3. To develop a 'value proposition' (or more than one if required) that can be tested with each of the targeted segments.
4. To enrol the whole trial organisation in working within the trial's 'marketing brief'.
Signalling 1. To convey, fully and persuasively, the 'value proposition' to sufficient numbers of people in the target market.
2. To convey, fully and persuasively, the 'value proposition' to intermediaries (e.g. doctors or nurses), influencing bodies (e.g. ethics committees) and other agents that can either help or hinder the conduct of the trial.
Learning 1. To learn, through doing, about 'the market'.
2. To utilise ongoing learning to develop more effective policies and practices.
3. To evaluate, and redirect the strategy of a trial as learning is acquired.
Reinforcing 1. To maintain momentum by renewing or upgrading 'the offer' made to participants.
2. To sustain commitment of interested parties and other agencies whose support will be needed.