Over the past few years, we at Clinical List America have been building what we feel is the most powerful clinical trial recruitment strategy in recent memory. It’s an online-based trial marketing system, centered on search engines and their amazing ability to connect clinical research organization with their most important audiences. Clearly, the biggest part of developing this strategy has been on the part of our agents, as they have worked through the intricacies of HIPAA requirements, federal and state laws, and Google’s own restrictions on marketing related to the medical field. But at the same time, Google has been doing some work of its own, improving the ability of its advertising tools to target search audiences. Here are a few of the key ways that Google is becoming a greater trial recruitment partner than ever before.


AdWords is a more useful recruitment tool than ever before!

Demographic Targeting

During the second half of 2016, Google launched a “demographics” tool for its AdWords system. In case you aren’t yet familiar with AdWords, that’s the name for Google’s system that allows customers like clinical research organizations to pay to display keyword-based ads to search users. The demographics tool makes it easier for those customers to refine exactly which age groups, genders, and combinations of those two factors their ads reach. This feature is of particular importance to those who are looking to recruit clinical trial volunteers, since trials often carry restrictions by age and/or gender.

As an example, if your upcoming trial is focused on juvenile diabetes, your campaign could be sabotaged by a failure to target younger age groups. Since diabetes is a common issue among older age groups as well, an AdWords campaign that neglects to specify what age groups it is interested in reaching is in danger of attracting many volunteers that, though suffering from diabetes and willing to volunteer, are ineligible to participate in the study due to their age. With expert management, however, your AdWords campaign can target just the right audiences and reach individuals who are both interested in volunteering and eligible for the study.

How Does Google Know?

You may wonder how Google knows that demographic information about people. It may even seem a little suspicious that a private company like Google is able to determine how old a search user is, whether they are male or female, or even whether or not they have children (another demographic that Google measures) as it decides what AdWords ads they should see. But there’s no invasive snooping going on here; in most cases, Google knows that information about a searcher because they are logged into their Google account when they perform a search. When a person sets up a Google account or opens a Gmail address, Google requests age/gender information and later uses it for AdWords and other purposes.
Things get a little more complicated when a searcher is not logged in to a Google account. In those cases, Google looks at the searcher’s other activity with Google and makes some general conclusions about their gender, age, and other demographics based on that activity. If the searcher had spent time looking for a lot of clothing for elderly women, for example, AdWords can make some pretty good guesses as to that searcher’s demographics! Google’s demographic measurements based on search history may not always be as accurate as those based on Google account holders, but it is still useful for the most part.

Demographic Targeting Puts You in Touch with Key Audiences

An individual in his 20s who suffers from diabetes may be hard for your organization to get in touch with through traditional trial recruitment methods. But a Google AdWords campaign is completely unlike a traditional recruitment campaign, which “pushes” its message to many people in the hopes of finding a few eligible volunteers. Instead, AdWords “pulls” an audience from the online population based on keywords that they are searching for. When that young diabetes patient in your area searches for “help with juvenile diabetes,” that’s a perfect time for your recruitment message to appear in front of him.

Our expert agents are ready to help your clinical research organization launch an AdWords campaign and reach the people in your area who are actively looking for help with their indications. Let us know what we can do for you!