Cancer Research UK aim to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. More people than ever before are being diagnosed with cancer in the UK, and in particular, rates of oral cancer have risen dramatically in the last 10 years. Cancer Research UK, supported by the British Dental Association and accredited by the Royal College of General Practitioners, developed an Oral Cancer Recognition Toolkit to promote and support the early diagnosis of oral cancer by dentists and GPs. The toolkit includes a video, recognition and referral aids, case studies and other resources to help support best practice in the prevention and early detection of oral cancer.

Nitro Digital was chosen for the project based on its in-depth knowledge of the healthcare space and its methodical, multidimensional approach to strategising and executing successful online marketing campaigns and its knowledge of how to connect and engage with HCPs online. Taking the lead from Nitro, a tactical digital strategy and plan were developed to harness social media channels to drive awareness and targeted visitors to the appropriate toolkit. The campaign was timed to run for two weeks during Mouth Cancer Action Month (November 2016), and the toolkits were placed on two key healthcare websites, chosen specifically for their relevant readership. Nitro launched  a two-pronged social media planning and buying campaign, selecting two channels (Facebook and LinkedIn) to direct traffic to the landing pages. Ad creative and messaging was tailored to each audience. Chosen KPIs included clicks, impressions, CTR, CPC and using GA.

As this was an experiment for the client, learnings were key. Cancer Research UK had not used social media to reach HCPs before, so there was great interest in seeing how well the campaign would perform. Overall, it delivered strong results and as the CPC was not significantly different from what the client was used to seeing when targeting the general public, they were pleasantly surprised. Nitro, too, was pleased with the initial results, as they demonstrate the opportunity for improvement in the future, with learnings from this pilot effort informing new HCP-centric campaigns going forward. Most important, however, the campaign proved that digital marketing could achieve results and provide insight into audience behaviour that could be used to refine future, similar online activity.

Both medical professionals and patients are becoming increasingly digitally savvy. Social media, in particular, is likely to have a major impact in the way that pharma communicates in the coming years. 52% of physicians surveyed by Deloitte expressed interest in communicating with pharma companies via social media.* Massive opportunities await for those brands that embrace this new digital engagement.

* http://www.slideshare.net/Market_iT/pharma-adoption-of-social-media-a-prescription-for-physician-engagement, published Jan 2016