Value and engagement: what can clinical trials learn from techniques used in not-for-profit marketing?

Eleanor Jane Mitchell* (Corresponding Author), K. Sprange, S. Treweek, E. Nixon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Marketing is a core business function in commercial companies but is also frequently used by not-for-profit organisations. Marketing focuses on understanding what people value to make choices about engaging with a product or service: a concept also key to understanding why people may choose to engage with a clinical trial. Understanding the needs and values of stakeholders, whether they are participants, staff at recruiting sites or policy-makers, is critical for a clinical trial to be a success. As many trials fail to recruit and retain participants, perhaps it is time for us to consider approaches from other disciplines. Though clinical trial teams may consider evidence- and non-evidence-based recruitment and retention strategies, this is rarely done in a systematic, streamlined way and is often in response to challenges once the trial has started. In this short commentary, we argue the need for a formal marketing approach to be applied to clinical trials, from the outset, as a potential prevention to recruitment and retention problems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number457
Number of pages4
Issue number1
Early online date2 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • randomised trials
  • marketing
  • value
  • recruitment
  • retention
  • Value
  • Randomised trials
  • Retention
  • Marketing
  • Recruitment
  • Administrative Personnel
  • Humans
  • Patient Selection


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