Peer to Peer connections are not unique, but they are often underutilized in market research. Patients can offer their first-hand experiences to corporate clients while serving as a direct liaison to their communities. Harnessing their resources can be a cost-efficient investment with high-yielding results, but it’s more matching demographics to bring recruits forward. Patient lead crowdsourcing has true benefits for everyone involved.
1. Reaching out by starting inward
The greatest benefit a peer resource (“Expert”) has is their network, especially in a small demographic like lysosomal storage diseases. I suggest starting with your closest circle of people. I started by reaching out to patients I’ve met at offices and regional support conferences over the years. I went on to tap active users of patient social media groups. As research companies cannot get direct access to these groups, a patient Expert has the advantage. There was noticeably more engagement when I posted on Facebook compared to outside users who attempted the same method.
2. Building a foundation of trust
While it’s important for the patient to convey confidentiality, I found it helps to explain that I come from a similar background. Our symptoms may be different, it’s much easier for a patient to open up about their health experience when the Expert does it first. It was amazing how much my recruits opened up about their lives when they knew I was an equal stakeholder.
3. Strengthening the personal relationship
I was in constant contact with my recruits leading up to their interviews. While I sent out reminders and logistics like any agency would do- I also would recall important parts of our earliest conversations. If they said they had a recent medical setback, I would ask how they were feeling since we talked last. I would acknowledge their family or milestones whenever possible. Most importantly, I’d try to reinforce there was a human on the other end who cared how they were doing. I’ve found recruits who felt that connection were more willing to be interviewed. They were also more accommodating to move or change appointments because of our back-and-forth conversations.
4. Being accountable to the client
I would argue I had a deeper sense of responsibility to make this campaign a success than a recruiting agency would. As a patient, I have a strong desire to bring awareness to my disease. I went the extra mile to find a diverse group of patients and double and triple confirmed appointment times because of the recruits as a direct extension of my advocacy. I also had more reliable appointments with higher turn-out ratings because I stayed in constant communication between the client and the recruits. I also made myself available the days the interviews were conducted to help streamline the process as much as possible.
5. Conduct a feedback survey
Once the engagement ended, I wanted to make sure my recruits had a positive experience. I also wanted to gauge how I could improve their experience. The results of my post-interview feedback from were instrumental in helping develop new tactics for future campaigns. By being their first and last impression, I was also able to bookend a positive experience for them. I was able to thank the recruits directly for their time and solidify our connection for future engagements.
Looking to put these tips to use? Be sure to create a WEGO Health Expert profile and showcase your talents!
Leanna works as a TV Station Manager for a local government access channel in NJ and assists with High School internships. She owns and operates a freelance photography, video, and graphic design company (Film Reel Productions) since 2007. In her spare time, she supports the Gaucher Disease community and advocates for patients and families with rare diseases/genetic disorders. She also has a range of experiences as a patient from her own diagnosis journey.
Click HERE to see Leanna’s WEGO Health Experts Profile.