Don't be a DEVA – get treated!

The challenge

Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit (NCTU) run a study named DEVA for women to join and help them find out whether a new antiseptic treatment, dequalinium chloride, is as good at treating bacterial vaginosis (BV) symptoms (such as an unpleasant smell or discharge) as antibiotics.

During 2020 when the ‘C word’ stopped us from seeing our GPs, our healthcare marketing team was tasked with getting women to apply for the trial.

Marketing to people who have or think they may have BV was going to be a challenge. Very niche!

Turning instinct into action

Because of the challenges around targeting and no previous data to benchmark against, we rolled out a test and learn digital marketing campaign to gather data and create a participant journey. This helped us understand how many people we’d need to reach to get enough through the journey and on to the trial.

We used Google Ads and Paid Social Marketing to drive people to the website landing page to find out more about the trial and apply using the eligibility test.

The paid social marketing strategy was split into several phases to ensure that we cast the net wide enough and refined activity based on engaged users’ behaviour.

Creatively we wanted to be crystal clear about the problem/solution was, as we knew the ad wouldn’t be relevant to a high proportion of women seeing the ad in their feed.

We structured the PPC advertising into two campaigns: ‘Generic’ and ‘Treatment’ and created dynamic ads to optimise the performance of CTR and CVR.


7.03% CTR Facebook
8.53% CTR Google
312 Conversions

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