Golley Slater display campaign boosts NHS recruitment drive

The targeted display campaign boosted applications for jobs by increasing the NHS website's click-through rate.


The client:

The National Health Service (NHS) is the umbrella term for the publicly-funded healthcare systems of the UK. Established in 1948, It is made up of the four separate systems of the four countries of the UK: The National Health Service in England, NHS ScotlandNHS Wales, and Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland. 

NHS England alone employs about 1.4 million members of staff, and provides the majority of healthcare in England, including primary carein-patient carelong-term healthcareophthalmology and dentistry.

The challenge:

The UK Government wanted to recruit more doctors and nurses back into the NHS and this quickly changed to meet the current rapid response during the coronavirus pandemic. This was achieved by increasing the awareness of the recruitment need among key workers and then converting this awareness into driving a direct action.

This campaign became particularly complex for several reasons. The media landscape has become more fluid and changeable than we have ever seen, and people’s behaviours, attitudes and beliefs are being affected in different ways. This meant that the ‘usual’ approach just wouldn’t work.

The strategy:

The NHS turned to comunications agency Golley Slater, which began working with the NHS Professionals in England on its national recruitment campaign, (Doctors Direct), in 2019.

The agency’s strategy was to run a specifically targeted display campaign at high frequency to reach these individuals. The main challenge was to find these targets among all the traffic on the internet. Using the Golley Slater trading desk, the agency’s team planned a programmatic campaign using data segments, site domain placements and contextual keyword targeting to identify the Doctors and Nurses. This was then overlaid with granular geo-targeting, using mobile data around the key trusts’ locations. This meant it could deliver a tight campaign reaching the target audience without wastage.

The expertise applied from the team throughout the campaign duration included being reactive and responsive to the data that was being fed back. The campaign was optimised by widening the radius and turbo charging the elements of the campaign that were delivering results.

The result:

The campaign’s click-through rate was performing consistently throughout the entire campaign period at 0.09%. But, during the pandemic, Golley Slater’s digital team had to react quickly to the changing media landscape, and based on the results as they were coming in.

Changing the landing page to the Rapid Response page (to help recruit staff to support the current COVID 19 situation) saw a great uplift in results. Over the week on week comparison, the click-through rate had increased to 0.15%, which the agency belives highlights the relevancy of the campaign and the responses.

A spokesperson for Golley Slater said: “The campaign was highly successful and delivered applicants quickly, cost effectively and directly.

“Overall, it was an honour to assist the NHS in this time of need and help with their recruitment efforts and we are looking forward to continuing our work with NHS England.”

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