As far back as the start of 2019, the NHS needed support. In a by-gone pre-Covid19 era, campaign budgets for nursing recruitment had been cut as other pressures commanded more of the public purse. The NHS needed to fill roles immediately and build a legacy for the future. A future which relied on high quality student applications (via university portal UCAS) and a rapid increase in people joining the NHS. With 2019 advertising budgets cut by 32% YOY, and a projected nursing supply gap of 50,000 nurses by 2021, we couldn’t outspend, so we had to outsmart.
Qualitative research uncovered our audience barriers. Aside from the rational (the facts about the job) we discovered a far more powerful unifying barrier: fear of not rising to the challenge. This defined our communications strategy - beyond inspiration we had to drive confidence, at every touchpoint, at every stage of the application process.
Bespoke customer journeys defined our multi-touchpoint plans across all stages of the journey; focusing our paid spend where it needed to pack the biggest punch. From broadcast dramatising the extraordinary nature of the role, to consideration-driving media lifting the lid on the experience, supported with hard-hitting retargeting, search and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to nurture to application.
Unprecedented results; we increased efficiency (not compromising effectiveness) with significant YOY increases across the supply funnel. Crucially, we increased nursing degree applications YOY by 6%. Simply, we saved the NHS millions to reinvest in what matters - getting more nurses on the frontline.