Disclosures: This study was funded by a grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (K07 HL081373-01) to Dr. Estrada; approved by the institutional review boards of the University of Alabama at Birmingham; and presented in part at the 2009 and 2010 Southern Society of General Internal Medicine Annual Meetings, New Orleans, Louisiana. The authors report no conflict of interest.
Article first published online: 21 MAR 2011
Copyright © 2011 The Alliance for Continuing Medical Education, the Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education, and the Council on CME, Association for Hospital Medical Education
Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions
Volume 31, Issue 1, pages 21–27, Winter 2011
How to Cite
Estrada, C. A., Krishnamoorthy, P., Smith, A., Staton, L., Korf, M. J., Allison, J. J. and Houston, T. K. (2011), Marketing to increase participation in a Web-based continuing medical education cultural competence curriculum. J. Contin. Educ. Health Prof., 31: 21–27. doi: 10.1002/chp.20097
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors alone and do not reflect the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
This work was presented in part at the 2009 and 2010 Southern Society of General Internal Medicine Annual Meetings, New Orleans, Louisiana.
- Issue published online: 21 MAR 2011
- Article first published online: 21 MAR 2011
- continuing medical education;
- cultural competence
CME providers may be interested in identifying effective marketing strategies to direct users to specific content. Online advertisements for recruiting participants into activities such as clinical trials, public health programs, and continuing medical education (CME) have been effective in some but not all studies. The purpose of this study was to compare the impact of 2 marketing strategies in the context of an online CME cultural competence curriculum (www.c-comp.org).
In an interrupted time-series quasi-experimental design, 2 marketing strategies were tested: (1) wide dissemination to relevant organizations over a period of approximately 4 months, and (2) Internet paid search using Google Ads (5 consecutive 8-week periods—control 1, cultural/CME advertisement, control 2, hypertension/ content advertisement, control 3). Outcome measures were CME credit requests, Web traffic (visits per day, page views, pages viewed per visit), and cost.
Overall, the site was visited 19,156 times and 78,160 pages were viewed. During the wide dissemination phase, the proportion of visits requesting CME credit decreased between the first (5.3%) and second (3.3%) halves of this phase (p = .04). During the Internet paid search phase, the proportion of visits requesting CME credit was highest during the cultural/CME advertisement period (control 1, 1.4%; cultural/CME ad, 4.3%; control 2, 1.5%; hypertension/content ad, 0.6%; control 3, 0.8%; p < .001). All measures of Web traffic changed during the Internet paid search phase (p < .01); however, changes were independent of the advertisement periods. The incremental cost for the cultural advertisement per CME credit requested was US $0.64.
Internet advertisement focusing on cultural competence and CME was associated with about a threefold increase in requests for CME credit at an incremental cost of under US $1; however, Web traffic changes were independent of the advertisement strategy.