Qatar Biobank successful with traditional media

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Through its collection of samples and information on health and lifestyle from large numbers of members of the population of Qatar, Qatar Biobank will make vital health research possible for researchers in Qatar, the region and the world. Image courtesy: Qatar Biobank

Undoubtedly, marketing is the communicating force for a business to promote its idea or selling proposition. However, what is more important is the form of marketing employed by an entity that determines the success of the communication strategy. And even more important than that, are the actual results from those various marketing methods.

While digital media has emerged as the most effective marketing tool in the socially connected world of today, a recent case states otherwise. Qatar Biobank’s inaugural six-month public recruitment figures reveal that 72 percent of participants, contributed to the health initiative owing to ‘word-of-mouth’ publicity only.

Qatar Biobank is a center within Qatar Foundation’s Biomedical Research Institute. It has been created by Qatar Foundation in collaboration with Hamad Medical Corporation and Supreme Council of Health, with the expert support of scientists from Imperial College London to enable medical research on health issues that prevail in Qatar.

Recommendations from friends and family led to the recruitment of 500 contributors, 68 percent of which are Qatari, to the State’s leading biomedical research platform, as illustrated through actual visits to the Qatar Biobank centre.

Nasser Masoud Al Yami, 68, was the 500th participant in the Qatar Biobank drive;

“I heard about Qatar Biobank through a family member and have been eager to participate since. The clinical staff demonstrated a high level of care from registration, all the way to the final feedback session.

“I am delighted to have received such a comprehensive health-check-up, and I urge Qatar’s elder generation to lead the way,” he added. “It is important for us to set an example for our families by stepping forward and contributing to this worthy cause.” — Nasser Masoud Al Yami

A full 96 percent of participants quoted their experience as a positive one, and made the effort to inform other people to enroll.


Dr Hadi Abderrahim;  “Our relationship with the public is at the heart of what we do, and is critical to our success. Our intentions are not just to get people through the door, but are instead about engaging the wider community.”

We don’t make assumptions that the public has any previous experience with biomedical research or an understanding of how to get involved in biobanking. We therefore aim to educate the public which in turn enables them to relish the opportunity to participate. Then when they visit, we make every effort to ensure they have a five-star experience; and we are extremely pleased to see that this message is actively being communicated by word of mouth throughout the community.” — Dr. Hadi Abderrahim, Qatar Biobank’s recently appointed Managing Director
While social media and websites may attract large volumes of traffic from global consumers, it turns out that local word-of-mouth advertising may be more immediate, and more effective, for local businesses.
If you shop at a local business, how influenced are you by their website or social media and what matters more to you, their social media presence or good recommendations from a friend or family member? Let us know in the comments!
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