While there has always been a significant focus on how to effectively educate and market products to patients and healthcare providers (HCPs) there is another group that pharmaceutical manufacturers, specifically– Medical Affairs and Marketing teams need to reach, educate, and influence: .
KOLs, often the most experienced in a therapy area, who also may be focused on medical research, or other academic experts, well regarded by their peers, who provide vital guidance to life sciences brands on clinical study design, reporting on study results, and medical communications. Historically, KOLs collaborate with pharmaceutical companies during pre-commercialization activities, particularly during the various phases of their clinical trials.
In recent years, however, that trend has changed. Amidst a more stringent regulatory environment, life sciences brands have turned to KOLs to elevate HCP engagement strategies throughout the product lifecycle. The role of the KOL in pharmaceutical marketing has been pivotal as they provide invaluable insights to help manufacturers navigate the regulatory landscape and bring credibility during their go-to-market planning phase.
KOLs Build Credibility & Trust
Pharmaceutical companies rely on advocacy from KOLs to improve HCP education, as well as to help validate the evidence on the efficacy and safety of drugs that are new to market or have had new indications approved.
KOLs are often seen as trusted thought leaders, often leading in the research, those who have the necessary expertise to ensure that life sciences organizations are designing optimal clinical studies in ways that:
- Produce reliable, repeatable results
- Are likely to pass the security of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Result in clinical evidence that other clinicians can trust to make prescribing decisions
Building an omnichannel KOL communication strategy
While KOLs are incredibly valuable resources, life sciences organizations often struggle to leverage their expertise effectively – especially when clinical and commercial stakeholders fail to leverage internal communications resources effectively to conduct and manage outreach.
In order to identify and engage the most relevant KOLs, brands need an omnichannel strategy that supports both their non-branded (pre-launch) and branded (post-launch) activities across their organization. This begins with ensuring brands have identified and are targeting the most relevant KOLs to their brand. Through PurpleLab’s HealthNexus platform, clients utilize a self-serve portal to access robust HCP-level data to select their best KOL targets.
Understanding how HealthNexus supports clients in their efforts on both identifying and engaging key opinion leaders (KOLs) for education and awareness activities can help drive your 2023 and 2024 strategic planning.
A 3-step sequence to KOL identification and media activation
Like evolving HCP marketing strategies and tactics, in order to engage with KOLs, organizations need a full omnichannel approach in order to meet them “where they are.” Much like consumers, HCPs are increasingly present online and in social media. In fact, according to recent data, 46% of physicians check social media for personal reasons more than three times a day. Additionally, HCPs in Emerging Markets are the most active social media users with 63% checking social media more than three times a day.1
- With PurpleLab’s HealthNexus platform, life sciences brands leverage real-world data (RWD) to create an HCP audience for media targeting:
- Filter KOL audiences based on their patients’ condition characteristics, demographics, clinical trial experience and then query the HCPs’ audience characteristics and key behaviors.
- Create precise audience segments to target for omnichannel, influencer-based outreach programs.
- Share data on target audience segments across internal platforms to enable personal outreach from clinical and marketing/sales teams.
This approach allows life sciences organizations to engage the right KOLs across multiple channels in an integrated way, increasing the likelihood of a successful engagement and providing significant value to the brand’s long-term performance.
Not only do KOLs’ contributions increase the chances that drugs will gain FDA approval, but their involvement pre- and post-commercialization also improves the education and uptake of and engagement with HCPs.
HealthNexus™ drives smart connectivity to robust RWD
PurpleLab provides data-driven insights leveraging HealthNexus’ robust RWD platform to enable a true omnichannel experience, that supports the full product life cycle, from pre- to post-commercial (e.g., clinical feasibility to programmatic advertising to HCPs and patients.)
PurpleLab’s data warehouse contains 50+ billion medical and prescription claims, dating back to 2012, includes 350 million patients, 2.3 million HCPs, 500k+ HCOs, 99% payer coverage (750 payers/7.5k plans) and more. HealthNexus continues to add to their existing 100+ data sources, which recently included the addition of a large Specialty Pharmacy data source.
The HealthNexus platform has made accessibility to the most robust medical claims data available in the industry today more efficient and easier than ever before. PurpleLab’s simple user interface guarantees your organization can be up and running within a day of signing up for access. Our Customer Success team will support your organization and makes onboarding into HealthNexus a simple and engaging process.
To see HealthNexus in action, schedule a demo today!
1 Sermo “Meet the Social Savvy Physician” n=604