3 Ways to Access Pharmaceutical ThoughtLeaders and Clinicians

Pharmaceutical Thoughtleaders
Pharmaceutical Thoughtleaders

For a pharmaceutical brand to have an effective voice in today’s saturated market, it needs access to the right pharmaceutical ThoughtLeaders and clinicians. As you are aware, ThoughtLeaders (TLs) at all levels (global, national, regional, local) play a vital role in treatment adoption, formulary access and helping define beliefs about the efficacy, safety, tolerability, and overall value of a brand and where it fits in treatment algorithms. 

Access to pharmaceutical ThoughtLeaders has always been a burdensome challenge to overcome and the pandemic has made the feat even more difficult. The following is an explanation of the top clinician engagement challenges pharmaceutical companies face, as well as three ways to drive access to the right pharmaceutical ThoughtLeaders and clinicians despite those challenges.

Top Challenges with Clinician Engagement

Pharmaceutical ThoughtLeaders and clinicians are increasingly pressed for time, not as available as they once were, and potentially uninterested in engaging with the latest pharmaceutical brands. Studies have shown that most physicians spend 27 percent of their time with patients and nearly half of their time on desk work, which doesn’t leave significant time for other engagements.

Three challenges often come up when a new product manufacturer attempts to gain the attention of relevant clinicians, including:

  • Accessibility: clinicians are harder to access as they are time constrained. 
  • Lack of Attention: It’s difficult to attain quality time and attention with a clinician even after that initial point of contact.
  • Lack of Relevance: pharmaceutical companies often struggle to effectively align product features and benefits with clinician needs. 

Improving Access to the right ThoughtLeaders and clinicians in Pharmaceuticals: 3 Fundamentals

1. Be Present Where & When Clinicians Seek Insights

Clinicians are more likely to come across new insight into an up-and-coming pharmaceutical treatment if that insight is accessible through educational resources and opportunities. For example, many physicians identify new insights through their continuing medical education (CME) training on other topics. Therefore, finding opportunities when clinicians are voluntarily dedicating time to training is important.

Clinical information exchange programs, such as ClinicalXchange offered by MDOutlook, can be an invaluable tool to achieve access to the right ThoughtLeaders and clinicians. ClinicalXchange product theaters offer access to a community of networked providers that require about 30-minutes of a clinician’s time to participate. The ClinicalXchange platform creates a number of opportunities for clinician engagement for pharmaceutical companies, including:

  • Exclusive 30-minute sessions 
  • Delivery of on-demand video recordings 
  • Ability to generate unique links to invite key targets 
  • Actionable reporting of participants after videos have been posted

2. Meet Clinicians and ThoughtLeaders on Their Terms

When vying for the attention of specific clinicians, pharmaceutical brands must meet the clinicians on their terms. The goal should be to deliver brand specific content in a quick and meaningful manner.

For example, consider podcasts that deliver new product information in a brief, concise way delivered via trusted educational websites to garner attention from the best ThoughtLeaders. These podcasts should be accessible at the convenience of the clinician, and the information provided should be succinct and to the point – respectful of clinicians’ limited time. Or the virtual poster sessions offered on ClinicalXchange, providing clinicians:

  • Abstracts that are categorized by meeting topic
  • The ability to sort abstracts according to disease category and subspecialty
  • Abstract presentations with a 5-minute overview of key data points 
  • The ability to download the abstract and slides from the presentation for reviewing later

Virtual posters and banner advertising on trusted educational websites can be effective tools to reach clinicians on their terms. These banner and skyscraper ad opportunities can be easily and effectively delivered via Clinical Care Solutions (Clinical-Care.org). 

3. Engage with Clinicians on Clinician-Familiar Platforms

Strive to meet and engage with clinicians on platforms that those professionals are already plugged into. For example, clinicians may already be active on platforms like MDOutlook’s LUMINEER® where they regularly take part in research and potentially peer-to-peer programs.

Gain Share of Mind with the Right Clinicians

MDOutlook has a full suite of research and engagement solutions that can increase access to the right ThoughtLeaders and clinicians. Don’t leave access to chance, when gaining share of mind is the prize at stake. Reach out to us at MDOutlook to discuss your access challenges and learn about proven approaches to win share of mind.

Guide to Pharmaceutical Market Research

Guide To Pharmaceutical Market Research
Guide To Pharmaceutical Market Research

Challenges continue to mount for pharmaceutical market researchers in a healthcare market where it is increasingly difficult to reach properly qualified healthcare providers and patients. Lack of appropriate market research respondents makes it difficult to piece together the “big picture” of how a treatments are perceived and utilized by payers, healthcare providers, and patients. This also makes understanding local or regional differences that enable pharmaceutical brands to achieve their full potential all the more difficult. 


Accounting for regional variances is considered by many to be the “holy grail” of pharmaceutical market research – in a saturated market consisting of over 20,000 prescription medicines FDA approved for marketing. Well conducted, in-depth pharmaceutical market research provides insights into the complexities associated with how the manufacturer can best use resources to manage a product through all phases of it’s lifecycle. Effective pharmaceutical market research requires thorough planning and timely execution to inform better decision-making and deliver actionable insights to marketers. To gain the most valuable market intelligence, pharmaceutical companies should adopt sound and reliable methodologies and practices used by experts in the market research field. What follows is a comprehensive look at the two core components of effective market research: thorough planning and timely execution.

Keys to Effective Planning

Effective pharmaceutical market research starts with a well-designed plan. The goal is to collect information that will help the pharmaceutical company effectively build and enhance the product marketing plan. However, there are a few aspects of the planning phase of market research that should be addressed.

Targeting the Right People for Pharmaceutical Market Research

Market research begins with a clearly stated objective – and attentiveness to details associated with Who? What? When? Where? and How? data intelligence are collected. Planning for the appropriate respondent type – whether to target ThoughtLeaders (TLs)/Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), community-based clinicians – or both, must be considered. In short, your targets for information (healthcare professionals) should and have a keen understanding of the disease area, patient types, and available treatment options.
Qualification using thorough and succinct screening criteria to identify appropriate clinicians or experts is a key ingredient to the planning process. Establishing the proper minimum requirements for inclusion in research is needed – but be respectful of their experience and time in doing so. A few examples of things that will be helpful to know as you screen your target clinicians might include:

  • Years of experience in practice
  • Patient volume and disease familiarity
  • What type of institution are they affiliated with?
  • How much influence do they have in treatment selection?

Keys to Effective Execution

And of course, a very important element to an effective market research plan is the execution. Below are some important steps to take to ensure effective research plan execution.

Work with the Right Pharmaceutical Market Research Service Partners

The right tools and partners make it possible for a market research plan to be carried out effectively, regardless of the size and scope of the plan. Therefore, it is critical to work with market research service partners that are capable of reaching the right respondent types for your research need – whether ThoughtLeaders or clinicians. Ideally the market research partner organization will have KOLs or ThoughtLeaders that they interact with regularly or pre-qualified clinicians in the disease areas of interest from which to draw an adequate respondent sample.

It is also important to work with partners that have a significant reach when it comes to geography. A reliable partner will have the ability to draw qualified sample to meet market needs by specific geography – local or regional, national, or multi-country coverage should be considered. A partner that has reach with a varied network of TLs and clinicians is an important determining factor in executing on your market research objectives.

For example, the platform from MDOutlook’s LUMINEER® supports best-in-class research when it comes to finding TLs and clinicians in specific disease areas and experiences. LUMINEER® establishes and maintains network connections, regularly updating intelligence associated with TLs and clinicians both — at local, regional, national, and global levels.

Make Use of Pulse Research

Pulse Research provides the pharmaceutical marketer and market researcher with the opportunity to dig into a specific topic, region or institution to rapidly gather key information that is time sensitive and not currently known. Insights that are gathered via pulse research are only if the research is carried out in a matter of days (instead of weeks), insights provided by quality respondents. pulse research is an agile approach to fill in knowledge gaps that other market research misses. 

Maintain Consistent Communication

Communication is key throughout the market research process. Implement a role-based, real-time reporting system so everyone involved in market research has access to the data. This allows like pharmaceutical product marketing teams to address key issues and take the initiative to put feedback to work. Need help getting your pharmaceutical market research strategy off to the best start? Let’s talk about how precision intelligence from MDOutlook can help.

Engaging ThoughtLeaders At Filtration Points

Video- Engaging ThoughtLeaders

Access to ThoughtLeaders and clinicians is more difficult than it has ever been, necessitating paradigm shifts and new approaches to deliver both promotional and medical information. MDOutlook has developed a leading edge approach to engage national, regional and local ThoughtLeaders at critical “Filtration Points.” These peer-to-peer clinical engagements are then condensed into powerfully granular syndicated reports that can be disseminated to all institutions, networks and clinicians. In this video, MDOutlook’s Jim Gruber defines “Filtration Points,” a powerful paradigm shift for the ‘20s. He also explains why MDOutlook is uniquely positioned to help your brand understand and engage ThoughtLeaders at “Filtration Points.” He also shares how Activeer peer-to-peer programs are developed, orchestrated, and published. Finally, he covers how the Activeer Clinical Intelligence (Syndicated) Report Series can be a game-changer for your team.