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How Can Key Opinion Leaders Improve My Pharmaceutical Brand?

What Are KOLs In Healthcare?

One of the best ways to meaningfully build a brand is to use KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders), also known as ThoughtLeaders (TLs), to increase trust and excitement about pharmaceutical products and treatments being brought to market.

KOLs are physicians who have peer credibility and clout through their participation in research, writings, clinical trials and leadership roles. They often influence other physicians, institutions, hospitals, healthcare networks, formularies and treatment algorithms.

Key Opinion Leaders lend measurable credibility to new treatments, serve as an asset through each stage of a product’s launch and they enhance the development and marketing of new products. By discovering and hiring appropriate experts at the right time, pharmaceutical brands expand their influence and gain traction through the product lifecycle. 

How Can Key Opinion Leaders Enhance My Pharmaceutical Brand?

Key Opinion Leaders play an instrumental role in building a brand. Key to the success of their influence is making sure brands are hiring the right person for the job. Pharmaceutical brands desire to understand the overall disease landscape and how to deploy global, national, regional and local KOLs of various specifications across their product portfolio and assets.

Once identified, Key Opinion Leaders can propel a brand through their deployment as:

  • Leaders in clinical trials
  • Writers and researchers of compelling research findings
  • Consultants that help a brand with positioning and relevancy
  • Speakers on panels
  • Participants in peer-to-peer discussion groups about the disease and appropriate treatment options

In order for their involvement to be successful in building a meaningful brand, it’s important to match the KOLs to interact with the appropriate clinician audience who treat a specific disease.

Key Opinion Leaders also influence others in the authorship of meaningful report findings that can be distributed to their influence networks, institutions and other clinicians in order to better coordinate messaging across different tactics. Key Opinion Leaders use their expertise to influence the networks, formularies and treatment algorithms that shape a product.

Knowing how KOLs are connected and who they influence in the treatment launch process is imperative to success.

At What Stage In Product Development Should You Start To Connect With KOLs?

Key Opinion Leaders should be approached by a pharmaceutical brand during the development of a new treatment to help them solve a variety of challenges.

Here are 4 ways KOLs can be utilized throughout the phases of a product’s launch:

  • To understand unmet needs of the disease state
  • To lead clinical trials and map KOLs in preparation for launch
  • To execute peer-to-peer programs that inform clinicians
  • To engage all layers of the market (regional and local) to ensure compelling messaging is reaching all clinicians

KOLs can increase their sphere of influence by engaging in industry activities, such as speaker programs and publishing reports and studies. By mapping out KOLs by specialization and peer group influence, brands can build a multifaceted strategy that gets physicians excited about a product across all stages of the product lifecycle.

How To Find The Best Key Opinion Leaders For Your Needs?

There are a variety of ways to find the best KOLs for your business plan. Companies can conduct manual searches of medical experts on social media sites like LinkedIn or read past published research to find and recruit the most appropriate talent. Brands can also work through their peer circles and rely on word-of-mouth recommendations.

But the most efficient way by far to find the best KOLs is to work with an expert organization specializing in mapping and engaging KOLs, such as MDOutlook. It’s important to work with an expert organization that will be able to provide an in-depth list of KOLs across all levels of influence. They should engage experts as support pillars for a brand’s clinical trials, future research needs and publications, speaking engagements, etc.

Companies such as MDOutlook can match mapped KOLs with the right peer discussion groups, clinical trials and programs that drive value for brands. Make sure your partner organization utilizes data-driven technology to provide timely updates and performance tracking for each KOL.

How MDOutlook Can Match The Right KOLs With Your Brand

By working with a proven KOL partner such as MDOutlook that has existing networks of ThoughtLeaders and clinicians, companies can unlock access to the right ThoughtLeaders at the right time to help new product initiatives succeed.

By using MDOutlook’s Lumineer® platform, companies can easily search and map Key Opinion Leaders and structure peer-to-peer programs. MDOutlook’s Activeer® helps pharmaceutical companies activate relationships with clinicians, while its DOCpulse® informs research teams and Orienteer® helps brands understand how a product is performing in real time and what interventions can optimize performance.

By working with MDOutlook, pharmaceutical companies receive an all-encompassing approach to canvassing and engaging KOLs to build meaningful brands and drive success of new treatments.