5 MIN READ
Healthcare influencers are leaders in their field with reach across the marketplace that includes patient care and medicine. Often, healthcare influencers have extensive clinical experience and engage in cutting-edge research, making them deeply knowledgeable in their area of practice. The credibility these medical professionals exhibit in their fields leads other healthcare professionals to recognize and respect the opinions of these key healthcare influencers.
By identifying and engaging healthcare influencers, pharmaceutical companies can reach networks of medical professionals and increase awareness of their new and existing patient treatment options, including data on efficacy, safety, tolerability and – in some cases – outcomes. This article discusses how pharmaceutical companies can connect with the right healthcare influencers.
The first step in connecting with the correct healthcare influencers is to understand who the most appropriate healthcare influencers are for your product at each stage of your brand’s journey. There are a number of ways companies can identify top healthcare influencers in their field of interest. These include identifying influencers who are regularly published or conducting clinical trials in specific disease areas. Other indicators of influence include institutional leadership, leadership in healthcare provider networks and peer nomination. It is also beneficial to assess an expert’s sphere of influence, which can often be categorized as global, national, regional or local.
Understand the Healthcare Influencer’s Network
Understanding a healthcare influencer’s network and reach is crucial before engaging with them in your brand journey. With the rapid adoption of technology, many healthcare influencers are now participating on social media platforms to spread their knowledge and network with like-minded individuals. Pharmaceutical companies can leverage platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube to gain valuable insights into the activities and reach of specific individuals. Evaluating a healthcare influencer’s online presence can provide essential information about their professional network, affiliations, and areas of interest.
Connect with a Diverse Range of Healthcare Influencers
Healthcare influencers, also known as Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), can have varying reach within the healthcare community. Pharmaceutical companies often make the mistake of identifying and engaging only the top 50 to 100 healthcare influencers within a therapeutic area. Typically, these influencers are KOLs at a national or global level.
Global and national healthcare influencers may be well suited for the early stages of a brand’s journey, when the scientific story is being developed and validated, however, regional and local KOLs are often critical in driving awareness and adoption during the pre-launch and launch phases to ensure a treatment’s data and message reaches the point-of-care. It is important to bridge this “Information-To-Impact Gap” between global/national KOLs and regional/local KOLs since they usually have more impact on clinicians and healthcare provider networks where the majority of patient treatment occurs.
How to Engage With Healthcare Influencers
There are many important ways to develop a winning strategy focused on engaging with healthcare influencers. These include using mapping techniques to identify influencers in specific disease states, using market research to find the best influencers at the right time, providing insightful education about treatments and benefits for patient care across a variety of platforms, and focusing on identifying physician networks with specific attention on “High Writers,” prescribers with high prescription volume.
The Importance of High Writers
Some healthcare providers treat an unusually high volume of patients in a specific disease area, making them a valuable target for pharmaceutical companies to reach. However, “High Writers” are often very busy and difficult to reach. Companies should identify “High Writers” and utilize KOL mapping to identify the healthcare influencers most likely to impact prescribing habits. Well-crafted peer-to-peer programs, in-person and digital messaging can be utilized to share relevant data and information with “High Writers” from KOLs they particularly respect.
Utilize Technology To Identify and Connect
Finally, pharma companies can leverage technology solutions to optimize their strategy and selection of healthcare leaders. MDOutlook offers best-in-class products that can help pharmaceutical companies research, identify, communicate and engage with healthcare influencers.
Using technology to identify and connect can optimize the success of your business and product within the healthcare influencer sphere. Lumineer® is the ideal platform to thoroughly map, understand and engage healthcare influencers at the global, national, regional, and local levels. Activeer® is a best-in-class peer-to-peer program for healthcare influencers to bridge the Information-to-Impact gap.
Effectively engaging with healthcare influencers is vital for the success of any life sciences brand. A thorough approach that identifies and connects globally, nationally, regionally and locally can help a brand achieve its full potential rather than simply engaging high-level KOLs and relying on “gravity” to disseminate data and messaging to the point-of-care. Game-changing success hinges on a brand’s ability to successfully channel the influence stream from KOLs to the point-of-care.
Contact us for a free demo of how MDOutlook can help you develop a game-changing strategy for connecting with healthcare influencers.