KOL Relationship Development: Leveraging Social Media Platforms

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Publication date:
January 2012
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KOL Relationship Development: Leveraging Social Media Platforms is a compelling examination of the rise of social media as an informal, but increasingly important interactive marketing tool. Critically, it looks at social media-based KOLS who, although traditionally dismissed by the conservative pharmaceutical industry, are coming from behind the scenes to be heard. The report, based on six in-depth expert interviews and additional research, examines the trends, options and issues surrounding social media KOLs, how to identify them and how best to capture their voices. Engagingly written and current, the report addresses how the industry can best adapt marketing strategies to the digital age—and how to track their success.

Key features of KOL Relationship Development: Leveraging Social Media Platforms include:

  • Discussion of the role social media plays in KOL management and how the pharmaceutical industry is responding to its influence
  • Insight into identifying KOLs, matching them to online channels to ensure uptake and integrating interactive media with marketing messages
  • Overview of how social media voices are changing how pharma views online marketing
  • Critical analysis of how digital content and delivery of marketing messages is evolving

Key Benefits

For years, their voices went unheard. And their opinions were ignored. But not anymore.

Thanks to the internet and social media, there is a growing and vocal group of Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) who are not necessarily academics or people who talk at conferences. Rather, they are bloggers, pundits and healthcare professionals whose voices and expertise—once largely behind the scenes—are now being amplified on the internet. While pharma has traditionally looked askance upon the free-form, interactive nature of social media as a marketing tool, companies who continue to ignore its power may be doing so at their peril. This report provides:

  • Expert insight from six leaders in social media and marketing
  • Insight into the issues with identifying and engaging KOLs in the digital age
  • A full appendix of resources, social media sites and further reading

KOL Relationship Development: Leveraging Social Media Platforms
answers key questions including:

  • How is social media changing the profile of KOLs?
  • Are metrics being adapted to gauge the effectiveness of online campaigns in real time?
  • Can pharma use virtual outreach to overcome the lack of access given to reps?
  • How can the new KOLs be identified and their expertise utilised?
  • What is the industry doing to ensure message uptake amongst digital KOLs?

Selected Quotes

”The idea is just to give a place where people can interact in a healthy way and try to provide information that is beneficial to them. I know it's a really vague goal, but that's really what it's about. If we get people to talk about [our product], then we've done well.” Gil Ben-Dov, former Vice-President, Social Media Strategy, ResMed

”Rather than thinking in terms of I have a message to push out, you should be thinking in terms of people using my product, how can I help them use it better, to understand their needs and understand my own product better. That's social media; it's a different type of interaction.” Dr Felix Jackson, Chief Medical Officer, medDigital

”Social media is an amplifier, where everybody in their own niche can be world-class. And there's an opportunity for pharma companies to partner with these informal opinion leaders to educate, do research and work toward getting better healthcare outcomes” Craig DeLarge, Director, Healthcare Professional Relationship Marketing, Novo Nordisk