Pharmaceutical companies engage though leaders to consult for them, conduct clinical trials, give lectures, and make presentations on their behalf to targeted audiences. No need to say that industry allocates considerable time and money in cultivating thought leaders who are critical to a product’s ability to improve patient outcomes, from development through commercialization. However, thought leader identification is only half of the way – proper utilization, powerful content and ongoing compliance are all necessary for success. Profiling procedure can be vital in building of an engagement strategy of though leaders. MSL force as the owner of scientific thought leader engagement plans may utilize ranking opinion leaders in their database in order to justify resource allocation in their therapeutic fields. Classification and prioritising thought leaders will clarify which of them can have a significant impact on the success of the changes that MSLs are driving on the market.
Most common approach MSLs can undertake is ranking of thought leaders as per their regional influence (national, regional, local) and loyalty to company or brand (negative, neutral, advocate). This will lead to quick and rough estimation of engagement strategy that has to be implemented in this or that stakeholder segment. The strategies are “Manage Closely”, “Keep Satisfied”, “Keep Informed” and “Monitor”. At different phases of product life-cycle there might be different balance of stakeholder percentage who are belong to these categories, i.e. at launch phase “Manage Closely” probably should prevail, on plateau – “Keep Satisfied” or “Keep Informed”, etc.
Once MSLs have a good list of stakeholders, they then make judgements about how much and which kind of effort to put into dealing with their needs and what types of messages they should communicate.
Written by Dr. Alexander Tolmachev