Key opinion leaders (KOLs) play a vital role in pharma and biotech companies. The most successful organizations rely on regular feedback from qualified experts. Incorporating feedback into your business strategy gives your company an edge. Expert guidance helps your organization reach its goals and avoid costly pitfalls.
Still, forging connections with renowned clinical experts isn’t always easy. In a post-COVID world, outreach can be a special challenge. Many organizations prefer face-to-face meetings, but virtual meetings are here to stay and many experts have grown to prefer digital contacts. Now is the time to refine your virtual outreach strategy and make the most of digital tools. Read on to learn more.
The Value of KOLs
KOLs are the ultimate subject matter experts; the most sought-after experts have decades of medical experience. Best of all, they have on-the-ground knowledge of treatment patterns and patient preferences. Their insights can help your company streamline operations—they can help guide your organization’s R&D, marketing, and PR efforts. Companies that don’t seek feedback from KOLs make a costly mistake.
Engaging with KOLs early and often helps build interest and trust. The right outreach efforts keep KOLs informed and invested in your company. They also help you spot potential problems early on.
KOL Outreach Tips
Consider the following tips for connecting with KOLs online:
Leverage advisory boards to connect with clinical experts
The current global situation has made KOL engagement difficult but not impossible. By now, many KOLs are used to virtual contacts. A growing number of digital resources are available to keep your company connected. Online advisory boards are one of the most valuable tools in your arsenal; these tools allow your company to contact a curated team of experts.
With online advisory boards, your team can communicate with KOLs 24/7. You can ask questions, seek feedback, and get professional input from medical experts. KOLs provide ongoing responses throughout the day. These tools provide the feedback you need—without expensive or risky travel.
Choose a partner with robust digital platform capabilities
During the spring, many conferences and conventions were pushed online, and companies scrambled to shift their outreach efforts onto a virtual platform. The results were predictably uneven. While some companies managed to create workable online tools, others floundered.
If your organization is still struggling with shaky technology or uneven results, it’s time to reassess—invest in a high-quality virtual platform that allows for in-depth collaboration. Many vendors already have comprehensive virtual platforms in place, and the best vendors already partner with medical experts across the globe. They can offer access to an extensive network of experts and prescribing physicians.
Look for flexible discussion tools
When choosing a platform, consider your options for communication tools. The best platforms let participants engage in rich discussions, but some platforms may not support in-depth dialogue between participants. Avoid digital tools that focus on static, scripted conversations, and steer away from tools that only offer a limited range of discussion forums. Instead, look for a platform that lets participants have free-form discussions.
Seek out experienced vendors
Choosing the right platform isn’t always easy, but your company can streamline this process by creating a detailed checklist. First, look for a vendor that specializes in the healthcare field. Generic virtual collaboration platforms offer a limited range of tools. Privacy and security can also be a significant concern.
Vendors that specialize in serving medical companies know how to handle these obstacles. They can offer a flexible range of tools, designed with pharma and biotech companies in mind. Specialized vendors also understand that medical organizations have special needs such as detailed reports and comprehensive data streams. Their platforms are designed to support and reinforce your research efforts.
The right vendor also offers access to a curated team of specialists. Choosing a vendor with an established group of experts helps streamline your outreach efforts. There’s no need to make individual contacts; instead, your team can log on and get immediate access to KOLs.
ONCOBOARD is Aptitude Health’s collaborative online community platform. With ONCOBOARD, your team has access to many oncology and hematology experts. Members can use a wide range of discussion tools and receive rapid responses from qualified experts. Our state-of-the-art insight reports let your company quickly analyze feedback. ONCOBOARD provides the up-to-date information your organization needs, in one convenient online tool.