Tracking interactions with KOLs can be a daunting task if you donâ€™t have the right systems in place. Similar to the childrenâ€™s mythology-themed boardgame, “Key to the Kingdom,” the odds of mastering it at first try are slimâ€”but over time, you learn from mistakes, become familiar with the rules, and ultimately succeed.
Michael Schaffer, senior district manager, virology, at Abbott admitted a few “I wish we did that the first time around” actions with his company’s integrated, Web-based application for internally tracking KOLs.
Here are a few ways to hit (not miss) when assessing opinion leader utilization and outcomes:
â€” Decide what a KOL is to your organization. Schaffer says that clearly defining these terms up front will improve your success. Clinical, marketing, and legal/ethics departments should be included in the discussion. “Sales and clinical teams have very different definitions of a KOL,” he said, while reinforcing that KOL data should be completely separated from sales.
â€” Peer influence mapping, although intricate and expensive, is vital to understanding how peer influence impacts a provider and his/her connections. You always want to make sure this information is current or else “you might as well throw out your KOL database,” says Schaffer.
â€” Whoâ€™s in your sandbox? Recognize the key players or departments involved and ensure that proper training occurs. You wouldn’t want something to be recorded in a way that would “look bad if subpoenaed,” Schaffer said. The Golden Rule at Abbott remains: â€œHow would you feel if our database was exposed on the nightly news?â€
With better understanding of KOL outcomes through interactions with their respective industry counterparts, pharmas can avoid underutilizing key information that is vital to their organizations.