KOL and Advocacy Development
Having a competitive edge when it comes to advocacy and society relationships will provide the foundation of success for any healthcare company. For this reason, we suggest that our clients implement a cascading model to cultivate advocacy and relationships with key stakeholders in the physician ecosystem. Our proprietary pyramid approach demonstrates our belief in the importance of having established “top down and bottom up” KOL advocacy within the marketplace. This model should be employed during all stages of product development and commercialization with varying intensities depending on the product and the respective phase we are operating within. KOL alignment with company scientific beliefs early in the process is critical to the ultimate success of the product. You must understand how the KOLs perceive your company and products in terms of clinical value, therapy value, and cost-effectiveness. Also at an early stage, it is important to assess the KOL’s abilities as an advisor and willingness to be an advocate promotional speaker to see if this matches up with the future brand and communication strategies.
Conference and Society Strategy
Congress and society meetings will also follow the cascading model. The goal is to exploit the already established venues to communicate medical and educational messages prior to launch as well as marketing messages during product commercialization. This can be effectively done by taking outputs of clinical research and introducing posters/publications at various stages within this cascade. The poster presentations will be designed to provide clinical or technological product differentiation and build anticipation, excitement, and momentum prior to product launch. CME programs and promotional symposia meet certain educational objectives and communicate guidelines information, consensus positions, and approved product messages. Congresses and other venues also provide an opportunity to leverage KOL relationships, foster new relationships, and conduct advisory sessions among other KOL engagement activities. From a field sales perspective, it is important to have a targeted presence with exhibits at conferences. By investing a little more than usual for the smaller meetings, companies can look bigger than they really are in those settings.