Pharmaceutical Commerce - July/August 2017 - 17
a track record of contributing content
around new therapies in the relevant
disease area would be potential targets.
All the work that has been done to
understand the online community of
interest is now used to identify and
prioritize DOLs that are both relevant and
likely to engage with brand or company
o b j e c t i ve s . S e co n d - a n d t h i r d - t i e r
influencers that would have been passed
over by simple "top influencer" lists may
now reveal themselves to be the ideal
partners. Detailed profiles of individual
DOLs should be generated at this stage,
p rov i d i n g i n s i g h t s a ro u n d f avo re d
topics and preferred channels, but also
uncovering specific areas of opportunity
area in question and pharma regulations.
For pharma companies without in-house
expertise, a partner with both the analytics
and consulting capabilities would be ideal
to ensure DOL research is fully linked to
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Gregg Fisher is Founder and Managing
Partner at The Stem (www.thestem.com).
Gregg is a thought leader with more than
20 years' experience at the intersection of
strategy, marketing and technology. He is
passionate about reinventing healthcare
customer engagement through technology;
this has been his primary focus as a
consultant, executive and speaker over the
last 12 years. He can be reached at gfisher@
Kevin Michels-Kim is a lead social media
analyst at The Stem. He is also a partner in
Merakoi, a social analytics firm based in Basel,
4. Develop a DOL engagement
Many life sciences companies have
some experience engaging with DOLs.
Unfortunately, most of these projects have
failed to drive impact. Common reasons
include identifying influencers but not
taking steps to engage, lack of clear internal
guidelines for engaging with DOLs, focus
on one-off activities versus sustained
relationship building, failing to find
mutually beneficial projects, and unclear
roles and responsibilities. In many cases,
life sciences firms don't have the expertise
in-house to carry out a DOL program from
end to end.
We offer three tips for pharma leaders
who wish to maximize the opportunity:
* Def ine areas of mutua l benef it
to both DOLs and the life sciences firm.
Stay away from single-brand promotional
projects. Focus on franchise building,
disease education, patient support, clinical
trial, services provision, and other projects
that are patient or provider-centric.
* Think relationship versus tactic.
DOLs are most attracted to a mutually
beneficial relationship that grows over
time. Most are not interested in one-off
meetings or summits. The more a life
sciences firm invests in the relationship, the
greater the payback in terms of influence.
The smartest companies think about how
to integrate DOLs into their strategy and
tactics over time.
* Design DOL processes that scale.
D O L e n g a g e m e n t re p re s e n t s a n e w
capability for life sciences firms and
with that come a host of organizational
considerations including role definition
(who owns different DOL relationships),
process (how can we engage DOLs offline
and directly throug h social media),
regulatory (what are rules of the road for
DOL engagement), and data management
(how will we integrate DOL profiles into
our CRM databases). The most mature
organizations create standard processes for
DOL engagement so the activity can scale.
The above steps require an intricate
knowledge of digital data sources, along
with a solid understanding of the disease
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