Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) are often associated with pharmaceutical and medical practices for information and knowledge pitches. They are highly rated physicians or academics who influence academic, pharmaceutical and medical peers groups on current standards and latest research findings.
Studies have shown that one of the most effective ways of determining KOL is to have a select academic, pharmaceutical or medical peer group respond to opinion polls regarding who is the most influential amongst them. These studies call attention to a number of things to contemplate when rating people who influence their fields in particular areas. This is particularly essential in healthcare consulting. A key opinion leader was defined by the following basic characteristics:
- Speak regularly at conferences either, regional, national or international
- Consistently sought after for advice or opinions by their colleagues
- Have a wealth of published articles in major journals especially during the past 2 years
- Help institute procedures for patient care
- Champion the use of new procedures or treatments
From the foregoing, key opinion leaders, are those people within a professional peer group who are the most influential. They are the people who command the respect and followership of others. KOLs are people others are watching.
Early in the drug development process, pharmaceutical companies generally secure the services of key opinion leaders to provide promotional activities and vital marketing reactions.
More than for mere knowledge of facts or other attributes, KOLs are often times chosen for their high endorsement and influential habits on their peers. Physicians are more stimulated by true thought-leaders with pristine academic or clinical credentials.
So, pharmaceutical companies engage KOLs to consult for them, conduct clinical trials, give lectures, and occasionally, make product presentations on their behalf to targeted audiences. No wonder, marketers are interested in this idea. Mass media advertising can burn holes in the pockets of budgetary allocations. With KOLs, they can conveniently avoid the masses and simply concentrate on a target audience. Today the pharmaceutical industry uses the terms key opinion leader or thought leader to refer to high-status physicians, who are oftentimes distinguished academic research fellows and are unarguably effective communicators.
The concept of key opinion leader is an infusion of celebrity spokes-person, societal buzz, and that of fame or popularity. KOLs do not, at least in any obvious ways, endorse drugs directly but their expert judgments can be relied upon to market them using words-of-mouth, and other quasi-academic activities such as sponsored symposia, lectures and seminars, or even ghost-written articles in medical journals. Though pharmaceutical companies seek out persuasive high-caliber key opinion leaders with plausible and imposing academic credentials, one should note that status is just one of the reasons why KOLs are influential. The mere fact that a KOL is independent, at least in theory, is a very consequential factor.
Most marketers would like to have a convincing, influential, and apparently independent expert who will deliver the text that they give him. It’s all about the hype. It’s all about sales. A high velocity speaker is directly proportional to high velocity sales, so goes the marketing thought process. To know more visit www.lucid-group.co.uk/
Lucid are specialists in Medical Education.We believe that medical education is not about awareness or message delivery. It's about changing how people treat diseases, no matter how small, to improve clinical practice and improve lives. We work with our clients and Experts, key opinion leader / KOL to ensure our programmes are strategically brilliant, clinically beneficial and passionately delivered.