Measuring KOL Advocacy: An Indispensable Component Of KOL Management

Sales & Marketing
Measuring KOL advocacy

Effective KOL management is more than just tracking which activities your KOLs have engaged with. It’s also about tracking the effectiveness of those activities, and the resulting impact on KOL mindset, sentiment, and behaviour – in effect their ‘advocacy’.

KOL advocacy is also an important measure of the ROI of your KOL strategy – it enables you to see how your activities and interactions are ‘changing the needle’ and what impact they are having on KOLs. Integrating such advocacy measurements into your KOL management process can therefore dramatically improve the efficacy of your medical KOL strategy.

There is always much discussion around the vast array of metrics and KPIs to gauge, measure, and track KOL advocacy. Metrics can be tightly coupled to specific tactics to measure their individual effectiveness (e.g. measuring the impact of a series of online educational meetings that aims to highlight an unmet need in a patient population to a specific group of HCPs), or they can be related to broader strategic objectives (e.g. measuring the change in thinking amongst a group of HCP around a new class of therapy).

But in addition to selecting which metrics and measurements to use, what’s equally important when assessing KOL advocacy is to get insights from three different lenses:

  • An assessment of a KOL’s position on key issues as judged by those within your organisation who engage with the KOL on a regular basis
  • The KOL’s own view of their thinking and beliefs and where they stand in relation to key therapeutic issues - gauged directly from the KOL
  • An analysis of a KOL’s scientific outputs to identify the messages they are advocating, seen through an objective analytical perspective

You can then use such advocacy insights to not just measure the impact of your work, but also to identify experts who, for example, are not resonating with parts of your scientific story (e.g. based on their low sentiment scores, low mindset alignment etc). Your strategy should then pivot to focus on this group through engagements and activities designed specifically to build advocacy in specific areas.

Eventually, with enough cycles of the above, you can get to an n=1 state where a constant flow of rich advocacy insights can help you decide which expert to engage, what activities they should be involved in, and even the type of medical content that should reach each KOL.

The measurement of KOL advocacy is fundamental to ensuring your KOL strategy gives you the returns you want. But equally important, ensuring a continual stream of advocacy insights enables you to fine tune your tactics in response to changing KOL thinking and behaviour, thus ensuring your KOL strategy is always relevant, efficient, and successful.

Joshua Adetunji
Associate Business Development Executive | Digital Solutions at VMLY&R HEALTH

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Digital Solutions at VMLY&R Health
6 April, 2023