Where Prescribing Oncologists Go for Their Information, and Why - Pharmaceutical Executive


Where Prescribing Oncologists Go for Their Information, and Why

Pharmaceutical Executive

Meetings in Marketing Interactions

Now that we have seen the role of meetings and influencers in prescriber information preferences, and understand a little about their relationship with KOLs and peer influencers, we need to understand how meetings fit into the actual marketing mix.

For the marketing mix information, we looked at promotional panel data for a group of oncologists. The data is grouped into traditional face-to-face details, conducted with a practice group, large and small meetings, and new media interactions through telephone and Internet details. Group details are becoming more common for doctors and are traditionally held as in-services or lunch-and-learns at large practices. In order to simplify the meeting data we divided all the meetings into small (less than 50 attendees) or large (more than 50 attendees).

Figure 3: Average Annual Marketing Interactions Overall Panel
The results (see Figure 3) are not really surprising and once again illustrate the prevalence of meetings as a very common source of information for oncologists with a ratio of one small-group meeting for every five office details. While large meetings and congresses are the smallest part of the marketing mix, they still constitute a significant number of interactions each year.

Interacting with Peer Influencers and KOLs

Another recent study we conducted looked at the influential KOL and peer information sources that oncologists made use of. During the study, we asked a group of several thousand doctors to provide us with the names of the doctors and academics that they find influential in each role. At the international level, the US-based doctors recognized 25 individual KOLs (primarily French and Belgian) based on their work in non-US institutions. At the national KOL level they identified a few hundred and, as the influencer's role became more local, they identified over a thousand at each level.

Figure 4 & 5: Number of influencers identified in each of the categories. Average number of influencers identified by each physician
Figure 4 shows the number of influencers identified in each of the above categories. Figure 5 shows the average number of influencers identified by each physician.

As influence roles move from international to local to in-practice, the numbers of influencers multiplies rapidly. Finding the best recognized local influencers for use in advocacy programs therefore becomes a more difficult task for manufacturers that need to amplify the impact of their speaker programs.

A common complaint of marketers deals with the difficulty of achieving participation in local speaker programs, especially given the high impact on prescribing behavior that can be achieved from a well-structured program. By leveraging recognized local technical resources as speakers, brand teams have been able to maximize the attractiveness of programs and achieve a more effective reach to attendees.


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