Diffusing Therapeutic Innovation

Marketers routinely ask themselves the age-old question: How can I reach the right physicians with the right message at the right time? But traditional marketing strategies are no longer sufficient. It’s time to set the bar higher. The key question is: How do I create marketing initiatives that change the behavior of target clinicians to add the most value for patients?

In medicine, we find that a small subgroup of individuals can have a disproportionately large impact on the behavior of their peers. Irrespective of specialty area, a select subset of clinicians has the unique ability to influence the care of patients, well beyond their own practice. As clinical leaders within their networks, these highly regarded and influential clinicians have a measurable impact on how other clinicians practice; thus, they have the power to facilitate—or impede—the adoption of a therapeutic approach.

Clinical influencers are not key opinion leaders (KOLs)—the highly respected, high-profile physicians with academic and/or hospital credentials who lead clinical trials, publish studies, and present at medical congresses—although the same person can certainly be a KOL and a clinical influencer. The latter are those local or regional area physicians, again highly respected, who by virtue of their experience, relationships, associations, patient care history, and other factors are sought out by their colleagues in the community for guidance and insight on medical practice and patient management. These clinical influencers, whether they’re cardiologists, oncologists, or from any other specialty, can change the prescribing behavior of the peers in their network, precipitating the trial and adoption of new, innovative therapies that can enhance patient care.

Advanced Analytics Impact Clinician Behaviors

Various studies have shown that such network influence is a key contributor to market adoption of a brand after launch, far overshadowing stand-alone marketing communications. Moreover, a significant majority of clinicians indicated that their colleagues are the critical driver of their adoption of clinical interventions. Advanced analytics can provide marketers with a keen understanding of the power of clinical influence within a network. An artificial intelligence-driven network mapping solution can identify those clinicians who have the greatest measurable ability to impact the behavior of others.

From a medical marketing strategy perspective, identifying highly influential clinicians is only the first step. Translating a brand’s clinical data into a meaningful value proposition is essential to creating a brand narrative that will resonate with target audiences. The most successful marketing initiatives are those that integrate advanced network mapping analytics, science, and dynamic creativity. This results in brand communications that have the power to impact the behavior of clinicians in a way that provides the most benefit to patients.

So, how can we bring the most value for patients? By leveraging advances in network analytics to drive the diffusion of therapeutic innovations that improve patient outcomes.

  • Kerry Murphy

    Kerry Murphy is EVP, Account Services Synapse. Having been at Synapse since its inception, Kerry has more than 20 years in healthcare communications, designing and managing numerous large medical communications in support of a wide range of successful brands. Her comprehensive expertise in biopharmaceutical marketing has made her an in-valuable partner to clients throughout all phases of the product lifecycle.


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