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Identify, understand & engage the most important people for your brand & strategy by analysing who are the most active, impactful, and influential experts in the digital domain – those that are not necessarily your traditional KOLs!

DOL Definition

By Digital KOLs (DOLs) we mean anyone with the power to impact your work in the digital realm, whether they are a leading clinician, patient advocate, nurse practitioner, a health-focused YouTuber active in a rare disease, and even the tech-minded HCPs getting involved in developing apps, products and software to help patients manage their chronic diseases.

All such DOLs may be important and relevant to meeting the strategic objectives you have set around enhancing the adoption of your technologies or medicines.

But regardless of whether you classify someone as a Digital KOL or a Traditional KOL, the underlying principles that make an ‘opinion leader’ – thought leadership and therapeutic expertise – should continue to apply.

DOL Identification

Our Digital Opinion Leader (DOL) identification process goes beyond simply looking at who is most active in the digital realm.

Of course we look at activity across a whole host of channels to identify the most active experts, but we also research and analyse several other characteristics which are essential for identifying the right people for you and then engaging with them e.g. what is the reach of the DOL, what is the make up of their followers, what is their level of activity in key topics, how do they score and rank across the various criteria?

The identification process is governed not just by what’s happening in the digital landscape, but also by your therapeutic strategy. If, for example, you need DOLs to communicate a broad efficacy story and disseminate scientific messages to a wide online audience, then your identification strategy would focus on the few big/influential DOLs. But, if what you’re after is the communication of specific signs targeted at niche digital audiences then you would benefit significantly from the inclusion of micro-influencers, who will have a very different activity profile to the more traditional DOLs.

DOL Mapping

Mapping lets you do two important things – firstly it gives you the context against which you can judge each individual DOL and secondly, it tells you about your DOLs when seen as a group e.g. which of the online channels are most popular, what is the phenotypic distribution among them, what sort of influence does each carry within the group, which communities tend to coalesce around their opinion?

Effective mapping also involves the creation of new "context benchmarks" specifically for the digital side of your identification & mapping exercise. Traditionally, such benchmarks may include ‘number of publications compared to others in that therapy area’ or ‘number of times a KOL has spoken at a congress compared to others’. What are the digital equivalents of these benchmarks? Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as ‘number of Tweets’ etc., because those metrics in themselves are uninformative without the context of content, follower profile, and many more variables.

DOL Profiling

Profiling gives you in-depth, granular, information to help you fully understand a digital influencer. Going beyond the pure activity characteristics of a DOL, we enrich that profile data with insights to help you make engagement decisions.

Segmenting your Digital KOLs into different buckets driven by their digital characteristics and propensity for online interaction is one such example of enrichment e.g. those that tend to create new content versus those that tend to propagate existing data - both these DOLs may have have high digital activity but which one is most suitable for the initiative you have in mind?

By phenotyping and segmenting your experts into different buckets driven by their digital characteristics and propensity for online interaction, you can collaborate and engage with them on scientific issues in much more effective ways.

Digital OL Impact

If a particularly important and digitally well-connected HCP tweeted about your new data today, and assuming 50% of their HCP followers retweeted that, and then assuming 50% of those followers’ followers also retweeted that original tweet (still following?), how far and fast would your data message spread, even within just 24 hours?

These are the sort of digital metrics that can help identify, understand, and engage with the right Digital KOLs . They are also essential to help identify and map the most appropriate DOLs to meet your strategic objectives.

DOL Engagement

After identification, mapping, and profiling, comes strategic planning to help you decide on actual engagement – all of it driven by evidence and alignment to your strategic objectives.

Several strategic inputs must be taken into account when creating A DOL engagement strategy. Your strategy must be in sync with your medical objectives and align with your broader commercial plans, whilst also catering to the specific characteristics of your chosen DOLs. Data release opportunities and your scientific communication plan should also capitalise on DOL engagements, and vice versa. Monitoring the effectiveness of your digital engagement and measuring the impact in a quantifiable manner is the final step of alignment.

Our engagement planning process and interactive workshops help translate all of this strategy into action – who should you be engaging, what should you be doing with them, and why. Presented to you on a plate.

DOL Monitoring

A DOL engagement plan should not be fixed and unmovable – it should be adaptable and flexible to changing conditions, it is most effective when it is revisited regularly, thus allowing for mid-course corrections.

Proactive monitoring involves more than just keeping an eye on the activity of digital influencers. It’s also about notifying you on key issues and, more importantly, opportunities to engage and interact with your DOLs at the most relevant time whilst the online discussions are still ongoing.

Monitoring all aspects of implementation, and responding to any external or internal triggers, is an important part of effective DOL engagement planning and execution.

Want to see for yourself how a focussed DOL identification, mapping and segmentation exercise can revolutionise your work with on-line influencers?

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