Friday, July 01, 2011

Creating an Ideal Profile of "Practice Influencers" for N-of-8 groups

In my view, the desired group of N-of-8 advisors will be comprised of KPIs (key practice influencers).  That's why we’re looking for a far-reaching scope of expertise and decision-making influence in the clinical area.

Furthermore, with the significant variances between protocols and guidelines, it’s a key need to identify those advisors who have the most power to influence change within their institution or organization.

Thus, the search for a representative sample of KPIs will need to be much broader. By defining common characteristics among the disciplines and between institutions, we end up with an ideal profile from which to assess the desired qualifications and criteria of the advisor group.

The KPIs in a screening profile for N-of-8 groups might be:
  1. Regularly sought out by their colleagues for opinions or advice
  2. Speak often at regional or national conferences
  3. Published articles in a major journal (during the past two years)
  4. Consider themselves early adopters of new products
  5. Help establish protocols (locally, regionally, even nationally)
That’s just the start.  Most searches for KPIs are based upon this profile. In other words, methodology alone drives the search.

Now, I believe we should add another component – a brand innovation strategy.

Strategy is directional and prompts us to identify “Where we are” from the customer’s point-of-view. For advisors in N-of-8 groups, you can focus on situation analysis in three areas:
  1. How are the products used within the institution?
  2. Who are the likely users?
  3. What are the key issues?
Then, you can examine how best to achieve your objectives: identifying a qualified group of multi-disciplinary experts from key institutions. This objective is the “Where you want to be”, again from the
customer perspective.

Based on your knowledge of the market and experience with identifying experts within institutions, I believe that this is quite different from simply conducting a KOL search.  The operative difference being the word “opinion” as the defining criteria.

You are not needing an institutional “concept sell.” Life science customers want and need better products. Their opinions are already formed. Your search is more a matter of identifying leaders who can help in getting your new products on formulary. Instead of opinions on therapy options, the need for “protocol” influencers who can impact institution protocols and guidelines are essential.

That said, the proposed strategic approach is to focus on N-of-8 advisors who can rewrite protocols.  Following this strategy drives the search in identifying experts that are influential in creating the need for change. Again, these experts are KPIs who have the most power to influence protocols and guidelines on the national, regional and local levels.

In summary, taking a strategic approach that drives the methodology in finding the “right” experts to serve as change agents is key.

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