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The Pharma Marketing Glossary
Key Opinion Leaders are physicians who influence their peers' medical practice, including but not limited to prescribing behavior.
Source: Terry Nugent, Director of Marketing, Medical Marketing Service, Inc. (MMS).
Pharmaceutical companies generally engage key opinion leaders early in the drug development process to provide advocacy activity and key marketing feedback.
Often KOLs are chosen more for their high prescribing habits than for their knowledge or other attribute that would enable them to influence their peers. Physicians are more interested in true thought leaders who have credentials such as academic standing and/or have performed clinical trials.
"Pharmaceutical companies hire KOL's to consult for them, to give lectures, to conduct clinical trials, and occasionally to make presentations on their behalf at regulatory meetings or hearings." (see The Secret Lives of Big Pharma's 'Thought Leaders').Article: A KOL by Any Other Name (pdf) Article: Developing Win-Win Key Opinion Leader Relationships
A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a defined measure that is used to measure progress towards a marketing goal. Pharma marketing campaigns may have several measurable goals such as reaching X number of qualified consumers or generating X number of new scripts. Marketers decide beforehand which of these goals is key for success of the campaign. These, then, are designated Key Performance Indicators.
Key Performance Indicators help marketers understand how they are performing in relation to strategic goals and objectives. KPIs can essentially show a snapshot of progress towards something that can be measured.Article: "Is Social Media Effective for Pharma Marketing?"