Why is it so important for organizations to reconsider their approach to stakeholder engagement?

In today’s evolved healthcare landscape, the success or failure of a new therapeutic intervention is dependent on how effectively an organization is at engaging a broadening range of stakeholders. While access to physicians continues to diminish, companies are now tasked with understanding the needs and impact of hospital administrators, payers, policymakers, advocacy groups, and patients themselves. Companies must accurately identify this evolving group, and then reach out using aligned channels and data appropriate to the products current life cycle stage.

What are the limitations to current approaches?

The life sciences industry faces a multitude of new stakeholders, who have new ways to consume information about emerging products. Companies who fail to proactively seek out opportunities to educate physicians, health system executives, payers, patient advocacy groups, and patient-consumers, risk ceding the conversation to competing information sources. Many struggle to create comprehensive, up-to-date profiles of stakeholders, which is an important step towards enhanced engagement.

New approaches to stakeholder identification should give companies access to a wide array of data sources to help build a stakeholder network, such as surveys, expert interviews, claims data, unique affiliations, and sentiment data. The result is a rich stakeholder profile that conveys brand sentiment and network of influence, along with traditional data points such as current contact information.

Are there ways to use this data in a more strategic manner?

Effective stakeholder engagement depends on creating proactive and reactive strategies unique to the scientific needs of each stakeholder.  At the same time developing deep insights aligned to leverage positive scientific support and at times understand or neutralize negative sentiment. Best practices require proactive matching between the stakeholders, the phase of the product lifecycle, and the preferred communication channel.  Companies need new stakeholder engagement approaches that will help them learn from each interaction and help define engagement opportunities. Finally, the industry must leverage metrics to convert meaningful engagement into better outcomes for patients.

How can organizations create competitive advantage relative to the therapeutic landscape?

Life sciences companies have the opportunity to learn from and leverage a wider group of stakeholders than ever before. Understanding the scientific sentiment of an entire landscape allows organizations to gauge their individual scientific share of voice and determine accurately how it compares to their closest competitors.  This level of visibility will reveal strategic opportunities as well as illustrate the impact of their scientific efforts.

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