7 insights on key opinion leaders using digital media for work

Unsurprisingly, key opinion leaders are much more digital than other physicians, according to the  Sources & Interactions Study, September 2013 – Medical/Surgical Edition  Here are a few key data-points pharma marketers and agencies need to know about KOLs in order to refine digital marketing plans:

  1. KOLs are more likely to use smartphones and tablets for professional purposes than all doctors surveyed. About 83% use their smartphones for work reasons and 63% say they use a tablet for professional purposes.
  2. When using their smartphones, KOLs are more likely to use medical apps compared with all physicians. About 60% use diagnostic tool/clinical reference smartphone apps and 21% use apps for electronic medical reports, compared to 56% and 13% of all physicians, respectively.
  3. More than half of KOLs (54%) use the Internet for professional purposes more than four times per day compared to 40% of all physicians. On average, they use the Internet almost 14 times per week for work.
  4. About 55% of KOLs say that their time spent on the Internet per use is between 1-15 minutes, while 19% say a session typically lasts between 16 and 30 minutes.
  5. While only 28% of all physicians say they use email to communicate with patients, that percentage increases to 48% of all key opinion leaders.
  6. Key opinion leaders tend to use consumer social networks and medical association/society social networks for professional purposes more often than other physicians, however they have their usage of professional social networks is identical to all physicians.
  7. KOLs are multimedia journal readers: 56% read both print and digital versions of current issues of medical journals, with most (87%) reading print editions, and half (50%) reading full digital reproductions (PDF or “flip view” versions).

For more information about the study or to find out how you can access the full results, let us know.

Kantar Media’s Sources & Interactions™ Studies offer a detailed examination of healthcare professionals’ online and mobile activities, e-detailing experience, and exposure to (and evaluation of) information sources including traditional and emerging media, pharma reps, CME, conventions and more. The Medical/Surgical edition, conducted every six months, reports on the media preferences and habits of more than 3,000 physicians across 22 specialties; annual studies provide similar perspective on Pharmacy, NP/PA, Eyecare, Dental, Radiology, Managed Care, and Hospital C-Suite audiences. Sources & Interactions was designed to help marketers and their agencies cost-effectively allocate resources to their overall promotional mix, and provide publishers with specific insight about where their offerings fit into physicians’ (and other healthcare professionals’) information inventory.



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