5 key facts about the digital behaviors of key opinion leaders

Predictably, key opinion leaders are much more digitally-minded than other physicians, according to  the Sources & Interactions Study, March 2014 – 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 87% use smartphones for work reasons and 64% 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. 77% use at least one of the apps we study on their mobile devices vs. 69% of all physicians. About 64% use diagnostic tool/clinical reference smartphone apps and 53% use drug and coding reference smartphone apps. Looking at tablet apps, 61% of KOLs use one of the types we study on their tablets compared to only 45% of all physicians.
  3. More than half of KOLs (58%) use the Internet for professional purposes more than four times per day compared to 41% of all physicians. On average, they use the Internet almost 15 times per week for work with 96% using the Internet at least daily for professional purposes. In comparison, 87% of all physicians use the Internet at least daily for work.
  4. While only 30% of all physicians say they use email to communicate with patients, that percentage increases to 45% of all key opinion leaders.
  5. Key opinion leaders are more likely to use social networks for professional purposes compared to all other physicians. For example, 48% of KOLs use medical association social networks while only 39% of all physicians use them.

The Sources & Interactions™ Study is a detailed examination of doctors’ online and mobile activities, e-detailing experience, and exposure to (and evaluation of) information sources including traditional and emerging media, pharma reps, CME, convention and more. The study is conducted every six months and targets more than 3,000 physicians annually across 22 specialties, exploring their media preferences and habits. 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.

If you need specialty-specific data, let us know. We study physician media behaviors and preferences annually across 22 specialties.

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