A global biopharmaceutical company wanted to understand how influential stakeholders within the online and offline landscape for a specific type of cancer are currently engaging and influencing the wider community. Specifically, the team sought to identify who is driving discussions on- and off-line, and what those discussions look like – in order to inform scientific story evolution and optimize communications programming through engagements and activations.


We conducted an in-depth analysis of global opinion leaders with the ability to drill down into influence dynamics across specific geographies, including US vs. Europe, to uncover the following:

Where is the discussion occurring + what is the nature of conversation: Landscaping & Content Analysis

  • Mapping the social media landscape at scale – understanding the size, shape and nature of the online conversation
  • Identify moments and platforms of high engagement among stakeholder groups (e.g. congresses, awareness events, pharmaceutical partnerships, treatments, campaigns)
  • Explore unique channel culture – examining preferences across different online channels, how they foster or encourage specific outlooks, beliefs or management styles

Who is driving the conversation both on- and offline? Opinion Leader Identification

Identification of a ‘long list’ detailing leading voices, based upon a four-step analysis approach:

  1. Harnessing existing Expert Identification tools along with additional secondary ‘desk’ research to map across traditional influence metrics
  2. Assessing degree of influence within the online bladder cancer discussion via relevant quantitative measures to identify digital influence
  3. Cross referencing lists of influencers identified in the on- and off-line spaces with the client’s existing advisors to highlight those already identified and augment for those not previously present
  4. Consolidation of lists within a single database, with ability to filter and prioritize influencers to define top-tier(s) based on most meaningful metrics

How do we activate the most relevant influencers to support strategic medical communications programming? Opinion Leader Activation

  • Cross-functional client team workshop to share influencer dynamics in context of the overall landscape to enable prioritization of the most relevant top-tier influencers
  • Qualitative validation of top opinion leaders globally and by market, detailing the nature of each’s influence, relevance to the space and opportunities for engagement and activation
  • Network mapping to further understand how top tier influencers are connected and interact with each other
  • Credentialed subject matter experts provide additional insights and interpretation of the debates and controversies uncovered through the analysis, providing a crucial overlay to guide strategy and planning
  • Influencer engagement matrix maps aligns individuals to potential activities based on their relative strengths and interests