Key Opinion Leader (KOL) Engagement

Framework and tools to support KOL engagement across an arc of interactions.


Clarion’s client – an established biopharmaceutical company – faced an impending product launch into a complex neurodegenerative disease landscape, which was in the process of being transformed by several innovative therapeutic approaches. In the face of such a dynamic market, the client understood the importance of a strategy for engaging thought leaders at the intersection of the academic world and the treatment communities that would ultimately diagnose and treat the target

patient population. Clarion was engaged by senior leadership to help develop a strategic, organizing framework that would help the organization develop a coherent and singular view of the thought leader landscape and the various views therein, as well as programming that would be appropriate for the various thought leader segments to help effectively educate and prepare the marketplace for the innovation wave.



Clarion collaboratively worked with a range of medical affairs leaders in the organization to delve into the mindsets of KOLs in order to understand their treatment philosophies and how their approach to care would evolve with the emergence of new treatment options. Using this advanced mindset-based

segmentation framework, Clarion developed strategies and tools to equip the medical organization to determine the most effective sequencing of interaction topics, modalities, and vehicles. Our tools could be used on an ongoing basis to assess effectiveness and dynamically adapt strategies over time.

KOL mindset segmentation

  • Description of range of potential KOL mindsets on key medical drivers and issues
  • KOL mindset continuums developed for key issues, including the disease state, treatment approach, and products

Field-based thought leader diagnostic tool

  • Guiding questions and prompts for medical teams to use during KOL interactions to understand where on the continuum a KOL’s perspective lies

Digital interface for planning and tracking KOL interactions

  • Customized, digital tool for MSLs to plan individual KOL engagements
  • Highlights sequence of issues to address over the arc of interactions
  • Provides framework to track evolution of individual KOL mindsets over time

Engagement strategy and content

  • KOL engagement framework to drive consistent, effective engagements across the medical team
  • Suite of tools to support each step of the engagement approach

Medical organization training plan and content

  • Training materials for the medical organization on the KOL engagement strategy and accompanying tools



The medical organization embraced Clarion’s Thought Leader engagement framework and adopted the planning interface to help guide day-to-day thought leader strategies and interactions. With a singular perspective on external thought leaders, the team was able to determine how best to allocate its internal resources

to interact with these critical stakeholders in a responsible, efficient and effective way. The framework, which is updated real-time by the extended team, now maintains a level of market intelligence that guides many organizational strategic and investment decisions.

The Clarion Difference

  • Proprietary framework & toolkit: Field tested framework for developing and understanding thought leader segmentation as well as supporting tools to plan, execute, and monitor thought leader engagement strategies
  • Strategic & medical insights: Deep market and scientific expertise that enables the Clarion team to offer content insights and input into segmentation and strategies appropriate for this complex neurodegenerative landscape

Is Clarion the right place to advance your career?

Find out more about joining Clarion’s team of innovation advisors.

A life sciences strategy and organizational consultancy that collaborates with its clients to envision, craft and enable growth through innovation and leadership.