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27.11.2020 | Insight

Ten questions to ask about your HCP Digital Opinion Leaders

By Daniel Ghinn

Influential online healthcare professionals are changing the world of healthcare engagement. HCP ‘Digital Opinion Leaders’ (DOLs) are driving health policy decisions, defining the views of their online peers, and maybe shaping your brand well before your product launches.

At CREATION.co, we’ve led the way in using data science to identify and profile healthcare professional Digital Opinion Leaders since we first introduced the concept in 2012.

Deciding how to identify, profile and engage DOLs is a process as unique as your own goals. So we work with you to define what’s most important in your particular DOL identification and profiling scenario.

Here are some questions we think you’ll find helpful when considering your DOLs.

Find those HCPs who are actively engaged on topics you care about, such as a particular disease, treatment approach, or issue or cause. Then discover how they really feel about those topics.

You need to know what the HCP’s professional online network looks like: are they being followed by other HCPs, and why? What professional roles or specialties do their followers practise in, and where are those followers located?


By studying responses from other relevant HCPs, you will discover how the Digital Opinion Leader’s thought leadership is shaping the professional online conversation, and potentially the actions of those professionals.


Having established the impact of the Digital Opinion Leader’s digital thought leadership on their online peers, it will be helpful to discover how their own digital conversation is affected by others, such as professional peers, patients or organisations.

So far, your perspective on your Digital Opinion Leader is highly focused on the topics you are both interested in. To get to know the HCP more deeply, it will be helpful to know what else they care about.


Knowing where, and how, a Digital Opinion Leader is influential online may help you consider possible future engagement. If they are not active on the channels you are already using, do you need to rethink your own channels, or rethink your Digital Opinion Leader?

Analysing the Digital Opinion Leader’s media preferences could provide you with tools for potential engagement and collaboration, and might also inspire your own digital tactics.

You probably already know who your Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) are. Are any of your KOLs also DOLs? To answer this, you need to know whether your DOL is also influential offline through traditional channels, and whether your KOLs are actively engaged online too.

Many influential online HCPs are eager to collaborate with industry or other organisations, where there is a mutual opportunity for good.

You might be surprised to discover HCPs that you already know, who have significant influence online in your areas of interest. Discovering their online behaviours can have a great impact on your understanding and relationship.

Discover how we can uniquely enable your Digital Opinion Leader strategy by answering these 10 questions (and more!) using CREATION Pinpoint®, and leverage the collective intelligence of more than 2.5 million HCPs and 1 billion online social media and blog posts.

Fill out your details below to download our latest white paper or find more information here:

Discover more information on identifying and engaging with HCP Digital Opinion Leaders and get access to further DOL resources here.

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Meet the Author

Daniel Ghinn

Daniel has been at the helm throughout the company’s life since 1998. His rich expertise in working with pharmaceutical businesses has enabled CREATION to build business solutions that fit our clients’ needs. Daniel is married to Jo, has three children, a cat, a dog, 28 fish, and 160,000 bees.

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