Traditionally, pharma has engaged with stakeholders during physical meetings to seek input. In today’s environment, however, healthcare providers are less and less inclined to travel across the globe for a 1- or 2-day meeting. This puts pharma companies under pressure, as filling meetings with their top-tier stakeholders becomes a challenge. Fortunately, the internet has continued to develop at a very rapid pace and provides great opportunities to engage with the same audience digitally, virtual collaboration platforms are one of these opportunities.

More and more well-thought-out collaboration platforms are available that allow for digital customer input gathering. Here are 3 reasons why each medical or commercial lead in pharma should set up virtual collaboration platforms, along with key reasons for starting to use virtual collaboration platforms today:

  1. Get input fast

Getting global key opinion leaders together multiple times per year requires planning up to months in advance. This involves not only getting everything organized on your end, but also allowing adequate time for advisors to free up their schedule. The advantage of collaboration platforms is that new input can be requested in a very short timeframe, and will also be available very quickly. Within a week (or even faster) a question can be posted for feedback, and usually in a matter of days you’ll have a very good sense of what the general position of the opinion leaders is. Another advantage is that instead of grappling with a full-day agenda, it is very easy to build the platform around multiple smaller topics.

  1. Cost-efficiency

Compared to traditional advisory board collaborations, platforms are more cost-efficient. There are no travel costs, no accommodations costs, and no venue costs involved. While there is an initial expense to set up the platform, this is substantially less than the overall price tag for a live meeting.

  1. Convenient for your stakeholders

Participating advisors will surely appreciate the fact that they can provide input from wherever they are, whenever that want, using their preferred device. In addition, they will save a lot of time, as they do not need to travel.

Will collaboration platforms completely replace live meetings? Absolutely not! Building a personal relationship is a very important element for successful virtual collaboration. And for more in-depth discussions, live meetings are better suited. So a blend of live meetings and virtual collaboration tools is the ideal setup for key stakeholder engagement.