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No New Data? No Problem: How to Shine on the Podium When You Don't Have New Clinical Data to Share

Updated: May 28

Have you ever been asked, "What's your podium plan?" when you have no new data coming out, no clinical trials running, and no protocols in development? It can be a challenging question, but you should still engage in podium planning. No new data - no problem! Here’s why you should still have a podium strategy and how to significantly impact your market presence and relationships, even with minimal or absent new data.



No new data - no problem!


Podium Planning Matters,

With or Without a Robust Clinical Strategy or New Data


Maintaining a strong podium presence is crucial, even in the absence of new clinical data or ongoing trials. A well-executed podium strategy provides the opportunity to reinforce your brand, engage with key stakeholders, and continue to influence the market. These efforts must be sustained regardless of the availability of new data because consistent visibility helps keep your brand top-of-mind among healthcare professionals. Engaging with key stakeholders ensures that relationships remain strong and can lead to future opportunities. Additionally, continued market influence shapes perceptions and keeps your organization relevant in a competitive landscape.


WHY IT MATTERS:


1. Sustaining market visibility


Sustaining market visibility is essential. Regularly appearing at conferences and events ensures that your brand and product remain visible to key stakeholders. This continuous visibility helps keep your brand at the forefront of healthcare professionals' minds, maintaining their interest and trust. When your brand is consistently present in industry discussions, it reinforces your credibility and expertise. It also allows you to showcase your commitment to advancing the field, even without new data. By staying engaged, you can share valuable insights, highlight past successes, and demonstrate ongoing relevance, all of which contribute to a strong, trustworthy brand image.


2. Maintaining consistency in relationships


Building and maintaining relationships with key influencers is vital. These relationships are the backbone of successful market engagement because KOLs have significant influence over clinical practices and the adoption of new technologies. Engaging with KOLs, even without new data, allows you to strengthen existing connections and establish new ones, which is crucial for long-term success. By maintaining regular interactions, you can keep KOLs informed about your current work, gather valuable feedback, and understand their perspectives on industry trends. This ongoing dialogue helps build trust and loyalty, setting the stage for future collaborations and insights that can drive your product’s development and acceptance when new data becomes available. Moreover, these relationships provide invaluable endorsements and advocacy, enhancing your product’s credibility in the market.


3. Positioning your brand


Demonstrating thought leadership is another critical benefit of maintaining a strong podium presence. By participating in podium activities, you position your organization as a leader in the field, which helps build credibility and trust—essential components for long-term success. Thought leadership can be showcased through discussions on best practices, real-world applications, and patient outcomes. These presentations not only highlight your organization's expertise but also show a commitment to advancing the field. Sharing insights on innovative approaches, successful case studies, and the practical benefits of your product emphasizes its relevance and impact. This visibility not only reinforces your authority but also fosters a deeper connection with your audience, who look to you for guidance and expertise. By continually contributing valuable knowledge and leading conversations, you establish your organization as a go-to resource in the industry, enhancing your influence and fostering trust among peers and stakeholders.


4. Supporting the feedback cycle


Engaging with a diverse audience at conferences and events allows you to gain a comprehensive understanding of current market dynamics, unmet needs, and emerging trends. These interactions offer direct, real-time perspectives that can highlight shifts in clinical practices, patient preferences, and regulatory environments. The insights gained from these engagements inform your strategic decisions and product development plans, ensuring they are aligned with market demands and opportunities. Furthermore, this knowledge helps you anticipate changes and adapt strategies accordingly, enhancing your ability to navigate the market. By staying tuned to the evolving landscape, you can identify gaps that your products can fill, refine your messaging to better resonate with stakeholders, and ultimately drive more impactful innovations that meet the needs of your target audience.


How to Craft Your Podium Plan,

Even When You Don’t Have New Clinical Activity On the Horizon


1. Define Your Objective


What do you want to achieve with your podium presence? Common objectives include increasing brand awareness, enhancing credibility, engaging with KOLs, and gathering strategic insights.


Remember, relationships must be maintained. If you want your KOLs to be there for you when you have new data, you need to engage with them when you don’t. And you must do so in a way that is interesting and relevant to them. Whatever your objectives are, make sure they also address the needs of your KOLs.


2. Develop the Right Strategies


What are the right podium strategies based on your business needs and your KOL’s needs? This one can be tough – KOLs do not want their voices muted or their brands eroded by presentation of old data or meaningless, irrelevant content. How can you strategize podium presence that keeps things fresh without new data to publish or new studies to run?


There is still a lot you can do! Here are some strategies to consider:


  • Leverage Successes and Case Studies: Highlight successful case studies and real-world applications of your product. This not only demonstrates ongoing relevance but also showcases practical benefits and positive outcomes experienced by patients.

  • Focus on Educational Content: Develop and deliver high-quality educational sessions that cover best practices, innovative uses of your product, and insights into disease management. These sessions can be led by KOLs who can share their expertise and experiences, ensuring the content remains engaging and valuable.

  • Host Panel Discussions and Q&A Sessions: Organize panel discussions featuring KOLs who can provide their perspectives on current trends, challenges, and future directions in the field. Q&A sessions allow for interactive engagement, making the presentations more dynamic and relevant.

  • Discuss Emerging Trends and Future Directions: Even without new data, KOLs can discuss emerging trends, future research directions, and potential innovations in the field. This keeps the content forward-looking and aligned with the interests of the audience.

  • Highlight Patient-Centric Approaches: Focus on patient-centric care and how your product contributes to improving patient outcomes and experiences. Sharing stories and feedback from patients can make the presentations more relatable and impactful.

  • Collaborate on Thought Leadership Pieces: Work with KOLs to co-author thought leadership articles or white papers that can be presented at conferences. These pieces can explore broader industry challenges and solutions, positioning your organization and KOLs as leaders in the field. They can also represent great opportunities to influence society guidelines.

  • Engage in Cross-Disciplinary Discussions: Broaden the scope of your presentations to include cross-disciplinary topics that may attract a wider audience. This can include discussions on healthcare policy, technology integration, and multidisciplinary care approaches.


By implementing a combination of these strategies, you can maintain a fresh and impactful podium presence that meets both your business needs and the expectations of your KOLs, even in the absence of new data.


3. Schedule Your Podium Events 


The same events still make sense even without new data. Your tactics, topics discussed, and spend at each event may change versus times when you have new clinical results to share, but you still need to be present at all the same venues. Be sure you have considered and addressed your plan for all your regular podium activities. You can bet your KOLs will be there talking about something; make sure you're supporting them when they're talking about your brand:


  • National Congresses 

  • Regional Tradeshows

  • Grand Rounds

  • Chapter Meetings

  • Educational Programs

  • Media Round Tables

  • Online CMEs (webinars, virtual symposiums, online courses)

  • Specialty Society Meetings

  • Industry-Sponsored Symposia


Balancing high-visibility national events with more targeted regional and specialty meetings can help maximize your outreach and influence. Further, content that was previously presented at national symposia and would feel old on the podium at those high-visibility events can be very exciting in more localized or regional settings where attendees don’t normally get a chance to meet the KOLs in their field.


4. Prepare Your Speakers


Thought leaders are very comfortable on the podium with new data, but being in front of a smaller audience sharing ideas and thoughts beyond the clinical data they are so intimately familiar with can be more challenging. You don’t want them making up their own podium story that may or may not align with your objectives.  Prepare a comprehensive speaker’s deck and objection handling FAQ, and be sure to provide training for your speakers on both. Make sure you are not “drinking the company Cool-Aid” too much – your speakers need to be prepared to handle skeptics, especially in small local venues. You can often work with sales team members to identify the most common objections that come up. Also, be sure you give your speakers training on how to pass the questions onto you or a company representative if they don’t have an aligned and pre-agreed answer. Speakers will need to be able to massage the content to their own voice and add their own cases and ideas, but having a place to start and a way to align on messaging and direction is critical.


5. Monitor and Evaluate


Have an agreed-upon way to collect feedback and monitor success. Continuously collect feedback from both the KOLs and their audience members. Use surveys and direct interactions to assess the effectiveness of your activities and refine your strategy. It's easy to do when you have new, exciting data, but it's more important when you don't. You need to be extra diligent in ensuring the messages you're sharing on the podium are relevant when they aren't new.


_____


No new data - no problem!


Creating a podium plan without new data is challenging but entirely feasible with the right approach. By clearly defining your objectives, engaging with KOLs, leveraging educational initiatives, and developing compelling content, you can maintain a strong presence and continue to influence the market effectively. Use these steps to craft your own podium strategy and navigate the challenges of having limited new data, ensuring your brand remains relevant and impactful.


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