As with so many aspects of Medical Affairs, a successful insights management process requires a strategy- first approach; one example is defining listening priorities based on company and Medical strategic imperatives prior to initiation of insights gathering. The idea that insights management requires strategy before implementation may seem obvious (and, indeed, is a central point of the previous MAPS/Within3 white paper on this subject), but the specifics of how to clearly articulate and effectively implement the insights strategy remain a major challenge area for Medical Affairs teams, including the following:
Insights management may seem reactive in that it monitors the external scientific, clinical, healthcare, governmental, societal and patient landscapes for new knowledge/opinions/trends that allow an organization to react/respond accordingly. However, choosing what to listen for and designing the mechanics of data generation and analysis must be proactive to ensure it is strategically anchored. In fact, best-in-class insights management teams have a dual approach, first defining strategic listening priorities and secondly putting systems in place to answer the question, “Is there anything we’re missing?” This can be seen as listening both narrowly (for priorities) and broadly (for emergent learnings). Different people/processes/technologies may be more useful for these two different types of listening, for example using targeted strategies of Medical Science Liaison (MSL) engagements and advisory boards to monitor listening priorities, alongside a broader social listening strategy to identify unexpected landscape trends.