July 1, 2016
Are you doing everything you can to ensure your independent community pharmacy is successful?
Unfortunately, many businesses don’t understand the importance of being able to not only reach new customers, but to retain existing ones. That’s where marketing can help.
When executed properly, marketing can be especially beneficial to independent community pharmacies, like your own. It all starts with doing your research, getting to know your patients and ultimately figuring out how to satisfy their needs. If you don’t know what makes them tick, how can you come up with a marketing strategy that works?
What do your patients like and dislike about your pharmacy? How does your pharmacy compare to national chain pharmacies or other independents in the area? Compile a list of questions like these to email to patients or to ask in person. A survey can provide powerful insights into how satisfied your patients are and what you can do to benefit them further.
Asking patients about their experience with your pharmacy is an easy way to learn where you can make improvements. You can do so by making personal phone calls or simply asking them up front during consultations.
Consider writing an article for a local magazine or an opinion piece for your area newspaper. This can serve as a free source of marketing for your independent community pharmacy. The article should provide value to the community and be interesting to readers.
It can also double as free advertising since it mentions your name and your pharmacy. But be careful not to simply create an advertisement disguised as an article—it won’t get published. (Here are more tips to get your pharmacy in the news.)
At the very least, patients should be able to find out what your business is and how to contact you via the Internet. That means having a website and social media accounts for your pharmacy. To make your online presence more effective, consider advertising services that focus on reaching more of your target audience at affordable pay-per-click rates.
Blogs are powerful communication vehicles that particularly appeal to the younger demographic. Their growing popularity makes them an excellent strategy for reaching a more youthful patient base.
It’s easy to incorporate a blog into your website. The trick is writing and posting regular content. Consider hiring a professional writer to keep your blog up-to-date or delegate the task to a pharmacy intern with a knack for writing.
Let’s face it, people love free stuff. Giving something away is a great way to attract prospective patients. Food and beverages are always a fan favorite, but items such as pens or mugs with your pharmacy’s branding on them can also be successful.
To reiterate, people love free stuff—especially if it’s helpful to them! Free seminars and demonstrations are great ways to provide value to potential and current patients. They can also open the door for you to introduce your products and services. This is a great way to generate sales right then and there!
Consider hosting seminars on heart health, nutrition, vitamin and supplement recommendations, tips for choosing the best compression hose and more.
How many times have you purchased something simply because you were attracted to the signage? It happens all the time. A good sign will not only grab a patient’s attention, but it will also help direct and inform them to products in your pharmacy. (Check out these tips for using shelf signs in your pharmacy’s front end.)
We’ve all used coupons at some point in our lives. They’re a proven method of generating interest. Develop a distribution strategy that includes repetition (don’t just make it a one-time thing). Be sure to measure their effectiveness by keeping track of how often they’re redeemed.
Study your competition, and always be listening and learning from your patients. While it may be the most obvious of all the tips, it’s also one of the most powerful strategies your pharmacy can apply. Staying up-to-date on new trends and identifying weaknesses are key ways to ensuring your pharmacy stays successful.
For your marketing efforts to be successful, it’s important to know how to grab patients’ attention. Check out these five ideas to grab patients’ attention.