Inside: Get new patients in your doors with these affordable and unexpected pharmacy advertising ideas for independent pharmacies.
Reaching new patients is like trying to snatch a fly with your bare hands.
No matter how hard you try, they seem to always slip out of reach.
That’s partly because people’s tastes constantly shift, even if their needs remain the same.
The more familiar people become with your advertising tactics, the more they notice and resist them.
It takes new ideas to win new patients. You must constantly hone your pharmacy advertising in new and surprising ways. And make adjustments and innovations.
Try these 10 pharmacy advertising ideas to get more patients through your doors.
1. Rent a billboard next to a CVS or Walgreens
New patients flock to the national chain pharmacies every day.
Because patients don’t know they have other options.
Those patients heading into national chain pharmacies are your target market. So, advertising near their stores is one of the pharmacy advertising ideas guaranteed to reach new patients.
Place an ad on a billboard as close to your competitors as you can.
Use compelling imagery and no more than six words to grab the attention of passersby.
2. Use direct mail
With our email inboxes overloaded with coupons and offers today, direct mail has become an unexpected way to advertise.
And, it’s inexpensive and effective when targeted to the right market.
As an independent pharmacy that thrives on managing chronic conditions, seniors are a key segment for your business. And they respond better to direct mail than to email or online ads.
And, millennials are bargain shoppers. Direct mail coupons offer an effective way to advertise your pharmacy to millennials and get them to walk through your doors.
3. Host a large event or performance
Red Bull dropped a man from the stratosphere. Dixie sent tightrope walkers on a dangerous climb. Gatorade hosted a historic football rematch.
You don’t have to break any records. But these grand gestures by well-known companies show how events make for effective advertising.
And those events weren’t chosen randomly. They highlighted the brand of the company.
Put on a pharmacy event that reinforces your pharmacy’s brand and exposes your name to a large group of people.
Event ideas to host:
- Clean out your medicine cabinet’ day
- Health fair
- Flu shot clinic
- Marathon or 5k
- Sidewalk sale
4. Write a column in the local newspaper
You could pay for an advertisement in the newspaper crammed between fifteen others and that never gets seen.
Or, you could write a health and medicine column that people will notice.
A column provides subtle advertising for your pharmacy while simultaneously building trust with your readers. And it establishes yourself as the pharmacy and health expert in your community.
Contact your local publisher to see about getting a monthly column.
5. Advertise in a local magazine
Most cities publish at least one local magazine that’s all about where to eat, shop, and hang out locally.
These magazines are full of city-wide recommendations for events, restaurants and stores.
The magazine’s readers are looking for local places where they can spend their time and money. So, they make the perfect audience for your independent community pharmacy to get new patients.
Find the most popular local magazine in your area and take out a large advertisement that readers can’t miss.
6. Advertise on bus benches
Bus riders are an ideal market for your independent community pharmacy.
Without a car, they travel to the closest stores to get what they need. If you advertise on bus benches near your pharmacy, those riders will likely travel to your pharmacy when they need a prescription.
Make sure to include your pharmacy’s address so riders will know where to go.
Or, you may want to explain where your pharmacy is in relation to a well-known store. For example, you can say that your pharmacy is across from Walmart or next to Lowe’s.
7. Sponsor local sports teams
Sponsorships are advertisements.
Nike doesn’t lavish Lebron James with free gear as charity. The company knows that getting the best basketball player in the world to showcase its products every time he plays outweighs buying 1,000 print advertisements.
When you sponsor local sports teams, you can get your pharmacy’s name in front of countless parents. And, you’ll keep your pharmacy top-of-mind every time their kids play in a game.
Sponsor a team by providing jerseys with your pharmacy’s logo. Or, help pay for field and equipment fees in exchange for placing a banner in the building or on the field with your pharmacy’s name.
8. Partner with a complementary business for cross-promotion
There’s a reason the “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine” relationship is so popular.
It’s affordable and effective.
When you partner with, say, a physical rehab center to advertise each other’s businesses, you expand your exposure at no cost.
And, your advertisement comes as a recommendation rather than as an unwanted solicitation.
It’s one of the pharmacy advertising ideas that takes little but gives a lot.
9. Enter a parade float
Parades offer a double advantage, making them one of the most valuable pharmacy advertising ideas.
By parading a float for the fourth of July or other parade events, you showcase your community involvement.
And, you advertise your pharmacy’s name to a huge group of people who could become your patients. So, instead of winning one person at a time, you win multiple.
10. Post your pharmacy on Yelp and Foursquare
Yelp and Foursquare are online review sites where people rate and comment on businesses.
More and more people rely on social review sites before deciding where to shop and eat.
People can search the sites for pharmacies in their area, too. If your pharmacy earns good ratings and reviews, it’ll show up on the top of the list.
You get increased exposure. (Yelp has nearly 190 million users.) And, you’ll get free word-of-mouth. (Eighty-four percent of people trust online reviews as much as friends.)
Try these 10 pharmacy advertising ideas and get more patients through your doors. And, don’t forget to avoid these pharmacy advertising mistakes.
A Member-Owned Company Serving Independent Pharmacies
PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy-side of their business. Founded and owned by pharmacists, PBA Health serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, wholesaler contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, and more.
An HDA member, PBA Health operates its own NABP-accredited secondary wholesaler with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products — offering the lowest prices in the secondary market.