No, the first one isn’t Facebook – not that it’s a bad idea! This just isn’t advice about getting your pharmacy onto social media, or about whether a newspaper ad is better than a mailer. This is a post about the departure points for your mental journey, so to speak, if you want to arrive at effective ideas to promote your business. The specific “where’s” you’ll identify from there will be really personal to your pharmacy, but that’s the fun part.
Keep in mind that the ideas below are the starting points, and that they’re spots you should revisit regularly to see if they take you in new directions.
So, to market your pharmacy, here’s where to go:
Where the patients are.
Your potential patients aren’t an unidentifiable, faceless crowd somewhere outside your doors. Certain groups are more likely to need increased pharmacy services, more likely to consider buying local, more likely to recommend you to their friends – and keep going.
For example, it’s probably a better bet to market to family members caring for an older parent than to all the patrons entering and exiting a popular restaurant, or to promote to people in the apartment a block away than to those passing a billboard on their commute into town. Likewise, it’s probably easier to capture a customer looking for a new pharmacy home than to compete for ones with loyalty cards to the big box store.
Consider participating in Welcome-Wagon-type services that greet and inform new residents with packages of goodies, or through the HR department of a new company. Post helpful flyers like “We deliver” or “We can help with springtime allergies” on the bulletin board of the local retirement community or start rewarding existing customers with freebies for referring friends.
Where the prescribers are.
The people who send patients for prescriptions in the first place provide another starting point. Good relationships with doctors build the trust that motivates them to recommend you to their patients. And “doctors” doesn’t really mean them exclusively – always remember the importance of their staff, many of whom may already have regular conversations with your staff.
Think about how to take an action to boost these conversations just a bit, maybe by mentioning that you now have a blood pressure kiosk or a private consultation room. You could have a treat basket delivered for special healthcare dates like Nurses Appreciation Week or to welcome new practices to town or new practitioners to existing clinics.
Where the products are.
This last “where” is a reminder that it doesn’t stop with getting people in the door; you’ll want to nurture the potential from there. Sometimes simple is most compelling – what about a chalkboard with a “Don’t leave without…” list that rotates frequently to keep it timely? Some must-purchase ideas could include travel-size sunscreen, a card for Sibling’s Day, or a staff-favorite lip balm. Consider giving a gift card for a service that will bring people back into the store, say for a comprehensive medication review or a flu shot.
Really, marketing your business is simply about going where you can catch the right people at the right time to talk about the stuff that’s important to them. That’s what the “3 places you should be marketing” is all about. Take what you know (better than anyone) about your pharmacy’s particular offerings and go from there.