While hundreds of independent pharmacies emerge each year, thousands go down the drain as a result of poor marketing strategies. Most independent pharmacy owners work so hard to keep the business going, focusing on patient care issues and employees, that there is never enough time to promote their pharmacies. It is almost always the last thing on the list. Quite often, it just doesn’t get done, and what gets done, isn’t done in the right way.
, Unlike doctors, dentists and lawyers, independent pharmacies are no longer known as entities, there are pharmacies now in malls, grocery stores, and probably soon in banks and offices too! So why then should people choose yours? You have to come up with convincing marketing ideas to make your independent pharmacy different, to make it stand out and be the best around your location and beyond. You have to use strategies that would make buying drugs elsewhere seem like a betrayal; you have to be original!
What are you doing to find your ideal patient?
Corporations spend billions of dollars and put dozens of people on a task force to find and attract the ideal customers for their business. So what are you doing as a small business owner, independent pharmacist to try and find that patient? How can you get patients to keep coming back into your pharmacy? Most of the time if not all the time, it takes more than just a friendly face or a great pharmacy to do that, you have to do more and go way beyond that.
You have to define your ideal patient. Is it the dad with four kids that comes in regularly to pick up antibiotics and paracetamol or the cheerful old lady down the street that needs monthly medications for her diabetes? Identifying your patients is one thing, and knowing how to attract and maintain them can be one hell of a task.
Well, here, we will discuss ten tips for compound pharmacy marketing to help you find the ideal patient/customer of your dreams.
1. Create a serene and healthy atmosphere
Ideally, even a healthy person would love to walk into a drug store or pharmacy and feel calm and welcome, imagine how it’d be with a sick person. A clean and stress-free environment will not only give patients and customers a sense of trust, but it would also make them feel comfortable. This can create a long-lasting relationship between you and your customers. Similarly, a well-designed pharmacy with a clean layout will make everything look brand new while at the same time conveying the message of trust to your customers and patients.
2. Email marketing
Do you know that you can use your pharmacy’s management system to run reports that identify patients? By doing that frequently, you can see what patients bought which drugs and how often so and so drugs are consumed monthly. An email is a great tool for compound pharmacy marketing, and you can use it to attract customers. You can then make use of the information you’ve gathered to compose and send emails to potential customers advertising your independent pharmacy. Telling them the type of drugs you sell, how well you treat patients, and why they should choose you over the 22000 plus pharmacies that are in the United States. Take advantage of the data available to you and make your pharmacy a common name among patients.
3. Connect with other caregivers in your community
In every community, there are hundreds of patients with different chronic diseases looking for the ideal pharmacy to make a long-lasting bond with. You can only find them by interacting and connecting with their doctors, nurses, and other health caregivers. Go to health fairs and other community events, or be a partner at organizing one, and let the caregivers know that you can and will take care of their patients differently. More so, you also get to interact with these patients, let them know what they need to do about their medical conditions. That way, they feel special and know they are going into the right hand.
4. Social media advertisement
Never underestimate the power of social media advertising. Out of the billions of people on Instagram and Facebook, probably a few million are from your community, and your pharmacy could be just the right one a few thousand among them are looking for. Create a social media account with your pharmacy name and pay for adverts; they cost only a few dollars. That way, you get not only social media advertisements and promotion benefits; you also get to interact one on one with existing and intending customers. You get to show people that you are a master at what you do and that they are falling into the right hands if they choose you.
Build services within the four walls of your pharmacy and then promote those services out to the community online or offline. Build the services first and go outside to promote them, tell your story. What makes you stand out? What makes you different? Organize campaigns with your staff and employees. Don’t have one? Fine, seek the help of family members, friends, and other independent pharmacy owners.
Similarly, you could print promotion flyers and distribute them to people within or outside your community. If you are too busy to do so yourself, you could assign the task to one or two of your staff. Or you can do so during the weekends or on your days off, which gives you the advantage of talking to potential customers and providing answers to their questions.
6. Sales and discounts
The fact that you want to make a lot of profit might be what is stopping you from giving discounts or going on sales frequently. Well, you can do so and make quite a lot of profit. Liaise with your distributor or supplier and get drugs and other medical supplies at a cheap rate, then take advantage of those prices to give massive discounts and sales. That way, you will attract patients and customers within your locality and beyond.
7. Differentiate your pharmacy from other big-box pharmacies
Making your pharmacy different from other chains of pharmacies and competitions can make a huge difference to your business. Though a lot of people are afraid of change and may find switching from their old pharmacies to yours something they are not quite comfortable with. Others see change as something pretty intriguing. Introduce rare personalized care and customer services that patients root for, making them feel excited and happy to try the services of your pharmacy. Your propositions must go beyond friendly faces and community presence; be original in your marketing efforts. Be creative in your marketing strategy by offering something that would make you stand out from the crowd.
8. Create a good loyal customer base
Never underestimate the power of a satisfied customer when it comes to giving referrals and recommendations. Several studies have shown that most businesses get 20% to 30% of their new customers through existing ones. Incorporate that into your marketing strategies by ensuring that no patient leaves your pharmacy without having a good experience to give the tale of. Create a customer base so strong that they bring new customers to you.
When your patients are happy and satisfied, they refer to other patients with similar conditions to you. And before you know it, your independent pharmacy is among the top, best within and outside your locality.
9. Be an information provider
The problem with most large pharmacies or retailers is that they don’t provide patients with much information about their prescriptions or medical conditions. Hence, most patients and customers boycott them and go in search of a better one – a less complex one. So, be more than just a drug seller! Create awareness about certain things that people would want to know. Have a heart-to-heart talk with your patients and let them know how deeply you are concerned about their well-being.
Organize community events raising awareness about certain diseases, and how they can be prevented or treated. Go beyond your target/ideal patient!
10. Go digital
Digital doesn’t necessarily mean emails and social media. Use television and radio stations in your locality for your compound pharmacy advertising. These adverts can go a long way in bringing your target patient right to the doorstep of your pharmacy. You could also use e-mail to send messages to people telling them about what you have to offer them. Also, you can employ the services of professionals and other intelligent marketing firms to market and promote your business for you. They can also help create unique marketing strategies for your independent pharmacy at a reasonable price.
Big pharmacies and other large companies didn’t just go big overnight. It took the owners a lot of sleepless nights creating new ideas and marketing strategies to make them stand out. Don’t be afraid to follow in their footsteps in creating something new that will take your small independent pharmacy and turn it into a chain of pharmacies all over the country. Be willing to take risks and do something different. Test these ten independent pharmacy marketing tips, who knows, not doing so might be the only thing holding you back from success!