Over the years, our team has been asked two specific questions, more than any other.
What are other pharmacies doing for their marketing?
What is a cost-effective form of advertising for my pharmacy?
Our mission at GRX Marketing is to be a trusted resource for community pharmacies, so we would like to share some answers to these questions, to help other pharmacies who may be struggling to figure out what to do.
Building relationships with local providers and facilities is crucial for continued success in the pharmacy business. The goal with doctor detailing, like with most marketing tactics, is to increase overall script count at your pharmacy. It can also accomplish other goals, such as educating, increase awareness, and build a competitive edge. Below are some ideas, and you can also read our blog on Doctor Detailing Steps for Independent Pharmacies.
When visiting, bring goodies – but not food. Food is consumed, discarded, and forgotten. Bring items with a bit more staying power such as pens, highlighters, Kleenex, hand sanitizer, candy jars, etc. Include a note, thanking the staff for their service to your community.
Offer a free seminar at their location for their patients, be a guest speaker and bring along marketing materials.
Ask them what their pain points are and come up with a solution to help. New products to stock, new services to offer, changes in current processes – all will lead to improved relations and increased communication.
Do those doctors’ offices have a social media presence or active linked in or another outlet? Work with them online- tag them, share their stuff, post about them.
Oftentimes when people think traditional marketing, they think of TV, Radio, Newspaper, and Billboards – but there are other forms of traditional marketing that are significantly more cost-effective and easier to do on your own.
Door hangers – can be printed in-house and distributed by your delivery driver
Buttons – promote conversation with patients about products or services
Disposable floor mats to highlight products
Vehicle magnet - don’t want to pay for a full wrap? Purchase a 24x18 vehicle magnet for a minimal cost.
Send out a press release - local media outlets love stories from your pharmacy, staff awards, events, new products, new services, local interest stories – all of it. It’s cheaper than buying an ad and will get more readership. Be sure to include a photo!
Social media is by far and away one of the cheapest marketing avenues with amazing potential for growth, awareness, and engagement within your community. We work with some pharmacies that only use social media for their marketing and do phenomenally. The key to remember is that it takes time, and some trial and error to find what type of messaging resonates with your community.
Place a Facebook ad about a service you offer that your competitors don’t. Cost varies but can start as low as $20.
Offer to tag other businesses in partnership, share their events etc. and you do the same on your page – FREE
Facebook live Videos – post a Live video at your pharmacy location, event etc. Check out our blog on social media video tips.
Free giveaway – Ham or turkey around the holidays, or a gift card to a local restaurant. People must like, comment, or share to be entered to win. Have people check in at the pharmacy to be entered to win something or to get a discount.
Show your staff off – people love to see photos of other people! Show the personal aspect of your pharmacy, take a picture of the staff working (be aware of any potential visible PHI), at an event together, etc.
Outside of social media, there are other digital marketing avenues that are simple and cost-effective ways to improve your online presence and ensure your pharmacy is findable within your community.
Have, and regularly update, a Google Business page.
Write guest articles for local news sources
Verify and update all online listings
Update your website regularly with a blog and fresh new content
Encourage patients to leave positive online reviews
You should also check out our blog on managing your online footprint and reviews.
One of the single most underutilized marketing resources that independent pharmacies have is their team. It is crucial that every single member of your staff, from cashier to manager, fully understand and can speak to patients about each of your pharmacy’s services. Before you tackle anything else, ensure your team are trained and comfortable selling the benefits of your pharmacy’s services to everyone who walks in the door. Additionally, you can implement some of the following:
A referral program for current patients to refer friends and family
Email collection from all patients as an alternative to direct mailings
Window graphics to showcase services and products
Waiting room TV to spotlight pharmacy updates and services
New patient kits to give to each new pharmacy patient
Punch cards for popular products to encourage repeat purchases (i.e. Buy 5 get one FREE)
As a small business, your time – and money – are precious, so promoting your business in a cost-effective way can be challenging. By implementing some of the ideas above, you can give your pharmacy a boost without breaking the bank. For more ways to boost your pharmacy, or if you need help implementing your marketing, give GRX Marketing a call at 515-280-2914 or submit our contact form and a member of our team will reach out!