When it comes to marketing, a fair number of independent pharmacies find themselves struggling with what to do, when and how often. Even more find themselves going months without marketing, simply because there are so many other things to take care of. This year, make sure your marketing takes priority without taking too much of your time. Below are some simple marketing tools that pharmacies can easily implement and manage throughout the year.
Driving engagement with your patients and community by posting regularly to your social media pages. If possible, try to include some videos as well as they oftentimes outperform standard posts. If you struggle with knowing what or when to post, I encourage you to check out our blog on how to plan, write, and schedule social media posts. This is also a simple thing to delegate out to other pharmacy team members. Simply having them post photos of the store, products and team members will allow you to keep your brand in front of a captive audience. Doing contests or giveaways on your social media is also a great way to grow your following by encouraging people to like, share or comment on your posts.
Digital ads are another great way to market your pharmacy, and they are often a set it and forget it avenue. Digital ads can be created and set with a specific end date OR can be set to run continuously while following a pre-determined budget. There is some initial work at the onset to get the campaigns up and running, but once that is done you can go about your day and check in on them monthly to ensure they are still performing. Most pharmacies utilize social media or local news/radio stations to run their digital ads, but geofencing is another great way to target a specific audience (i.e. your competitor’s patients). For those of you who are unfamiliar with it – here is our blog on everything you need to know about geofencing. It is also possible to advertise through Google Ads but doing so will require additional time and money as you will need to get certified first.
Acquiring a new patient can cost anywhere from five to 25 times more than retaining an existing one. Utilize your current patient database and focus on marketing to them. By utilizing the systems you already have in place (IV, dispensing system, online scheduler, etc.), you can market to the people who are already invested in your company. The simplest way to outreach to current patients is by setting up automated voice messages, email blasts, or text messages thanking them for using your pharmacy, reminding them of additional services, or even something as simple as setting up a message to wish them a happy birthday/holiday.
Additionally, you can set up a referral system where patients who refer their friends or family get a special thank you coupon for spreading the word. It doesn’t have to be much, just a token of your gratitude in the form of a gift or coupon to use on their next in-store purchase. Utilizing a referral program is a great, and cost-effective tool, to market your pharmacy because there is no cost to you unless you acquire a new patient.
There are a variety of in-store materials that can be created, and then utilized throughout the year. You don’t need something new every month – just switch things up quarterly to avoid exhausting your messaging. Pieces such as flyers, posters, bagstuffers, pill cap labels and coupons can be used and re-printed on an as needed basis. Once you have them created, just print what you need, when you need them – saving time for you to focus on other things. Additionally, if you incentivize your employees to help distribute and manage the materials, you don’t have to worry about patients not getting the message or wasting time and money on marketing that ends up sitting in a box.
Another great tool to use in-store are patient surveys. Write up a few questions and print off surveys for patients to fill out anonymously, asking about your staff, product offerings, services provided, healthcare needs, or anything else that might be helpful for you to establish a marketing plan for your pharmacy throughout the year.
Bottom line, you don’t have to dedicate hours upon hours to your marketing every month. By focusing on a few avenues, you can ensure you are marketing consistently, and avoid going months without making any outreach effort within your community. Additionally, if you want to do some simple marketing without spending much money, check out our blog on 25 pharmacy marketing ideas for under $100.
If you need help creating and implementing your marketing due to short staffing, or lack of marketing know-how, I invite you to reach out to us to see how our team can help take marketing off your list of to-dos. Our team at GRX Marketing specializes in providing marketing services to independent pharmacies across the United States and our approach is tailor-made to your pharmacy’s unique needs.