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Your Pharmacy's Year In Review

woman reviewing papers and looking at her computer

With another year almost gone, it is time to take a moment to review your 2021 goals. How has your pharmacy performed? Did you meet or exceed your goals set at the beginning of the year? Or have you forgotten what they were? Growing your business is an ongoing process and setting aside time to review where you stand, when it comes to achieving your goals, is imperative for success. Additionally, goals without a plan to achieve them are practically worthless, so let’s review your goals for this year and talk about how to improve your plan for 2022.

Whether your aim was to increase patient counts, overall sales, product sales, reduced patient turnover, new services implementation, or simply survival – you need to know how to properly measure where you were, compared to where you are currently.

Let’s start by looking at your marketing budget. When reviewing your budget, a good rule of thumb is to contribute at least 1% of your annual profits to invest in marketing. What was your annual planned budget for marketing for the year? Did you spend it all, come up short, or exceed it? Make a list of all the marketing you did for the year (newspaper, radio, social media, billboard, direct mailers, etc.) and include what you spent on each, making sure to account for any vendor fees as well as advertising costs, contract terms, and RESULTS!

What worked? What didn’t? The best way to measure success is to review internal and external metrics. Below are some recommended reports to review. It also helps to track these numbers monthly throughout the year to better spot patterns:

  • Average number of scripts filled per week

  • Monthly new patient count

  • Estimated total sales

  • Number of transfer-out patients

    • Including where they transferred to

  • Top 5 most profitable scripts

  • Number of social media followers and online reviews

  • Number of patients on each of your services (i.e. patients on med sync, utilizing compliance packaging, open enrollment reviews conducted)

  • Website traffic (note that if you are in California, or serve California, your numbers may be skewed due to CCPA regulations).

After looking at those reports that apply to your goals – what did you learn? How did the numbers correlate to the marketing that you did during that month? How much did you spend compared to what you saw in terms of results? Be sure to make note and attribute any increase in numbers with marketing that was running at the time. Conversely, if you ran advertisements, and saw no change in your pharmacy, make note of that too. To make this easier next year, keep a spreadsheet of your monthly numbers updated throughout the year.

FAILING TO REACH YOUR GOALS DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE FAILED. It simply means you have learned what has not worked and will help guide you when setting your strategy for next year. It is incredibly rare for any marketing campaign to be a home run on the first try. Especially if you have only done it once. It takes time to hone your message and truly know what your audience responds to.

Now that you have reviewed your goals, pulled reports, and performed an analysis on what worked and what didn’t, it is time to put it all together and write down your goals for 2022. If you haven’t already – we recommend you read our blog on setting SMART goals to ensure that you give yourself the greatest chance at success. It is also OK to update your goals as you go along. As we all know, the year we are looking at and planning for may end up being nothing like what we expect. Additionally, as you achieve goals, be sure to replace them with new ones to ensure you are always working towards success.

Finally, start by putting together a rough marketing plan for 2022. Pick a goal, or two, to focus on each quarter and think about how to achieve it. What worked this past year that you can expand upon, or what didn’t work that needs to be tweaked? What marketing avenues are you going to pursue and what do you want your messaging to be? Below are things that can be included in your plan:

  • Social media posts (these should be done multiple times per week)

  • Traditional marketing

    • Billboard, Radio, Newspaper, Magazines, TV, In-store events

  • Digital marketing

    • Geofencing, Website updates, social media ads, email blasts

  • Community Outreach

    • Events, sponsorships, health fairs

  • Prescriber and Facility Outreach

    • Letters, packets, webinars, visits

  • Patient Outreach

    • Letters, voice messaging, text messaging

What you will be able to do is dependent on your marketing budget for the year, but there are some creative ways to do marketing without breaking the bank. If you need help evaluating your marketing budget, reviewing this past year’s marketing results, setting your goals, or implementing marketing in 2022, we encourage you to give us a call at 515-280-2914.

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