This is the first in a series of articles designed to shift your current perspective of pharmacy marketing by
- providing vital information to enhance your reservoir of marketing knowledge, and
- applying this important new marketing information to grow and build a very successful and prosperous pharmacy in today’s rapidly changing environment.
Advertising is a form of marketing, but marketing, as a whole, is much more than just advertising. We define marketing as anything that causes or influences the customer (or prospect) to have any kind of thought, impression or experience about your business and/or how you do business. Marketing includes the cleanliness of sidewalks, store awning, window displays and entrances. Is signage faded by age or sunlight? If you were to walk up to the entrance of a business with tattered signs on the doors, what impression might you begin to form about that establishment? I am a believer that how you do one thing, is how you do everything. Do you want your pharmacies customers or prospects to think you are sloppy or neglectful? With that perception, wouldn’t they easily migrate to a more inviting or cleaner store?
All components that customers or prospects encounter need to be in alignment. for example, stationery, logo and colors — are they consistent across-the-board in your business? Consistent visual aspects provide customers with a sense of comfort … of familiarity. Feeling comfortable can make all the difference in someone visiting your community pharmacy or the one down the street.
Can an article that asks so many questions really be useful? The answer is Yes – and perhaps more than you imagine. I believe that the quality of your business is directly proportional to the quality of the questions that you ask yourself.
Working with hundreds of pharmacy owners over the past 12 years, I have found that most people don’t devote anytime on a regular basis to do what we call critical thinking. You might be thinking, “…but, I’m so busy being busy, I don’t have time to sit and just think. There is just so much to do -- it would be nice, but I can’t find the time.”
This may be your biggest take-away from this article — time isn’t something that you find, time is something that you make. If you schedule one hour a week to ask yourself a few quality questions, you will find yourself being more proactive instead of what most people are – being reactive. You will have plans for action rather than wasting critical time fighting fires. It’s those unplanned “fires” that take up time.
Feel free to request additional critical thinking marketing questions below, and share any thoughts or comments.
Dan Benamoz is a pharmacist, multi-store owner and Founder and President of Pharmacy Development Services (PDS), which provides business coaching and marketing ideas and strategies to independent pharmacy owners nationwide.