There’s an old saying, “if you build it, they will come.” Although this may be true in some situations, you shouldn’t depend on it when it comes to getting new customers to your pharmacy. Opening your doors and implementing innovative programs is only half the battle of pharmacy ownership. If you want new customers, you need to be proactive in getting them to your store.
Marketing is an important aspect of operating a successful business, but you may be reluctant to market your independent pharmacy. Maybe it’s because you don’t want to spend money on marketing, or you don’t know how to get started. Regardless, it’s essential that you overcome any obstacles so you can compete with the national chains and mail-order pharmacies.
Learning how to effectively market your pharmacy is a process, and it’s not something that will happen overnight. It takes a bit of trial and error while you figure out which tactics will resonate with your customers and prospects. However, you shouldn’t be discouraged when something doesn’t work the way you anticipated. Instead, learn from the situation and try something different.
Do you need some ideas on how to market your pharmacy?
Here are five suggestions:
1. Create a helpful and informative website
In today’s digital age, people spend a significant amount of time online doing research before making a purchase decision. Customers who are looking to switch pharmacies will spend time online figuring out which pharmacy is right for them. If you don’t already have a website, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to gain new customers.
If you already have a website, spend some time reviewing it, and think about how you can make it more helpful to your visitors. Great pharmacy websites include information about services offered, store hours, accepted insurance plans, and much more. Think about what questions potential customers may have, and do your best to answer those questions on your website. Your pharmacy’s website is an essential element of your marketing toolkit which can help you reach more people, gain new customers, and increase sales.
2. Sales and promotions
Sales and promotions are a great way to attract new customers to your store and promote your business. You might consider offering discounts on over-the-counter medications or giving away free, useful items such as reusable shopping bags with purchase. Another idea is to host monthly or quarterly health-related promotions like free health screenings or gift card giveaways for flu shots.
3. News releases for new programs and products
Whenever you implement a new program or offer new products, consider sending out a news release to local media outlets announcing the launch. News releases can help you gain news coverage, helps raise brand awareness, and gets your name out in the community. Focus on sending out news releases for programs that benefit your community, such as free vitamin programs and free health screenings. Additionally, send out news releases whenever you host an event at your pharmacy. News releases help get the word out to a larger audience and will attract local people to your store who aren’t already customers.
4. Partner with local businesses
Partnering with local businesses for promotions and events is a great way to market your pharmacy and show your appreciation for your community. There are an unlimited number of ways to do this, including hosting a vaccination clinic at a nearby school or partnering with a local restaurant to offer their customers free coffee on select mornings. Partnering with other businesses allows you to build relationships within your community and gives you the opportunity to interact with people who may have never heard of you.
5. Build relationships with healthcare providers
If you haven’t already, foster relationships with local doctors, dentists, nurses, and other healthcare providers in your community. Schedule time to have someone from your pharmacy visit their offices, make introductions and share marketing materials that outline the services you offer. Referrals from other healthcare providers are a powerful marketing tool and can help you generate new customers. It’s important to keep the lines of communication open and continuously work to build and enhance these relationships.
Looking for more ways to stand out from your competition? Download our free eBook, 3 Innovative Ways to Compete in the Pharmacy Market