The role of the pharmacist around the world is changing, but the focus on caring for communities remains firm. Increasing strain on the hospital system has meant that there is now a greater reliance on pharmacy to deliver essential community services.
Ideally you will want to spend the majority of your time caring for patients and less time on additional administrative tasks, or tasks out of scope – such as marketing products and services that your pharmacy delivers.
There are a multitude of marketing ideas to grow your business, but when you are stretched for time and resources, this can be overwhelming.
It is important to weigh up the effort required vs the lasting impact different marketing strategies can have, as it is key to be economical with both budget and time. We have reviewed some common marketing activities to help you understand what activities can have the biggest impact on your business for the least resource/effort.
#1. Quick Wins! Low effort for high Impact.
When you only have a small amount of spare time and resources, high impact marketing activity is unparalleled in terms of its return on investment. They are the perfect starting point for modernising your business.
#2. Online Visibility – Profiles and Pages
Having a basic online presence is the lowest effort solution to expanding your pharmacy’s reach. According to Statista, 53 million people in the world have some sort of social media presence – spending an average of 5 hours on our smartphones a day. To keep up with this sort of online use, you should also be internet-focused with your pharmacy marketing. Online visibility can be achieved through several channels, but you don’t need to utilise all of them at once to see an improvement in your reach. The first step would be getting your pharmacy found online through a Google My Business Account.
#3. Pay-per-click Advertising
If you already have a website, another pharmacy marketing strategy to consider employing is pay-per-click advertising, also referred to as PPC. PPC via Google Ads is a non-invasive and cost-effective advertising model that provides an instant traffic boost to your website with little effort from your side. This mode of internet marketing only costs money when a visitor clicks on your advert, maximising your ROI and increasing your profits.
#4. Digital Display Screens
While marketing solutions can always be used in tandem with each other, if you only have the budget or scope for one high impact marketing solution, the installation of digital advertising screens in your pharmacy should be at the top of your wish-list. The combination of Pharmacy Display’s hardware, software, and content is the all-in-one solution to automating your pharmacy’s marketing efforts – allowing you to put your all into patient care.
#5. Major Projects – High effort for high impact.
With more time and concerted team resources to invest, the pharmacy marketing activity can lead to a boom in your sales revenue.
#6. Digital Content Marketing
Content marketing is a broad term that describes the inbound marketing strategy of providing solutions to audience pains via content – such as blogs, case studies, videos, ebooks, infographics, or podcasts. Ultimately, content marketing is interwoven with promotion of said content through your pharmacy’s website, social media, and email campaigns – and skipping this step or not optimising your processes mean lower chances of success. It’s vital to remember that you get what you pay for in terms of content quality. Whether you hire a team, or do it yourself, this is not the easiest, quickest strategy for maximising revenue. Great content should be evergreen, but kept up-to-date, showcasing the expertise your pharmacy holds and building pharmacist-consumer trust.
The good news is that Cegedim’s Pharmacy Display packages include tailored content creation, so you don’t need to sweat over tiresome processes. We bring you pharmaceutical expertise, along with marketing tips and tricks, including content planning, creation, promotion, and distribution.
#7. Engaging Events and Key Collaborations
There are various types of events that can be used to market your pharmacy, with great results. An in-person experience with a brand is more memorable than a lot of other marketing strategies, such as simply glancing at a website – and the possibilities are endless. Holding in-store events at your branches allow you to meet prospective customers, build new relationships with them, and provide them with an idea of your offerings. For instance, an information session on the importance of flu immunisation can increase the uptake of your service, while also framing your business as a hands-on, caring brand.
#8. Online Booking Systems
Most modern pharmacies use pharmacy management software to some extent; for example, storing medication records, prescription dispensing, ordering, and stock control. Yet, use of this software at the hands of customers is not yet as widespread. By implementing a booking system or electronic prescription service on your pharmacy’s website via a patient portal, friction of waiting times is reduced – as well as offering patients access to information they may require.
Fill-in activity. Low effort and low impact
Email marketing has its place!
There are some customers and some messages that lend themselves to this type of marketing activity.
With 4 billion active email users, you can use email campaigns to alert customers of upcoming promotions, events, industry news, and more. This allows you to build on your existing customer base via email newsletters or updates, as well as being able to build trust with your patients, improve brand awareness, and boost revenue.
Remember, your pharmacy team must still comply with GDPR – you need permission to contact people, even those who have shopped with you before.
Beware of thankless tasks. High effort with low impact
Use of social media in pharmacy marketing can be effective in humanising your company, putting a face to the name, and offering online support for customer queries. It would definitely not hurt to create a social media presence for your business, however, a large amount of time should not be invested into it as reward is scarce.
#8. Printed In-Store Collateral
Printed collateral such as posters, banners and leaflets have dominated, counter space, walls and shop windows. In-store marketing collateral includes static, analogue content such as posters, leaflets and brochures, business cards and banners.
Whilst high quality design and print has its place, for attention grabbing information that doesn’t date, static media takes up valuable space. When compared to digital advertising screens that can cycle promotions, information and be updated at the click of a button, print is just not going to deliver much impact on revenue.
Of course, many pharmacies find that the right mix of the marketing methods we have outlined in The Ultimate Guide to Pharmacy Marketing’ in more detail.
Credit: Cegedim’s HC for PharmahubNG