Create a Marketing Machine for Your Pharmacy to Achieve Success

MAY 22, 2016
One particular adage is paramount to all businesses, especially independent pharmacies: marketing is the only element that creates significant results; everything else is just a cost.
 
In order to be effective, you must have meaningful marketing, or marketing that gets read and creates a response. If you have some additional alternative solutions to patients’ aches, pains, and maladies that go beyond prescription medications, don’t be the best kept secret in your community. Get the word out that you’re the go-to shop for chronic diseases in your community, and you’ll notice a decided improvement in your cash flow.

Getting your marketing read or heard is the first requirement. If an ad isn’t read, then it’s a waste of money, time, and effort. Turning white space into selling space and television time into selling time should be the avowed purpose of your marketing. And so, developing a marketing machine becomes a critically important element of your job description.

Present the information the same way you’d talk to your customers. That way, your marketing will become meaningful to them.
 
If you do any compounding, know that time after time, 70% of your business can come as the result of marketing directly to the consumer. Of late, the consumer is becoming more knowledgeable, and therefore more influential with his or her prescribers.

Once you have meaningful marketing in place, a determination of where you are and where you could be may very well disclose a huge gap, and your job is to close it. In doing so, you’ll concentrate on the entrepreneurial aspect of your pharmacy and inevitably discover that your life is becoming much easier as your pharmacy grows. Many tasks that never belonged in your job description should be delegated as quickly as possible. Try appointing a store operations manager to whom you delegate responsibility for daily and weekly activities.

Achieving Your Potential
In recent years, I’ve approached pharmacy owners whom I’d helped in the past. Although they’ve become enormously successful, an analysis of their trading zone, what they’re doing, and what they’re not doing led to the following observations and conclusions:
  • In one case, a pharmacy owner had become enormously successful and moved his pharmacy to a larger and decidedly more visible location. Nevertheless, his potential was 4 times what he was actually accomplishing. In other words, his huge success amounted to only 25% of his business potential.
  • In another case, a pharmacy owner who had become very successful still had 2.5 times the potential from what he was currently achieving. Again, good performance, yet underachievement.
Just imagine how much more you could achieve if you changed how you satisfy your patients’ needs by changing your strategies.

Is Your Business Model Obsolete?
An in-depth analysis of trends may very well lead you to conclude that you need a new or different business model. That model might consist of the following:
  • Compounding
  • Natural medicine
  • Fee for your expertise
Only through critical analysis can you determine what’s working and what’s not. Once you do, then position your marketing to totally espouse what you do, what you stand for, and especially how the patient benefits.
 
Your marketing should be strategic so that it gets you immediate and very measurable results without having to resort to deep discounting and/or heavy couponing. When you make it truly informative and educational, then it magnetically attracts dozens of new patients on a weekly basis. As your reputation builds, so does your brand.

To be effective, your marketing machine should also include:
  • Sending a monthly newsletter to your patients about many different disease states and your solutions for each of them.
  • Engaging patients in meaningful conversations about their aches, pains, and other discomforts.
  • Holding seminars for existing patients and potential customers regarding chronic diseases.
When incorporated into your business model, your marketing machine attracts not only patients, but also wealth. No matter how brilliant a pharmacist you are, or how profound your knowledge of pharmacology is, unless you get a consistent stream of messages to your current patients and prospective customers, you’ll remain a deep, dark secret.

The Pharmacy Sage can be reached at (518) 346-7021 or Lester@ThePharmacySage.com.


Lester Nathan, MS
Lester Nathan, MS
A powerhouse in the world of independent pharmacy, Lester offers free business resources for Pharmacy Owners on his website, ThePharmacySage.com. Offering insight, wisdom, and strategy, Lester is an esteemed voice in pharmacy business. Lester helps his clients increase patients and profits in spite of the 3rd party payment fiasco.
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