Marketing theory is particularly useful for defining your business and your competitors.
Some might be quick to disregard the importance of theory in any discipline, and marketing theory might be among those not given its proper due.
Marketing theory includes the well-known “P’s” of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion. There are additional “P’s” to consider, such as people, processes, programs, and performance. Each of these is important to build a successful pharmacy practice, to create profit, and to distinguish yourself with the information you provide to patients.
Marketing theory is particularly useful for defining your business and your competitors. A study by Brooks et al hypothesized that market competition among community pharmacies impacts the decision of individual community pharmacies to provide medication therapy management services (MTMS).1 They found that MTMS are more apt to be supplied at the extremes of community pharmacy concentration (very low and very high). Very low concentrations of pharmacies might force pharmacies to be more innovative in delivering services to patients who otherwise might have to travel far to receive quality health care, whereas a high concentration suggests fierce competition and high population concentrations of patients where pharmacy organizations (as businesses) must do more to differentiate themselves from their competitors.1
Taking stock of your target market and the various “P’s” associated with marketing theory will help not only to determine the success of your services and products, but even which of those you can and should offer, not to mention their feasibility, substitutability, and which patients might be willing to pay for them.
Additional information about Marketing Theory and Business Planning can be found in Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 5e.
Shane P. Desselle, RPh, PhD, FAPhA, Professor of Social/Behavioral Pharmacy at Touro University California.
Brooks JM, Klepser DG, Urmie JM, et al. Effect of local competition on the willingness of community pharmacies to supply medication therapy management services. J Health Hum Serv Adm. 2007;30:4-27.