It’s a new year! With the new year comes the time to assess your independent pharmacy marketing strategy and set your plan for the next 12 months.
Before we start determining how you’ll achieve your pharmacy growth goals in 2018, I need to admit that the headline of this post is a little misleading. While most businesses plan out their strategy every year, that doesn’t mean your pharmacy needs to. If you’ve stumbled upon this post in June, you can still set a plan for the next 12 months just as easily. If you’d like, you can even plan a few years in advance.
One thing to take away from the idea of a “2018 pharmacy marketing strategy” is that you’ll see the most benefit by planning at least a year in advance. This allows you to be fully prepared to take advantage of events and opportunities that are still a ways away, but that will require planning and preparation.
Now that you the objective of your pharmacy marketing strategy is clear, let’s dive into 7 tips for seeing the most success:
Review Last Year’s Marketing Successes
What worked for you last year will help determine what you focus on this year. If you’ve followed our advice in previous posts on pharmacy marketing and advertising, most of your 2017 marketing was highly focused and measurable. By choosing things you can clearly measure the success of, it makes it easier to determine if you should continue with those marketing strategies this year.
Talk To Your Customers
Most pharmacy owners are hesitant to discuss the inner workings of their business with customers. However, they are the source of some of your best information and opportunities. Simply vocalizing to your best customers that you are looking to improve your pharmacy’s marketing this year could present great input on what is and isn’t working as well as ideas for ways to collaborate with other businesses or reach new groups.
Involve Your Employees
Your employees are another great source of insights into past success and new pharmacy marketing ideas, but that isn’t the only reason to involve them. Getting them on board with the plan to improve your marketing will ensure that plan is carried through completely. If part of your pharmacy marketing plan involves improving customer service or offering customers free guides after they’ve purchased, telling your employees the why will help ensure they execute on your plans.
Determine Your Pharmacy Marketing Goals
Once you have an idea of what has worked in the past and input from customers and employees, you can begin to set up your pharmacy marketing goals for the year. Are you looking to increase prescriptions by 10%? Improve retail pharmacy sales by 20%? Setting very clear, measurable goals will help see them come to fruition.
Set Your Pharmacy Marketing Budget
Once you know what your goals are, determine how much of your budget you can devote to pharmacy marketing this year. Too often marketing is overlooked in favor of other expenses, so do your best to make it a priority. (One way to save money on prescriptions is to buy overstock and short-dated Rx.)
Create a Pharmacy Marketing Calendar
Map out your entire year of marketing plans. Include different promotions you want to run, events you’d like to sponsor or be part of, and when you’d like to post advertisements. If you’re interested in pharmacy promotion at local community events, make sure to include those events on your marketing calendar so you can begin planning for them months in advance.
Put It On Paper
While most independent pharmacy owners do some marketing and would consider this a “pharmacy marketing strategy,” not enough have actually documented it. Content Marketing Institute recently found that documenting your marketing strategy gives you a 538% greater chance of being successful. Get down every part of your marketing strategy and refer to it often throughout the year.
If you’re interested in pharmacy marketing ideas you can use year round, check out our guide “The 7-Step Blueprint To Get Customers To Switch To Your Independent Pharmacy.”