MOVE BEYOND THE FOUR WALLS
Last week was my first networking event in the pharmacy industry. I attended the Symbion Networking Night to support John as the guest speaker (which of course he was amazing). I utilised this opportunity to rub shoulders with some pharmacists and owners. It was great, I learnt a lot and knew exactly what to write about for this week's blog.
Recently I have seen a lot of articles, posts and encouragement from advisors on the future of pharmacy. The suggestion has been made that there needs to be a pharmacist on the floor educating and serving customers. However when chatting with pharmacists on the night, they said sometimes that just isn’t a viable option. This is due to busier times and the cost of having extra pharmacists in front of the dispensary.
I can actually see both sides to this, staffing costs but also the dire need to serve customers. It’s a double edged sword for owners it may seem pretty doom and gloom. But of course my marketing brain started thinking of a strategy that can help with this issue. Why not educate customers prior to them entering the pharmacy?
Marketing isn’t all about sell, sell, sell- in fact I think that your marketing efforts should have a different strategy. It’s about educating the products you have available to buy, services and ultimately helping the community lead a healthier lifestyle. Chatting with pharmacists last week I could see that they too want to help and educate.
HOWEVER WHAT I THINK IS MISSING IS THE STRATEGY OUTSIDE OF THE FOUR WALLS OF A PHARMACY.
In the age of social media, blogs and video there is so many clever opportunities to educate your customers about your pharmacy. People are conditioned to jump online to research and find solutions to their problems. Wouldn’t it be awesome if they went to your own blog or social media to educate themselves about their health?
Stepping outside of the physical parameters to educate customers is extremely beneficial:-
It promotes health within the local community
Avoid customers self diagnosing on google (instead refer to your content)
It demonstrates how your pharmacy can help
Builds trust and reputation
Increase of customer base
CASE STUDY: PEAK STRATEGIES
John has been working with pharmacies in accounting for over twenty years. He knows the in’s and out’s of what an effective financial system is for pharmacy. He has a wealth of knowledge however without actually speaking to him you may or may not have known that. That is why last year he realigned his goals and decided to have a stronger focus on marketing.
Fast forward seven months later and we have created an in depth marketing plan to engage with more pharmacy owners nation wide. One of the first projects that John and I worked on together was this blog. We wanted to create a platform for pharmacy owners to come and learn more about pharmacy accounting.
We have had an extremely positive response and as of last week we had over 6,000 views of our blog. Our services are evolving and we are helping pharmacy owners more than ever. It was through our marketing efforts on email, social media and video that helped us achieve this goal.
What is even cooler is the different type of conversations we are having with our clients. Clients are coming to us on a more advisory level and we are working on some really exciting opportunities. This is all because we have taken the time to step outside the confines of our office and meetings to communicate with our clients on a more personal level.
“The buyer journey is nothing more than a series of questions that must be answered.” ~ Analyst Firm IDC
SO WHERE DO YOU BEGIN?
It’s great to start a blog and open a couple of social media profiles however you need to have a defined purpose.
You need to ask yourself the following questions:-
What do you want your customers to learn about?
Who is your target audience?
What platforms do you want to use? (Blog, social media etc.)
Are you going to manage it, a staff member or outsource?
Every post, tweet or article is a representation of your pharmacy. That is why before getting the balls rolling you need to take the time to create a strategy. Marketing can seem overwhelming, however you’re not alone. At Peak Strategies we can help with kick starting your marketing plan and help you in educating both future and existing customers.
Next week is the Forum; take the time to attend to start setting some goals for your pharmacy. We will be at Booth 40 and I will be there Thursday morning and Friday afternoon. Please do not hesitate to come introduce yourself and I can answer any of your marketing related questions. I love chatting about marketing and I am excited to catch up with you all.