By Anyssa Garza, PharmD, BCMAS – Digital Pharmacist Staff
We have said our goodbyes to 2018 and have welcomed 2019. What made your resolution list this year? We have compiled a list of our top six choices for pharmacy resolutions that will help bring your pharmacy forward into 2019.
1) Tell Your Patients That You’re Digital
If you have joined the digital movement and have gone digital, do not forget to get the word out. Let your patients know you are digital especially because now you have a method for patients to conveniently refill their medications. Whether they can refill off their mobile app, computer, or through interactive voice response (IVR) (phone), they can not benefit from these tools, if they do not know.
You can get the word out by stapling your marketing materials on your prescription bags, posting it on social media, telling your patients at the point of sale, or including the details on your IVR. A more fun way may be starting a small contest. For example, by downloading the mobile app and refilling a medication, they will be entered into a drawing for a prize of your liking.
2) Focus on Reputation Management
According to Statista, “31 percent of internet users regularly read online reviews to check out the quality of the business.” That means digital is now a requirement to compete in the marketplace.
Luckily for local pharmacies, there are options for collecting reviews.
Luckily for local pharmacies, there are options available for collecting reviews. So consider taking advantage of these reputation management opportunities. For more information on leveraging online reviews, read Reputation Management in Four Steps
3) Be Active on Social Media
Word of mouth marketing has always been considered the purest and best form of marketing. Today, social media continues to prove the power of word of mouth marketing. In addition, to the health news content provided by Digital Pharmacist, we recommend you post on your pharmacy’s Facebook page at least two to four times each week to showcase your personality. Examples of some posts include pharmacy/community events, special promotions, or even a behind the scenes video and story. These type of posts can go a long way and help your patients feel connected with you. If you missed our recent blog post on Getting the Greatest Impact with Social Media, you can read it here.
4) Focus on “Likeable Social Media”
The way to make your company or organization likable on social media is to listen carefully, be transparent, be responsive, be authentic and tell great stories. It is important to note that marketing via social media is NOT about advertising your message and obtaining the largest reach and at the highest frequency. Instead, it is about getting into the conversation, listening, engaging, and empowering. In other words, forget about old ways of communicating and get social. Do not talk at your patients. Instead, connect with them on a human level.
5) Optimize Your Marketing Efforts
Make sure not to skip out on marketing opportunities; instead, ensure your marketing dollars are spent effectively and efficiently.
- Choose one to two social media platforms and make sure you utilize these channels to engage with your customers. Once you have chosen your channel of choice, we suggest you create one or two unique posts each week. This amount of content won’t overwhelm pharmacists’ schedules and will keep your customers engaged.
- Cut out the marketing efforts that are not bringing you a good return of investment. For example, a newspaper ad can advertise to an entire city but someone who lives across town and 30 minutes away won’t be likely to make the drive all the way to your pharmacy. Make sure your dollars are targeting real customers with the real potential of visiting your pharmacy. Through hyper-targeting with Facebook or other platforms, businesses can get their message in front of the real, potential customers which translates to a more cost-effective marketing approach.
- Be sure to track your progress. Make sure you can see how your marketing efforts are performing. Once you know what works and what doesn’t, you can tweak your plan until you find a happy medium that what works for you and your business. Hint: if you can’t even see what kind of impact your dollars are having, you might want to consider cutting back.
6) Build Out Your Email List
Email may seem intimidating but it is actually the fastest and most effective way to get your message out there. The first step to a successful email marketing campaign is securing a robust list of email subscribers that you can deliver your content to. Although asking for emails has never been part of the workflow in the pharmacy, there are several easy steps you can take to incorporate this strategy into your daily routine.
You can obtain emails easily by including a newsletter sign-up on your website, having a physical sign-up at the pharmacy or asking for emails at the point of sale. Encourage patients to give you their email addresses so they can get exclusive information about special in-store pharmacy promotions and events. In turn, patients will get valuable information and you’ll get a new way to reach out to them, it’s a win-win.
Martin Luther King Jr falls on January 21 this year. Post the following promotion in your weekly pharmacy newsletter. You can also post it on Facebook or Instagram.
If you want more ideas for how you can execute these resolutions, we’d love to help you. Give us a call at 877-959-7550 or email [email protected].