Part of our mission at Digital Pharmacist is to help independent pharmacies understand the value of effective marketing to increase business and drive patient engagement. So, we were thrilled when we discovered that one of our members, Madison Pharmacy, has its own marketing director. With the guidance of Carly Heller, Director of Marketing at Madison Pharmacy, staff members aren’t just drug experts. They understand how to market exceptionally and impactfully to the friendly people of Madison, New Jersey.
Marketing Through Community Outreach
Heller attributes the majority of the pharmacy’s success to its community outreach initiatives. “We do things a little differently,” said Heller, “We go out into the community. We meet with doctors offices, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, you name it.” By meeting potential customers face-to-face and explaining their superior services, Madison Pharmacy has gained market share from the Walgreens down the street.
Outreach doesn’t stop there for the team at Madison Pharmacy. They set up booths at health fairs, college orientations, and other local events to inform the citizens of Madison about the unique services they offer. “We get hundreds of new patient every time we go to an event at a college,” said Heller. Students at the three colleges in Madison sign up as patients during freshman orientation so they are all set in September if they need prescriptions after they move in.
Pill Packaging as a Marketing Tool
Madison Pharmacy does more than event work to stand out. It also offers a wide range of services that make medication uniquely simple for patients. To help with compliance, Madison Pharmacy uses the NCPA’s Simplify My Meds program. This synchronizes prescriptions so patients can pick up all their meds on the same day each month. This convenient feature alone is enough to make patients switch from the big box stores to Madison Pharmacy.
Madison Pharmacy also offers a variety of personalized compliance packaging and will arrange day-by-day pill packages at no additional charge. This is especially valuable for patients in assisted living facilities. They also package kids’ medications in a simple day-by-day container which they’ve modeled after a bingo sheet. This makes it simple and fun for younger patients to remember when to take their medications.
Product and Service Offerings Make the Pharmacy Stand Out
Ear piercing and other beauty related services have been a surprising driver of new business for Madison Pharmacy. The majority of the staff is trained to pierce ears. The pharmacy accepts piercing walk-ins throughout the work day. Heller and a colleague also became certified to give compression hosiery fittings and the pharmacy now carries a full range of compression hosiery.
These unique product and service offerings drive traffic into the pharmacy. While a customer’s daughter gets her ears pierced, or a patient searches for hosiery, they also pick up toiletries and prescriptions. Convenient, unique services like these are a great way to get new customers in the door.
With so many unique offerings, Madison Pharmacy doesn’t feel threatened by the chain store that opened up down the street. “I feel like Walgreens coming to town actually improved our business,” remarked Heller. Madison is a small town whose citizens value and support local businesses. Pharmacists and staff members know most of their patients by name and have developed lifelong relationships with Madison natives. They’ve been able to implement powerful marketing strategies while maintaining that small-town charm customers love.
Going Digital as a Means to Adherence
By using Digital Pharmacist’s platforms, Heller feels that Madison Pharmacy is able to provide the level of convenience that typically draws people towards corporate pharmacies. “We’re really trying to encourage people to download our mobile app,” said Heller. They keep a tablet next to the register and customers enter their emails to receive a link to download the app. “I’ve definitely noticed an increase in patient adherence over the two years that we’ve been using the website and app,” said Heller.