A few simple marketing questions pharmacists should ask themselves
By Pavithra Ravi, Pavithra Consulting Inc.
Marketing can seem like large feat when you aren’t sure where to start. There are a number different tools and strategies you can utilize to market what you are looking to share but what is the right strategy for you. How do you want to approach marketing in your practice?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you start to think about marketing:
What are you trying to achieve?
This may not seem like a marketing question, but it is fundamental to the strategy of your business and therefore impacts your marketing. The short answer of it is growing your business, but how exactly? Are you looking to retain your current patients? Are you looking to attract new patients? Are you looking to add a new product/ service and bring awareness to this? What you are looking to do will impact how you should approach marketing.
Where do opportunities lie in your business?
Marketing doesn’t have to be a net new concept or require a great deal of investment it can start at home (your business). Looking at what you already have at your disposal can start you off on a quick and easy journey into marketing. For example; do you partner with other healthcare providers who can build your network with signage? Do you have signage of what you offer visible in your store? Exploit the opportunities you have and look to move forward from there.
Who will be responsible for your marketing?
Marketing is not static. You cannot create a post, make a sign, or anything otherwise and leave this component stagnant. It’s important that marketing remains fresh and is monitored. Is this something you have time for? In some cases, depending on the level or marketing it can be added to your plate, but it is also a growth opportunity for other staff members. Perhaps there is a staff member with an interest in this area that wants to engage more in the business with you. Or you could take a completely different route and look to hire a business student/intern or even an agency depending on what you are trying to achieve.
What is success to you?
Success can mean so many different things to different people. What do you want to measure success as in your marketing initiative? It could be as simple as executing and getting some pieces of marketing up and out there, or it could be more granular. If you are looking for business growth have you seen your efforts drive patients to your pharmacy, have you seen an increase in services performed. Marketing can be driven by profits and bottom lines, but it can also be driven by health outcome objectives. Do you want to try to achieve 100% of patients vaccinated against the flu, make sure that 80% of patients in your pharmacy have an A1c test performed.
Marketing can be a labyrinth to navigate but asking yourself these few questions to start can set you off in the right direction.