- A positive attitude behind the counter is never a bad idea.Jean-Claude Winkler/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Our world is filled with both mega-large chain franchises and small independent pharmacies. A new franchise owner probably already has a marketing plan prescribed for him by the company, while the independent owner enjoys more leeway in choosing how to market his new business. Whatever the pharmacy type, there are a variety of marketing ideas to consider when faced with the task of building a customer base for the first time.
- One marketing idea to consider is a grand opening--a quick way to introduce yourself to the community and add customers and sales quickly. A successful grand opening doesn't just happen though.
FranchiseKnowHow.com suggests making local contacts such as the Chamber of Commerce, newspaper, radio and television outlets. You need news stories, press releases and ad buys to let everyone know you exist.
Prizes and free cash always gets attention but you might also do something industry-specific, like offer free or very low cost flu shots that day. The details may vary but the point is to make a splash big enough to draw in a good number of potential customers.
Be the Health Expert
- If you or someone on staff is comfortable behind the microphone or in front of the camera, branding yourself as the local health expert is a great idea. Make local media aware that you are willing and able to comment upon both local and national health issues that arise. Radio stations are required to devote a certain amount of air time to local programming and many carry a version of "Ask the Expert" and health is an evergreen topic.
Sending press releases or a regular health newsletter keeps you in their mind until the day comes they need a quote from someone in the pharmacy business. You can't imagine what a massive boost to business it would be to have hundreds or maybe thousands of people tuning in to hear your thoughts each week. No, you don't get paid but should get a free plug out of the deal which is even better.
- We touched on this idea in the first section with the free flu shots but consider going further. There are products you sell that cost very little but could immensely benefit certain segments of the population.
Prenatal vitamins for pregnant mothers, vitamins for kids, and calcium tablets for senior citizens are a few ideas to get the ball rolling. Common antibiotics are also cheap. Take the small financial loss it would be to give them away. This kind of good will works like a charm. Eventually the people you give stuff to will need something from a pharmacy that costs money. When they do, it's a good bet they'll come to you.