You’re ready to open your pharmacy and it’s time to jump into the marketing. First, you need to develop a unique selling proposition, also known as a USP, to differentiate your pharmacy from competitors, including grocery stores and other venues that sell health care products. Once you know how to stand out from the crowd, you can focus on attracting customers and building loyalty to keep them coming back for more.
Hold a grand opening day or weekend event to let the community know you’re open for business. Display a large banner announcing the event, use balloons to grab attention and make it an interactive day by providing product samples, short health seminars and free health screenings. Put an ad in your local papers about the event and send a press release to local media. Use a prize drawing to entice people to sign up for your email newsletter.
Offer promotions to get people into the pharmacy. Create a weekly or monthly sales flier that goes in the local paper or is mailed to the community via bulk mail by the U.S. Postal Service. You may find it less expensive to run an ad in the local paper announcing your promotions for the week. Check with product manufacturers, distributors and wholesale suppliers to coordinate your efforts at promoting certain items. You can also run promotions that offer a free service or a screening.
The Internet provides many opportunities to reach potential and current shoppers. Start by building a website that is updated often. Consider adding a forum where people can ask health-related questions, and put copies of your promotional fliers on the site. Use social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter to stay in touch with your customer base. Provide information on promotions and events, and post messages that encourage people to comment or like the post. Encourage followers to share the information to increase the number of people you reach.
Educate your customers in nontechnical language that they can understand. This gives you a way to show your expertise on various health-related problems and products. Offer quick seminars that cover nutrition, seasonal illnesses, long-term health strategies, parenting, senior care and other hot topics. During the seminars, provide lots of useful information to help your customers decide which products to buy. Mention the events on your website and social media sites, and send reminder emails a few days ahead of time. These seminars make great blurbs for your local papers, so send press releases at least two weeks before each event to generate free publicity.