As many pharmacies consider how to set themselves apart from the growing competition in the retail pharmacy space, we know that marketing strategies and pharmacy services can be key differentiators. One of the ways we recommend is to grow your customer base among millennials and young families in your area. Millennials though, can be tough to reach. So knowing how and where to find these families and how to keep them coming back can be tough - especially if marketing isn't a priority. If marketing IS a priority, consider these four ways to expand your reach in the new year.
Four ways to attract pediatric patients and young families to your pharmacy
A few years ago, prior to having my son, I worked as a marketing coordinator for a physical therapy practice. One of the key ways we looked to bring in new patients, was doctor outreach. The same is true with flavoring and we recommend this to our customers, though we call it Doctor Detailing. If pediatricians and family physicians in your area know that you flavor children's medication, you give them a solution when they have a patient who is difficult at medicine time. Not only do you build up relationships in the community, but also having referrals coming from the prescriber side means half of your job is done - you just have to flavor the medicine.
Similar to prescriber outreach, reaching out to daycare's in your area is a great way to meet young families. Last year, a pediatric dentist did a dentist day at my three year old's daycare and it was a great marketing tool! Not only did he learn about the importance of brushing his teeth (something we struggle with) but we found a pediatric dentist in our community right when we were starting to look for one. It turned out they didn't take our insurance but I do make it a point to refer friends looking for a pediatric dentist to them because they provided a turning point in the battle of teeth brushing with my son. Reach out around back to school or cold and flu season and see if they have career days. You can provide health and wellness tips, and send home a little packet to parents with your information, some of our marketing materials letting them know you flavor medicine.
We've talked before about Facebook advertising, and the importance of having a Google Business page. There are so many easy and inexpensive ways to advertise online that help you be found to young families online in your area thanks to the hyper targeted opportunities that won't break even the most miniscule of marketing budgets. Making sure you have an online presence, and promoting it to your current customers is step one in your online marketing strategy, but expanding that strategy to do paid promotion to targeted audiences is step two and can go a long way to increase awareness among young families who spend a lot of time online.
Spring is (almost) around the corner - or so most of us would like to think - that means local 5k's, and school fair's will be ramping up come the end of March and into April (depending on where you are that is). Now is the time ot reach out to the local PTA groups at schools, and other community organizations to see how you can support their event or have a presence. Scheduling yourself or another staff member to get out from behind the counter and get in front of families by supporting one or two events in the community this spring gives a brief break from the hustle and bustle of the pharmacy but gets you and/or your team in front of potential customers. This is the perfect opportunity to show off your personality and tell them about your offerings and services. Make sure to offer them something to remember you by - we recommend lollipops but other branded tchokchkes work too!
We know that pharmacists and their staffs are busy, and that many of these opportunities may not be top priority, however, trying out one of these recommendations per quarter in the new year, may help grow your business in the long run.