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the pharmacy show 2021 17th and 18th of october at the nec arena

The Pharmacy Show 2021 is at the NEC Arena in Birmingham on the 17/18th October for two days jam-packed with speakers, networking and exhibitions!

The Pharmacy Show is back!

And we will be there! Pharmacy Mentor thrived after the last Pharmacy Show in 2019. With the show cancelled through the pandemic, we’re extra excited to finally get the chance to go back.

Here are all the reasons we can’t wait for The Pharmacy Show 2021…

Captain Obvious, reporting for duty

We couldn’t possibly assemble a list of reasons we’re excited for the 17th/18th October without addressing the elephant in the room.

It’s just good to be back for a social event, isn’t it?

We’re a largely digital company as it is, so any opportunity to meet our clients is fantastic. It’s been exciting enough to go for drinks after work recently. So an arena bubbling with excitement and optimism has us pumped!

The Pharmacy Show hosts the biggest names and the widest range of businesses in the UK pharmacy industry – there’s nowhere else to find this level of pharma-people all in one place.

 

It’s a BIG PLUS from the Pharmacy Show

Conversations = Opportunity

This point transcends industries or events. This is life! The entire success of humanity spans from communication. Idea-sharing, collaborations, best practice, new thinking. They all overlap, but none of them come without the conversations. The Pharmacy Show is THE biggest event of the Pharmacy Year, and thousands upon thousands of life-changing conversations will be held here.

Attend with intent. Have the conversations. Understand the opportunities. Explore the possibilities.

Chasing the waves

The Pharmacy industry is the ocean. As a pharmacy, you’re either swimming in it or surfing. Swimming is hard work, all the time. And you move along at a slow and steady pace. But it feels safe. You’re moving at a comfortable speed and you’ve got control. Wipeout (crashing) is a term for surfers, not swimmers. You can’t wipeout doing the breaststroke. And so, you’re happy. You look at the surfers and think, I’m happy not risking falling off and breaking something.

Surfers meanwhile, spend all their time chasing the waves. Chasing the waves is extremely hard work. Harder even than just swimming about, because you’ve got to swim too. You’ve got to swim hard and think about climbing on your board and balancing. But when you catch the wave, that’s when you leave those swimmers in your wake.

Why am I talking about swimming and surfing?

Because when the ocean is calm, you can afford to swim. But when the waters are choppy, swimmers get left behind.  When swimmers get left behind in strong, choppy waters, swimmers can easily drown, no matter how hard they work. And right now, the pharmacy industry is in revolution.

Tune in to the current. Listen to the wave-makers and the champion surfers at The Pharmacy Show. The 17/18th October at the NEC Arena is the right place at the right time for you to catch the next big wave in pharmacy.

Don’t get left behind.

What we’re doing at the Pharmacy Show.

The Pharmacy Show is a great place for industry leaders and service providers to demonstrate what they’re all about.

We’re starting the demonstration early. We’re showing that geographical location isn’t as important as people finding you online, and we’re leading by example. You’ll find us tucked away in a corner of the expo hall at stand G72. But we’re going to guide people to our stand online, the same way we help our clients get found by patients.

We love the opportunities that The Pharmacy Show presents to be creative and dynamic with your exhibition, and we’re doubling down.

Checking out the latest in healthcare technology

As well as exhibiting, we’ll of course be exploring the event ourselves whenever we can.

Digital Health innovations affect everyone across the healthcare and pharmacy industries, so it’s going to be great to see the latest and greatest innovations. There’s no better way to see these than live, with demonstrations and explanations from the companies behind them.

Book your ticket now

You can book your ticket through the official website of The Pharmacy Show 2021, for either yourself or a group.

We’ll see you there!

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Data Collection for Pharmacy
Sometimes the path of improvement for your pharmacy is obvious. Struggling with too many phone calls? Let people communicate with you online instead. Need to increase your revenue? Start offering private clinical services. But sometimes there are things that can drastically improve your fortunes that don’t immediately spring to mind.

Communicating with people when they’re not in your physical location was, once upon a time, a tricky accomplishment. Often costing hundreds of pounds every time you did with ads on TV, Radio or in the newspaper, or physically sending someone letters, which costs P&P. Data collection for pharmacies and squeezing the value out of the data with technology has changed the game.

Data collection for pharmacies

How to collect data in a pharmacy

An Unexplored Goldmine

This is the usual scenario in a pharmacy…

  1. A person walks into the pharmacy
  2. That person comes and collects a prescription or buys something over the counter
  3. The person walks out of the pharmacy

If that person experienced great customer service, it’s likely that they will come back again. But who knows? They’ve got the Amazon app and it might just be a bit more convenient for them to do what they needed to do online. This issue is once they have left your pharmacy, how are you going to make sure you can continue communicating with them so that they continue using your services?

Of course, social media helps massively and making sure you’re services are plastered over Google, but these are not direct or personal forms of communication. This is where intervening in the above scenario is key and represents a gold mine for pharmacy.

How many people have walked into your pharmacy in the last 10 years? 10,000’s. That’s 10,000’s of opportunities to intervene and collect the data from a customer/patient to communicate with them digitally and directly thereafter.

But what data do you collect?

In an ideal scenario, you want to collect:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Telephone
  • Address
  • Gender
  • DOB
  • Weight
  • Height
  • Services they are interested in

As you can imagine, this information for your pharmacy is extremely useful when targeting certain demographics with the various services you provide and the products you sell.

But how do you go about collecting people’s data?

Data & Permission

You can’t email someone without their contact details, or their permission to contact them in line with GDPR. So how do you get both?

Easy. Ask for it. Saam, Pharmacy Mentor’s CEO, used to have a simple script he’d use every single time when working as a pharmacist.

“Hey Mr. Smith, we’re trying to improve communication at the Pharmacy, would you mind filling in this form whilst you wait?”

No one ever said no. That form can be a paper form or you can have a pre-populated form on Mailchimp or a similar subscription tool. With that one simple form, you can get their details and permission to contact them directly and build up an email list over the years that can have a direct impact on patient retention and business revenue.

But that seems a bit slow to grow?

How many people come in to collect their prescriptions every day? Conservatively speaking, collecting 20 sets of contact details every day gives you a list of 400/month. That’s a lot of attention. You’re in a unique position as a community pharmacy that people aren’t skeptical of leaving you their details.

Hotel Chocolat, Hugo Boss, they offer discounts on their products just to get their hands on the customer emails. That’s how valuable contact details are for big brands. And why do they do it? Because targeting customers with special offers around Valentine’s Day and Christmas, or letting them know when there is a sale on, makes them money.

Next week we’ll be releasing an article on making the most out of email marketing for pharmacies. But for now, start growing your mailing list!

Websites and Email Opt-ins…

Data collection doesn’t stop in your physical pharmacy either. Your website can host more visitors than your physical pharmacy. The same concept applies to any visitor. How are you making sure they come back?

Email opt-in forms on your website capture visitors’ information whilst they’re on your site. Utilising pop-up windows to capture visitor information works well, especially when paired with an incentive to sign-up. Pairing a Pharmacy Mentor website with our email marketing campaigns is a great way to get an email list up and running quickly.

Loyalty Schemes

This is a slightly separate tactic, though it’s related to Data Collection. It’s all about capturing the person who’s walked into your pharmacy and making sure they come back to you. That way you grow your revenue and stay in business. Sell a man some Bonjela, you’ll remove his toothache for a day. Sign him up to your loyalty card whilst you’re doing it, and you’ll remove his toothache for life. Because now he’ll come back when you target him with your special offers on Bonjela.

There’s only one word required to convince you of the power of a loyalty scheme in pharmacy…Boots. Their Advantage card lives in the memory as one of the first. Since 1997, it’s offered customers money off for returning to their stores. It’s one of the biggest loyalty schemes in the UK. So why wouldn’t you want to copy that?

Upfront costs of loyalty schemes

Boots invested £30million into their Advantage scheme. There’s a small chance you think that’s too much? But there are solutions for small businesses.

Swipii is a loyalty card app for local businesses, without the upfront cost. Instead, you get charged a percentage when people take advantage of the cashback offers. As always, a smaller profit on a sale is better than no profit on no sale. There are multiple options out there offering similar solutions, some may suit your pharmacy more than others.

As the title of this article suggests, these are just the sparkling nuggets sticking out of the rock in the goldmine that is Data Collection for pharmacies.

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nextdoor social media app on pharmacy mentor phone
You might think Nextdoor is just another social media app, and too much like hard work to adopt. Here’s why you should reconsider using Nextdoor for your pharmacy…

Why use Nextdoor for your Pharmacy? So much of the internet is engineered for remote, geographically neutral business. You buy without ever meeting anyone or even leaving your home. Most social media & online apps are focus on connecting you to communities based on interest, rather than proximity.

This works in the mainstream because there is more that connects us than living in the same area.

But living in the same area does connect us. If living through a lockdown has taught us anything, it’s to appreciate the things on our doorstep.

Nextdoor specialises in local community

Harnessesing the power of local in a simple way that most other apps don’t, Nextdoor specialises in connecting local people and takes it to the next level. They’ve recognised how popular those local neighbourhood groups you get on Facebook are, and based their entire app on making that experience as good as it could be. Instead of one page where everyone is talking about everything, you’ve got local interest groups, events, and Local Deals – all of which you can take advantage of as a pharmacy.

nextdoor features you can use as a pharmacy

The range of features on Nextdoor.

1. It’s for Local People & Local Businesses

The challenge for small businesses with big social media platforms like Facebook & Instagram is how over-populated and commercialised they are. Nextdoor isn’t overcrowded. There isn’t so much noise that it’s hard for anyone to get heard. Nextdoor is about connecting local communities with local events and news.

This is what attracts the attention of so many users. Look at this local community facebook page and see how active it is (and this is just a village). Nextdoor plays on this popularity. When you want to advertise your services, you want attention from a relevant target audience. A Community Pharmacy should be at the heart of every neighbourhood on Nextdoor, because Nextdoor gives you both.

The competition and standard on Nextdoor from businesses is…practically zero, especially compared to Facebook. In fact, in my neighbourhood, the only actual business set up and using it in the right way is a local pharmacist.

As an added bonus, to sign up for Nextdoor, users must enter their address and verify their mobile phone number. This means Nextdoor doesn’t suffer from anonymous, spam, or abusive accounts, so you won’t get the type of negative comments you sometimes see on Facebook or Twitter.

2. It’s Word of Mouth, Online

Word of mouth – often touted by business owners as the best form of marketing. There’s certainly nothing like other people recommending your business. You can shout about how great you are, but coming from an independent source means twice as much.

People in the community are constantly asking for recommendations. Whilst you can be recommended regardless of whether or not you’re on Nextdoor, people can link your profile when recommending you. Your profile keeps all your recommendations, so people see how trusted you are in the community. This separates you and the competition when you’re both receiving recommendations.

These community pages are often untapped for the targets that matter most, like EPS & delivery sign-ups. You can advertise this as well as waiting for recommendations.

3. An Active, Engaged Audience

Nextdoor doesn’t have anywhere near as many active users as Facebook, but Facebook is a diverse crowd. Some people Facebook to post pictures, others to catch up with friends. In fact, very few people go on Facebook to keep up with the businesses on there! It just happens you can attract their attention whilst they’re there. Nextdoor is about what’s going on in the local community. It’s about finding the best places to go in the area. Showing up to people on Nextdoor has a higher chance of converting into paying business, because that’s often why people are there in the first place.

The Local Deals is the PERFECT place to promote any clinical services you offer. It’s basically like Groupon, but for local businesses. Just by discounting your service slightly, you’ll get free exposure and advertising in the Local Deals section and attract markets that wouldn’t otherwise find you.

nextdoor local deals section

The Local Deals section on Nextdoor – criminally underused by businesses. This is an opportunity for instant visibility to people with purchasing intent.

There’s also a functionality where you can create a local interest group. Because you register as a person before you register your business, you could start a “Health & Wellbeing” focus group in there for people interested in staying healthy. As a trusted pharmacist, you can use your personal brand to enhance your pharmacy’s reputation by offering relevant advice and products to your community when they’re asking questions about it.

The time is now to use Nextdoor for your Pharmacy

Nextdoor #4 Top Free Apps in Social right now, with over 10 million downloads. The app is absolutely on people’s radar right now. How long it remains so is the question always asked of any new popular app. But that doesn’t matter. Opportunities don’t have to last forever to be opportunities. Right now, people in your community are on Nextdoor. It’s so under-utilised by businesses right now, that Ad-spend and organic reach are through the roof value for money.

If Nextdoor is only hot right now, then now is exactly when you want to be utilising the attention. If Nextdoor rises in popularity, then now is the perfect time to establish yourself before there’s any competition. Either way, now is the right time to sign up to Nextdoor.

Unsure of how you’d use the app?

Speak to our support team today about our Nextdoor management. We’ll employ the same tactics we generate results for other pharmacies with, giving you the best representation possible in your community.

TIP: When signing up for your Nextdoor account, visit the email notifications. You don’t want an email every time Mary from Manchester Road thinks her cat is missing.

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PCR Test Pharmacy
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a massive period of uncertainty for pretty much everyone. But where there is chaos, there is also opportunity. In this particular case, for pharmacies, the opportunity was marketing PCR Tests.

The Opportunity

The demand for PCR tests quickly picked up when lockdown was lifted and people were allowed to travel again. 

pcr test google trends

This graph shows the popularity of the search on Google over the past 12 months.

The Results

Pharmacy Mentor harnessed this demand for our clients who offered PCR testing. We also recommended that other pharmacies begin to offer PCR testing through their pharmacy as a result of the trend analysis. 

Here are the stats for one of them:

website statistics marketing pcr tests showing 89 thousand page views and 28 thousand new users

Off the wall statistics for an independent pharmacy website.

 

This reads like a marketing symphony. Imagine for a second that this was a physical pharmacy…

  • New users: – 28,702 people have walked into your pharmacy off the street. 28,702 people.
  • Sessions: – Those people came into the pharmacy on average 1.54 times.
  • Page Views: – Of the 90k page views, the consultation form page had 18.5k views. So, of those 28,000 people who walked into your pharmacy to ask about PCR tests, 18,500 signed up for a consultation.

Good Problems

It’s really been a bit of a problem. Because it’s not easy to cope with such demand.

Fortunately, the fact we have Telegram & WhatsApp support for our clients means they get instant support whenever they need it. And this did need quite a bit of support!

A separate phone-line and email had to be created for PCR requests and all other requests on their website. Fortunately, having created their website too, so we could do this immediately.

On-site consultations needed to become online consultations to make room for flu jab appointments. I’ll say that again. To make room for flu jab appointments. The pharmacy was wall-to-wall booked with PCR consultations.

Then online consultations booked up. We had to turn the form off temporarily because there was too much demand and people couldn’t book appointments.

We’ve had to evolve the website to be able to accept online payments to streamline the money coming into the business. Not a bad problem to have.

“Please help, I have so many calls and requests per day, I can’t process it all.” At its peak, marketing PCR tests was making this pharmacy £5k/day.

How we did it

You’ll likely want to understand how this happens, to get similar results for your pharmacy.

Two words. Keyword Optimisation.

Understanding how Google works, we created and optimised two articles for their website (yes, you need a website for this to work). Our keyword research found the terms that people mostly used to search. We published each article – making it both user-friendly (easy to read, easy to use) and Google-friendly (clearly optimised for keywords and formatted well).

A couple of weeks later, due to the lack of competition, the articles topped Google for the relevant keywords, beating the Government websites.  

We created a digital form on the site for people to fill in so they could book everything online, as well as a payment mechanism.  Two reasons for this:

  1. It’s easier for you as a pharmacist to manage.
  2. It’s better for the customer/patient – because when people are searching the internet:
  • they aren’t always in a position to pick up the phone
  • Phone lines might be busy
  • your pharmacy might be closed when they’re searching for the service (in the evening!)

You lose customers by not allowing them to do everything online.

Able to act with our finger on the pulse

There was obviously the matter of timing, too. That’s why we’re the perfect healthcare partner. We know the heartbeat of healthcare when it comes to marketing throughout the year.

Overall, the investment on this project from the pharmacy was around £500. This resulted in making £1,000’s/day.

When the opportunity knocked, we answered.

Our monthly marketing packs give you access to what is essentially a remote marketing department. With constant dialogues from our team, you’ve got instant access to the trends and the tactics that maximise impact – from those trends, for your pharmacy.

PCR testing is an exceptional bubble, for sure. If you do offer PCR tests, get in touch now because we can maximise your impact.

But this strategy works for all the PGDs and on-site services you offer, as well as eCommerce. There’s a massive vacuum on Google in the world of healthcare. Waiting for pharmacies like yours to fill it – and fulfil the demand of all the thousands of searches happening every day.

Looking for help in marketing your services better and building an online presence? Please get in touch with us. We’ll be glad to help.

 

“We had no digital presence before we used the services provided by Pharmacy Mentor and our profits were being eaten up by ridiculous fees. Now, we’re generating over 100 bookings per month through our own slick and seamless, money-generating automated system.”
Pharmacy Owner – Edinburgh, Scotland

About

This pharmacy is a local independent community pharmacy serving the populations in Edinburgh. They are a popular, long-established chemist who understands that innovation is the only way forward in this tough, competitive climate.

Challenges

The challenges that they faced were:

  • He knew the pharmacy had the potential to deliver many more pharmacy service consultations but he didn’t know how to achieve that.
  • He wanted to avoid giving half of his profits away to the company that provided the PGDs for him.
  • He had no marketing strategy of his own. The pharmacy had no digital presence.

Solutions

Pharmacy Mentor works with them to develop a bespoke digital marketing strategy with the goals of:

  • Building their own online booking system with integrated Pharmadoctor PGD consultations
  • Integrating the online booking system into their pharmacy website
  • Building a dedicated Travel Clinic website to dominate keywords associated with their Travel Clinic
  • Develop and execute an organic social media strategy through Facebook, Instagram, and Google My Business
  • Drive higher numbers of bookings through paid Google Adwords

Results

With the entire scope of marketing conducted, we have transformed the business in terms of the pharmacy services they offer, their Travel Clinic in particular. We have significantly increased monthly revenue and profits for them.

Notable outcomes of marketing efforts:

  • Positioned on page 1 of Google for most search terms associated with their pharmacy services in the locality, organically. This was achieved 3 months after the build and optimisation of their new website. The website is generating over 300 new users and >1000 page views per month, organically.
  • Our marketing efforts have now begun to generate well over 100 bookings of various pharmacy services every month. The Travel Clinic and Medicspot being up there with the most popular:

 

Total bookings generated in September 2019

 

  • Google Ads have been performing very well over the last two months with click-through rates (CTR’s) averaging 16% and average conversions at 22%, which is much higher than the industry average.

 


Saam Ali - The Pharmacy Mentor

If you’re looking for help in marketing your services better and building on online presence, then please get in touch with us and we’ll be glad to help.

Healthtech for Pharmacies

There is a paradigm shift taking place in the healthcare industry. With mounting financial pressure on the NHS and an innovation boom in the healthtech industry, all eyes are on community pharmacies as the remedy to a system that some claim is failing its patients.

We’re moving closer towards a patient-led healthcare system, allowing patients more control and choice over their health. With wearable tech, trackers and measuring devices on phones, as well as advancements in AI and data storage, we have more ways than ever to manage chronic illness, health, and wellbeing. Read more

How to market your pharmacy (1)

 

Marketing your pharmacy effectively today is of paramount importance.

 

With the way digital health is progressing, communicating with your patients digitally and marketing yourselves more effectively is of paramount importance. Why? Well, let me explain in a few short bullet points. 

 

Digital communication is the primary way people talk. 40 million of us in the UK are on social media and we spend on average 5 hours a day on our smartphones. If that’s where we now live, pharmacies should be living there too.

 

Our top value is convenient healthcare. We want to talk to a healthcare professional right away and we want the medicine delivered to our door the very next day. Digital health is allowing for this to happen and we’re seeing an alarming rise in digital competition. Pharmacies must adopt a digital health strategy and communicate with their patients digitally to protect their business and grow.

 

We’re getting paid less for dispensing prescription items. Automation means that robots can dispense quicker, cheaper and safer, and the government understands this. We need to market ourselves better to attract more business and drive income from other avenues.

 

 The opportunity that digital marketing offers is ever-expanding. Social media, along with other important digital channels, is continuously evolving and new marketing tools are being released every week. This represents wonderful opportunities for pharmacies to communicate with their patients, engage them and drive more sales. 

 

How to market your pharmacy 

 

How to market your pharmacy

 

I’m all about giving you as much value as possible but being straight to the point at the same time. Below is a list of all the things you should be thinking about in 2019 to understand how to market your pharmacy in the most effective way possible.

 

The list below is exhaustive and you’ll not be able to do everything yourself. You’re a pharmacy owner or similar, you’re not a marketer. So you’ll need help implementing, or at least advising on the best way forward. I’m more than happy to speak to you at any time by email, WhatsApp or phone. That being said, if you have a marketing background, you can also tell me to sling one.

 

In-store Marketing

 

1. Train your pharmacy team

Can’t stress this enough. Your pharmacy staff, if trained well, can drive 10x the profits in your store. Multiple but ethical selling is the key, and providing incredible customer service.

As well as doing this yourself, I’d highly recommend the pharmacy training company Mediapharm. These guys have unique modules on driving sales and delivering excellent service.

 

2. Have awesome in-store marketing collateral

Posters, leaflets, brochures, business cards, banners, banner-rollers. You get my drift. However, it’s not about plonking this collateral in the pharmacy wherever. There’s an art to it. In my opinion, minimal and clean is the way forward. This is all about about the design of your pharmacy, which leads me onto the third point.

 

3. Design your pharmacy better

If the experience of a patient and customer is improved, they’ll come again and again. This is a proven concept. Your pharmacy might only need a few cosmetic changes. However, if the interior of your pharmacy doesn’t fit the number of prescription items you now, space is inadequate and the lighting is poor, then you’ll no doubt benefit from a redesign of your pharmacy.

I know a guy called Chris who runs the most popular pharmacy design company in the UK and he’ll give you some great advice here.

 

T3 Pharmacy Design

Designing your pharmacy better is an extremely effective marketing strategy

 

4. Digital TV Displays

Our attention spans, unfortunately, have diminished faster than my care for listening to the news about Brexit. We need things to move around to keep our focus or grab it in the first instance.

That’s why digital pharmacy TV displays are the way forward. They’re engaging and they mean you can have less collateral and clutter in your windows and inside your store. They’ll bring people into the store and engage them while they’re in there.

Healthpoint TV are providing excellent solutions for pharmacies. Give them a high-five for me if you get in touch.

 

5. Use a loyalty scheme

Spend £50 with us and get a £5 voucher free. Loyalty schemes are why I keep shopping at Tesco and spend waaaaaay too much in Costa Coffee. It’s obscene how much money I’ve given them. In fact, now I’m just angry thinking about that.

Anyway, loyalty schemes are important in how to market your pharmacy and should be digital. I’m a big fan of an application called Swipii. They’re helping 100’s of local businesses drive customers into store. If you want this setting up, get in touch with me so I can intro you. You’ll get a discount and I’ll get a free pencil or something similar.

 

6. Hold monthly in-store events

Could you hold an event in-store once a month? Possibly a makeover event led by one of your staff or a diabetes evening where you can showcase your new diabetic range of products but also give lots of value at the same time? Or could you even create an event just for the business owners in the area?

There is no better marketing than face-to-face marketing. You have apps such as Facebook, Eventbrite and Meetup to help you organise and market your event. Events drive trust, repeat business and growth.

It just depends whether you’re willing to spend the three hours a month preparing the event. I certainly would because I know networking is a great strategy in how to market your pharmacy and deliver results.

 

7. Make your instore products digital

NearSt is a wonderful tool and service that essentially digitises all your products in-store and makes them available online when people are looking for them close by. The products can be fed into your Google My Business profile too. This is superb if you have quite unique products, say mobility scooters, herbal remedies etc. I could have placed this in the inbound marketing section too.

There’s a one-time fee to set this up and we can set it up for you. #thinkoutsidethebox.

 

Digitise your products in-store and create listings for them on Google

 

Direct Marketing

 

8. Digitise your direct communication with patients

Phonecalls are a pain in the eye, especially in the pharmacy. It should still be an option for people but it should now be a secondary option. That’s because we now have WhatsApp Business and other great apps like PharmZap, that make communication so much easier.

I’ve seen it countless times. People leave bad reviews on Google if they can’t get through to a business on the phone. That would anger me big time, especially if it was to do with my medication, that helps keep me calm. Please give your patients an alternative way to communicate.

But apps like these are also incredible marketing tools. You can build lists of people in these apps a market occasionally but directly to them.

Other Apps that incorporate direct marketing features include prescriptions reordering Apps such as Healthera.

 

9. Harnessing the right PRM System

It makes complete sense that your PMR system, as well as being the main dispensing system, also acts as a CRM tool, which is part of the wider-scope of marketing.

Does your PMR system support text-messaging or emailing to patients?

I’m not going to recommend a particular system here otherwise I might get in trouble. But if you are thinking about changing your PMR, think about CRM too.

 

10. Drive conversions through a Mailshot

This is a more expensive option initially but the return on investment can be significant. Reaching 10,000 people in your community directly via a leaflet or flyer drop does work, but it all depends on the creative that you’re sending out.

Does it deliver the right message? What are you selling on there? What’s your objective?

As a pharmacy business, however, we need to think B2B as well as B2C. Building a closer relationship with key stakeholders who are affiliated with your audience can be immensely powerful. Sending out a personal letter to them will be a great start.

An example: If you’re offering a travel clinic, then sending out a letter to all the GP’s and mosques in your area will be extremely valuable. Follow this up with a phone call to strengthen the relationship, and even go visit them (see next point).

More than happy to talk to you about our Mailshot service.

 

11. Visit key stakeholders and other businesses in the area

I remember when I used to work for Boots on Ecclesall Rd in Sheffield. I was the newly appointed Pharmacy Store Manager and naturally, I was filled with enthusiasm. One tactic that I employed was to personally visit all the GPs surgeries and different businesses in the area, simply to say “hi”, give them our brochure, and have a bit of banter.

In one year, I managed to grow item numbers by 10% and the shop floor revenue increased by 15%. Of course, I can’t measure exactly how effective this tactic was, but it definitely had an influence on the overall business and was key in understanding how to market a pharmacy better.

 

12. Attend local events and network

People love events. And people are your customers, especially local ones. Take a look at Eventbrite and schedule to see what kind of events you might be able to attend and network.

It could be a local business event, a school community event, or a charity event. Any event is an opportunity to network, talk to people and essentially market to them – consciously and subconsciously.

 

Inbound (Digital) Marketing

 

13. Facebook and Instagram

These two social platforms, for me, go hand-in-hand because Facebook owns Instagram and they’re heavily connected. These two are the best way to reach an audience local to you and is why we always employ them in our social media strategies for pharmacies. They work.

Things to note as of 2019 are that organically, you’ll need to produce really good content for your posts to get seen and it’s difficult to build an audience quickly. This takes time.

That’s why it’s all about Facebook and Instagram Ads. Harnessing these is a must in your social media strategy, and they are very powerful, especially if you have somewhere to direct people to, such as an online booking platform (see below).

 

14. Local Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

I cannot stress the importance of local SEO for a pharmacy, especially if they are delivering a clinical service. People are looking for your pharmacy services online, on Google primarily.

Instead of writing about incredibly awesome and important Google My Business is for your pharmacy, or any other business you have, please watch the video below:

 

 

Next off, you have local directories that you also need to optimise, such as Yell.com, Yelp.com and your NHS Choices profile. All very important in providing visitors vital information about your pharmacy.

And then we have the world of blogging. We’ve proven time and time again, through analytics and talking to pharmacy owners, that blogging for your local pharmacy services is extremely powerful. It works. For some pharmacy owners, we’ve driven revenue by an extra £3K a month in one year through two, highly optimised blog posts that we wrote. It cost him £125 per post. You do the maths.

Also, it’s worth looking into guest posting on other high-ranked local websites, such as local magazines.

 

15. Paid Advertising across Google

If you’re delivering a product or service for the first time, for example, you just started providing a travel clinic to patients through a Pharmadoctor PGD, there is nothing more potent and quick at creating an ROI than marketing through Google Ads. That’s why it’s one of the more expensive options.

Google Ads is all about driving raw return on investment through optimising ads and analysing results. Get in touch with me if you want to discuss it.

 

16. Have a good pharmacy website

Don’t invest in a poor website with lack of support. It’s just a waste of time and money for everyone. Instead, invest in a good, solid, mobile-optimised site which is flexible and has support. This will be your digital hub and you can do so many things with it. For example, you can:

  • Allow people to register for you EPS service
  • Integrate WhatsApp business on there
  • Provide as much information to your visitors as possible
  • Shop for items if you have eCommerce
  • Allow people to order their repeat prescription
  • Book your pharmacy services, right there and then (see below)

A website is mandatory because it links all the other digital channels and will allow you to direct your marketing efforts from these channels.

 

17. Develop an online booking system

We’ve recently begun exploring this with clients in how to market a pharmacy better and my gosh, it’s good we did. People want to book online for services. Fact. If you offer clinical services, then this is no doubt in your best interest.

With the right marketing around it, you’re able to drive 100’s of bookings every month, seamlessly, for the services you offer, which will then drive 5-star reviews for your practice automatically.

The other great thing about having such a system online is that we are able to measure our success here much more effectively.

 

Pharmacy Online Booking System

Build an online booking system and host all the services you offer

 

Please get in touch with us if you want this built thoroughly and efficiently.

Alternatively, if you want to build this yourself, you can of course. If you’re in Europe, you can access the booking calendar here, and in the States/Canada/Australia/New Zealand, you can access this calendar.

 

18. Other social media channels

LinkedIn is great for connecting with CEO’s and marketing to corporations. WeChat is great for engaging with your local Chinese community if you’re thinking about delivering the HPV vaccine. Tik Tok is a new platform, specifically for video marketing. Next Door is a local app you can use to market to your neighbours.

The options are genuinely endless. And frightening at times.

 

Analytics

 

You can’t talk about marketing without talking about analysis. Simply put, you have to analyse your marketing efforts.

Some marketing efforts are difficult to analyse. For example, you can’t really be certain how many people walk into your store because of an Instagram post they saw or a flyer that was given out unless you had an excellent feedback system in place where you asked them.

You can measure, however, what kind of engagement you’re getting online and certainly how we’ll you’re doing for online paid marketing. This is really important to understand if what you’re doing is working or not, and to point you in the right direction.

Analysing your results on a monthly basis is key.

 


 

My name’s Saam and I wrote this.

 

I’m more than happy to talk to you about how to market your pharmacy better and any of the items spoken about here. I can help you strategise better if necessary.

 

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

All the best.

Sign up for weekly emails geared towards keeping you up-to-date with everything you need to market your pharmacy.

Reportsmart - Pharmacy Incident Reporting Made Easy

LEARN THROUGH VIDEO

LEARN THROUGH READING

What are we going to learn?

(Reflection)

 

In this sponsored CPD module,  we’re going to learn about a tool called Pharmsmart, but more specifically, the Reportsmart feature integrated within the Pharmsmart suite of tools.

 

In short, Reportsmart is a patient safety reporting tool designed to record and improve the safety and efficiency of dispensing.

 

How and why is this learning relevant?

(Reflection)

 

Dispensing incidents are a threat to patient safety and must be controlled, audited properly and analysed. Traditional methods of reporting and dealing with dispensing errors via paper trail are inefficient and often get neglected. This means that there is no real improvement in the dispensing process and as a result, patient safety remains at a similar risk level.

 

Reportsmart aims to improve that and deliver even more value.

 

What is Reportsmart?

(Planning and Action)

 

Reportsmart

 

Reportsmart is a new digital application that makes the entire process of dealing with incident reporting very efficient and effective. Alongside this, its many innovative features address the root causes of dispensing errors so that dispensing becomes safer.

 

How does it work?

(Planning and Action)

 

As I mentioned earlier, Reportsmart is a part of a suite of products under Pharmsmart. So when you log in, Reportsmart can be seen here amongst other tools like CD Smart and POMsmart. Let me go through this part of the dash with you now. 

 

The first things you’ll see are the National Alerts that are generated automatically for you here so you never miss them, and they’re easily actionable. I love the little summary that pops up here too. 

 

Above this, you can see a summary of your entire year of incident reporting which is really cool. This is a dummy account I’m using to show you this software so naturally, there isn’t much data here but you’ll be able to see quite clearly how your pharmacy is performing throughout the months. 

 

And incident reporting of all sorts is very easy. Let me show you how quick it is to report a near-miss error (watch video).

 

Simple right. With a bit of training, anyone in the pharmacy is able to do this. 

 

Over on the tabs on the left-hand side, you can view each individual dispensing or prescribing error in each month, view the conversations you had with people and the best bit for me are the reports you’re able to generate from the data it is collecting.

 

You’re able to generate thorough patient safety reports for each month that passes which will allow you to analyse how your pharmacy is performing on a more detailed basis. I particularly like how the tool shows you how you’ve done in comparison to the previous month and also the near-miss summary, indicating types and times of when these are happening. 

 

As a pharmacist, I would be utilising these reports every single month, using the data to improve workflow and have the necessary conversations with staff. Really cool and innovative stuff.

 

Patient Safety is also part of your Quality Payments. This tool will help you achieve that target.

 

Evaluation

 

Reportsmart

 

The Reportsmart feature of Pharmsmart is a slick, fast and effective method of handling the entire spectrum of incident reporting and is naturally a much better alternative than paper-based, outdated systems. 

 

It’s user-friendly, intuitive and can have a positive outcome on patient safety. Furthermore, it will save you hours of time every month in recording incidents in the dispensing process, can be used by all members of the pharmacy team, and will be easy to implement within your pharmacy model. 

 

To receive the benefits of this tool, you’ll need to navigate to Pharmsmart.co.uk or give the guys a call to get your pharmacy activated. 

 

Once again, thanks for watching/reading on Pharmacy Mentor and we’ll see you again soon.

 

Add to your MyGPhC Records

 

If you’d like to talk to us about getting digital, or anything related, please feel free to contact us and we’d be glad to assist you. Also, don’t forget to check out The Ultimate Guide to Driving Your Pharmacy Business in the Digital Age, a free 70-page manual, that is really helping pharmacists understand the importance of new and emerging technologies.

 

Thanks for visiting and see you in the next learning module!

Clinical Pharmacy Apps

As technology and artificial intelligence has evolved significantly over the past decade, so has the way we consume information in our daily lives whether it’s at work or at home.

As professionals and as patient’s we are using technology more and more intuitively to help support us in all aspects of life.

I firmly believe to provide the best service to your patients, you need to have the most up-to-date knowledge base and there are many apps that can help you with this.

The best clinical pharmacy apps I feel that you should be using in 2019 to ensure you have the latest and most relevant information to deliver the best possible care are:

 

The BNF

 

The BNF App

 

This is a must-have app as a pharmacist. Admittedly the old version was pretty poor. It was slow, required you to pay and login via open Athens. However, this new version is a lot more refined and responsive. It is logically presented, with hyperlinks in the text to help guide you through the content. The interaction checker is really helpful and is a quick way to check drug interaction without having to flick through the pages from the book.

Available on: Apple and Google Play

 

Micromedex Free Drug Reference

 

Micromedex Free Drug Reference

 

Micromedex Drug Reference is a great drug information app. It includes useful information on IV compatibility, drug interactions, and off-label indications.

Available on: Apple and Google Play

 

SIGN Guidelines

 

SIGN Guidelines Clinical Pharmacy Apps

 

Contains all the latest guidelines for you on the move. It also allows you to send the guidelines to yourself as a PDF document. The iPad version even has the split screen feature, really useful if you need type and read. NICE too had an app however, they have recently withdrawn it from the app store.

Available on: Apple and Google Play

 

Medscape

 

Medscape Clinical Pharmacy Appa

 

Amazing app! Definitely one of my personal favourite of all the clinical pharmacy apps out there! It is a great app for all healthcare professionals. It offers the latest medical news, expert-opinions, point-of-care drug and disease information and relevant professional education. It also has many more reference materials, online calculators, formularies, etc. Plenty of CPD’s can be done from this app alone!

Available on: Apple and Google Play

 

MD Calc

 

MD Calc Clinical Pharmacy App

 

Ever been stuck looking for medical calculator? It contains all the calculator/scoring tool that you will ever need! A really useful app for Independent Prescribers!

Available on: Apple and Google Play

 

Patient Access

 

Patient Access

 

One stop shop for patients and professionals! Patients can use this app to make appointments with their GP’s and repeat prescription service. For professionals, there are featured articles, medical tools, and resources available for their development.

Available on: Apple and Google Play

 

RightBreathe

 

Rightbreathe

 

Have you felt confused by the number of inhalers that are now available in the market? Gone are the days of just a ‘blue’ and a ‘brown’ inhaler. So many combinations of molecules and devices are now available, it’s difficult to know where to begin from. This is a fantastic
app to supplement your counselling on inhalers. It has information for all the inhalers available in the market and video tutorials for each of them. For healthcare professionals, they have made available treatment pathways for Asthma and COPD recommended by BTS, SIGN and NICE.

Available on: Apple and Google Play

 

So there you have it. The best free clinical pharmacy apps of 2019. I hope you find these apps as useful as I do in my daily life as a hospital pharmacist and as a locum community pharmacist. Technology is here to make your life easier, so harness it at work and deliver better care to your patients.

 

Mikin Patel – MPharmS, PG Clin Dip

 

 

 

 

 


 

Mikin is currently a Lead Pharmacist in Gastroenterology at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. His daily life as a hospital pharmacist entails of providing clinical pharmacy services, optimising medicines management, policy & guideline writing, financial reporting and liaising with local commissioners in producing commissioning pathways for high-cost drugs (e.g. biologics). He also locums in community pharmacies on weekends to ensure his practice is up-to-date in both sectors.

Mikin is a contributing writer for Pharmacy Mentor with a keen interest in digital health. If you’re a healthcare professional passionate about how the digital revolution is transforming pharmacy and healthcare and would like to write for us, please get in touch!

 


 

Pharmacy Mentor is a marketing agency specialising in the pharmacy sector but we also help pharmacists understand what and how to use technology to improve business, practice and patient care. You can access more CPD modules here.

Pharmacy Blog Post Ideas

Are you stuck for pharmacy blog post ideas? Blogs are central to promoting your pharmacy business online. After all, business websites that include a blog have a 434% better chance of ranking highly on search engines like Google.

But if your pharmacy blog only has one entry – “Welcome to our blog”  – you risk losing credibility and it may even harm your Google ranking.

Coming up with healthcare blog ideas is a chore and if you’re a pharmacy owner, you probably don’t have time for writing content.

But consider these statistics on why you need to commit time and resource to your blog:

  • 66% of marketers also use their blog content for their social media posts
  • 81% of people consider blogs to be trusted sources of information
  • 94% of people will share a blog if they think the content is helpful.

Trusted and helpful? That sounds exactly how a community pharmacy should be described.

To help you get started or to revitalise an existing blog, Pharmacy Mentor is here to help with ten pharmacy blog post ideas:

The 14 Pharmacy Blog Post Ideas which last forever

 

1. Tips for staying healthy

Get straight down to business as offer some advice on staying healthy. These could be ideas on maintaining a healthy lifestyle but avoid getting preachy. Other topics could be how to reduce IBS symptoms or avoiding flu this winter (and don’t forget to link to your flu jab service).

2. Think seasonal

New Year is weight-loss and quitting smoking, summer is allergies and sun protection.  Winter is avoiding colds and looking after our elderly.

3. Frequently asked questions

What are those questions you get asked time and time again? Answer them in a blog post!

4. Frequently un-asked questions

What are the questions your customers may be too embarrassed to ask? Such as how do you use a suppository. Answer these in a blog post too.

5. Instructional Vlogs

Take a tour of your pharmacy including your consultation rooms; show where to find the sunscreen or painkillers or demonstrate how to properly use an inhaler.

 

The Ultimate Guide to Driving your Pharmacy Business in the Digital Age

Download your FREE copy of “Mastering Digital Pharmacy – The Ultimate Guide to Driving your Pharmacy Business in the Digital Age” now.

 

6. Pharmacy vs GP

As the pharmacist’s role in the community continues to evolve, patients’ awareness of accessing healthcare can be left behind. So let your customers know when they should visit their GP and when they can come to you instead.

7. A day in the life

Go through a typical shift for different roles within your pharmacy team. How does an early shift compare to an evening or weekend shift?

8. Have a debate

Do you and a colleague have a difference of opinion? It could be pharmacy-related or totally off-topic. A blog post on your viewpoints will bring personality to your content.

9. Customer success stories

Tell how you recently helped a customer solve a health problem. This could be how you were able to source an out of stock medicine, how you used your discretion or how you worked with the patient find that right solution for them.

10. Spotting the signs of…

… someone having a stroke, sepsis or if you’re experiencing a bad reaction to a new medicine.

11. Discuss something controversial

Maybe there is a new wonder drug available or what about the use of medical cannabis? Talk about it, however, remember to present a balanced view.

12. Charity work

Writing about the charity work you do is a great way to show your customers what a friendly and helpful community pharmacy you are.

 

Social Media Pharmacy Free Online Course

Enrol in our FREE “Social Media Mastery” precourse and learn more about what Social Media can do for your Healthcare business.

13. Staff profiles

You can keep it strictly professional and talk about training, qualifications and career motivation. Or keep it fun with favourite ice cream flavours or whether they prefer cats or dogs. Include a decent photo too as that will add to the friendliness of your pharmacy team.

14. Myth-busting posts

Quick advice posts that dispel mistakes people often make. For example, “What not to do if you burn yourself”, “What not to do if you forget to take your prescription” etc.

 

Your pharmacy blog post ideas need to offer helpful content

Remember what you are trying to achieve with your pharmacy blog post ideas. It’s more than selling services. It’s about building the reputation of being professional, helpful and friendly.

By demonstrating how knowledgeable and helpful you are, you are more likely to:

  • Get social media shares
  • Gain links from other websites
  • Turn web traffic into pharmacy customers

Contact us if you’re interested in learning more about how Pharmacy Mentor can help with your digital marketing including blog posts.

Get the most from your pharmacy blog by using social media

Want to maximise the value of your pharmacy blog post content? To learn how to work smarter and create content that works with your social media channels? Then the Pharmacy Mentor Free Social Media Mastery Precourse is for you.

The free precourse will outline the role social media has to play in modern pharmacy including its impact on business and on patient care. You don’t need any experience and the course will give you the knowledge you need to go on to take the Social Media Mastery Full Course.

The full course will show you how to :

  • Drive more sales and conversions
  • Improve public health
  • Drive forward the pharmacy profession
  • Build a stronger, more trusting community around you
  • And much more…

Get in contact with Pharmacy Mentor to enroll in our free online Social Media Mastery precourse today.

Social Media Pharmacy Free Online Course

Learn more about what Social Media can do for your Healthcare business with our FREE online “Social Media Mastery” precourse.

Marketing statistics source https://expresswriters.com/blogging-statistics/