Our vision is for pharmacies to become self-sufficient digital healthcare hubs within their community (and beyond). We’re supporting 1000’s of pharmacies on this journey by helping them digitise their businesses. This article covers some of the main areas we’re focused on improving in 2021, bringing pharmacies into the modern digital age.
Our focus in 2021
Comfort is the death of progress. For a long time, pharmacies were comfortable. Progression was slow. But the world moved on. And now pharmacies are uncomfortable, with increasing online competition and the well-documented decreasing margins for prescriptions. Much of the pharmacy focus in the mainstream media is on impending doom. Because, inevitably, if pharmacies fail to change, closures aren’t far away.
But our focus isn’t on the negatives of inaction. But on lighting the way and showing you the wealth of opportunity that exists along with the continuously evolving digital world. You can read more about our vision and mission here. The future of pharmacy is digital and we intend to lead the sector along this beautiful path.
The 3rd Edition of Mastering Digital Pharmacy is on the way and we’ll update you exactly when that is released this year. But this really does form the backbone of everything we do here at PM. Education and helping you understand why these wonderful digital tools and technologies are so important, and how you can implement them, will always remain a priority for us.
Framework & Best Practice
As well as delivering a multitude of digital marketing and development services, a big focus of ours is on teaching the industry of the framework and best practice which makes that transition smooth and profitable. And that’s what we’ll explore in this article. Incredibly important (but not all) aspects of the expansive digital model, how they work together and why pharmacies need to adopt this model for a profitable service-driven practice.
Pharmacy Mentor is helping pharmacies thrive in the Digital Age, but what are the most important areas of change? What are we doing to deliver the change to our clients? And what are we doing outside of this to bring our support to more pharmacies, whilst ensuring our high standards of service to our existing clients doesn’t drop?
It’s a challenge for sure. But we’re equipped with the right people to handle that, and we’re really excited about this year.
1. Supercharging Web Development
Websites are the central hub to the digital machine. They’re critical for local discoverability, as well as the convenience and functionality they offer. They unquestionably belong at number 1 on our priority list, because they should be number 1 on a pharmacy’s priority list. Let’s explain why.
An ever-increasing world of opportunity
A website is the digital representation of a pharmacy. A great website has the capacity to host the entire business (see online pharmacies and doctors), so it can help to take a huge amount of pressure off a physical pharmacy – if it’s set up right.
A great website gives a great first impression. It streamlines your business and reduces admin and time on the phone. They can reach a massive audience. Websites allow people to:
Nominate pharmacies for electronic prescription services
Reorder repeat prescriptions
Book and pay for private clinics
Order prescription treatments via PGD and/or their prescribing qualifications
Speak to your pharmacist via video
Shop and buy their GSL and P medicines
and much, much more…
They are not a “nice to have” thing anymore. It’s not something to leave until next week. You MUST treat your website with as much care and consideration as your physical business. It’s an ESSENTIAL part of your business model.
What we’re focusing on
We play a key role in helping pharmacies do all these things. Our focus is on delivering impactful modern websites with great value and a brilliant user experience. However, we’re also focussing heavily on development to evolve our sites so that they generate even more traction and revenue for our pharmacies with easier overall management.
You must invest well for a website and service because if you do, you can expect to see superb returns. Pharmacy Mentor websites are so in demand that since last year, we’ve grown the web team to 8 people. We’ve recently welcomed a new Head of Web Development and two web developers to our team, a massive catalyst for our website production and evolution.
We have extremely exciting development plans for 2021 (and beyond) and we’ll be releasing regular updates often.
2. High-performance keyword optimisation
Keyword Optimisation for Pharmacy Services will be critical and is a HUGE opportunity – Get in touch!
There’s no point in having a website if no one can find it.
If your website is the library you want people to visit, blogs & SEO are the books that they come in for. The more books you have, the more visitors your library gets. I mean, the words you’re reading right now demonstrate this.
Writing informative and keyword optimised pieces that offer value brings people to your website. If you’re talking about something they need to solve a problem, and you also offer the solution on your website, you can link them like this.
Linking a relevant service in this way is how you convert people from visitors to customers. Just like someone coming into your pharmacy because they want Ibuprofen for a toothache, but then a good conversation with a pharmacist or an advert on a digital screen lets them know they can consult with a dentist digitally.
SEO make sure that people come to your website for what they’re looking for, instead of someone else’s. And we’re going to make sure through brilliant planning and execution, that this happens more and more.
3. Raising the social profile
Social Media is about connecting with your community and once again, is a mandatory business tool. Communicating what you’re doing in a much more informal way. It works because people like to spend time on Social Media. People don’t enjoy Googling things. They do it because they need something. People spend time by choice on Social Media, so if you can connect with them, you’re guaranteed attention and develop a more loyal relationship.
It also still serves the purpose of driving traffic to your website, or getting people to call and visit your pharmacy…it’s just a different avenue.
A community pharmacy becoming a health hub for its community should have a strong connection to that community. It’s still a big focus of ours for this reason. The recommendations, photos & ability to communicate quickly with your patients and customers are all assets that will work for your business.
4. Data Collection, Email Marketing and Analysis
Email Marketing is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing and something most pharmacies don’t utilise. Pretty much every retail store on the high street ask you to sign-up to their mailing list.
Why not pharmacies? They’re amongst the most trusted establishments on the high street. Patients and customers trust their data to companies they feel personally connected to. Ignoring the opportunity this presents is a massive waste.
We’re also focusing a lot more helping pharmacies understand analytical tools within all the marketing channels but also things like Search Console and Google Analytics. As any marketer would know, this is key to driving better strategies and growth.
Again, educating pharmacy owners about the opportunities available to them is almost as big a focus as delivering the services.
A common fallacy of Paid Advertising on Social Media is that it’s for when you can’t do organic social media properly. When people think of Social Media, the thought of paying for it seems abhorrent, when you can post for free.
But the opportunities available through paid advertising are simply different (and better.) The difference is, they’re more expensive.
I won’t go into too much detail here, (for that you can read our articles about Google Ads and Facebook Ads through these links) but Paid Digital Advertising has a place in every digital strategy somewhere.
The question is HOW not WHY
Incorporating paid advertising as part of your digital strategy is a must (it’s that good), no matter what level you’re at. The big difference-maker with Paid Digital Advertising is in the how. As lots of companies try to do it themselves, get very little (if any) return and then throw the baby (paid marketing) out with the bathwater (their rubbish attempts).
Think if you were going to put an advert out on TV, or Radio. Would you try and record it yourself? Of course not! But people have this sense that they can do it themselves and get great results with paid marketing.
Our focus with Paid Advertising is to raise awareness of its true power and then harness that power for our clients. We’re opening up a whole new division within our company that focuses purley of paid advertsing becuase we know that this is such an important factor for pharmacy growth.
Want to talk about exploring any of these options in your pharmacy?
Get in touch! We’ll analyse your position in the market for the services you want to focus on, and give you a practical plan to make it successful.
https://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Leading-the-way-for-pharmacy-digitally.png10801920JP Quinnhttps://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Pharmacy-Mentor-Logo-Header-Website-300x56.pngJP Quinn2021-04-09 10:34:052021-04-16 14:38:10Leading the way for Digital Pharmacy and Marketing in 2021
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.
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.
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.
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.
https://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/IMG_6352-scaled-e1612200162645.jpg16002560JP Quinnhttps://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Pharmacy-Mentor-Logo-Header-Website-300x56.pngJP Quinn2021-02-04 06:11:482021-08-02 14:30:393 indisputable reasons you should use Nextdoor for your Pharmacy
“A Pharmacy Mentor website will attract far more visitors than the pharmacy itself”
A Pharmacy Mentor website makes your life easier
Unless you’re planning on becoming the Starbucks of Pharmacy, you won’t always be the closest pharmacy geographically to people.
But if your pharmacy website is built right, you’ll be the first place people see when they start searching for anything you offer. Having a website and digital presence that is optimised correctly is one of the most important things to do for your business but it is totally neglected.
Built right, they’ll find it easy to navigate. They’ll be clearly directed to relevant actions to take. Whether that’s:
Booking appointments through a booking calendar
Filling out risk assessment forms for your PGD’s
Paying for medicines or services online
Re-ordering their repeat prescriptions
Leaving their details for you to contact them
Contacting the pharmacy team over the phone
Or visiting the pharmacy
There are, of course, websites that don’t do these things. There are old cars that break down all the time and cars which race for 24 hours in Le Mans. Not all websites are created equal. Pharmacy Mentor websites work because they’re purpose-built. Making your life, and your customers’ lives, easier.
Get customers you’d never get without a website
A busy mum decides to find immediate help for that migraine they’ve been getting for the last two years. She can’t wait for a 2-week appointment at the GP. She turns to Google for help.
If you don’t have a website or have a poorly-optimised website, they either don’t find you for help, use your online competitor, or they’re forced to use the GP – which burdens the NHS and is detrimental to her health for waiting so long.
We flip that script for you.
They search “migraine relief South Manchester ” on Google. With a properly-optimised website, your pharmacy website shows up with your page on Migraine Relief. You recommend OTC medicines and prescribe a prescription-only medicine that can be paid for online or in-store. However, you advise that if the migraines continue to get more frequent, they’ll need to book an appointment to see their GP. Now they feel cared for. People remember that. If you call them when they asked, they’ll remember you’re reliable and trust you.
An open conversation about someone’s health is a great opportunity to build a relationship with them. Tell them about your other services, or just that they should come to you first if they aren’t feeling well again. They could even follow your social media for health tips and updates on your services.
You got yourself a new customer for life.
All because they found you online first. All because your pharmacy website was built with their experience in mind.
https://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Screenshot-2020-10-14-at-10.21.55.png20083446JP Quinnhttps://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Pharmacy-Mentor-Logo-Header-Website-300x56.pngJP Quinn2020-11-12 10:33:142022-02-08 13:49:31A Pharmacy Website built with the consumer in mind
Google Ads for pharmacies. They’re happening on a small scale right now for Travel Clinics and Private Services, compared to the rest of the business world. But they’re growing, as people realise how much money they can make using them.
How do Google Ads work?
Even if you appear at the top of the page organically, companies and pharmacies using Google Ads appear above this because of the way the Google results are laid out. (Strangely, Google rewards people giving them money?)
They choose search terms to target, such as “Travel Clinic.”
Then when people search for things that are related to Travel Clinics on Google, e.g., Travel Vaccinations – the ad appears like this:
Ads display at the top of Google for the search terms they target.
It might seem like a waste of money to pay for ads to appear when you are already ranking at the top organically, but if you don’t, you’re giving advertisers an opportunity to appear above you and steal the customers who were looking for you.
Especially when they’re searching for something like “Travel Vaccines.”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t go home and search for Travel Clinics to relax. It’s because I need one. Now assume I don’t care where I get my vaccine from, I just want the damn thing. So I’m going to click on the first relevant thing I see.
And if that’s an Ad, that’s exactly what I’ll click on. If they make it easy for me to book on their site, and they’re the price I’m expecting to pay, then I book my appointment and go on with the things I actually want to be doing.
And that’s it. Deal done. Transaction over. It cost that business however much Google charged them for a click, which on average is between 50p-£1.
How can you get a piece of that sweet, sweet Google Ads pie?
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ’em. Funnily enough, it’s really simple.
You choose search terms to target, such as “Travel Clinic.”
Then when people search for things that are related to Travel Clinics on Google, e.g., Travel Vaccinations – the ad appears as above.
If that all sounds familiar, it’s because it’s exactly the same process that they used to get all the customers unchallenged. Except now you’re actually competing for the business, not just standing by and letting them take it.
We know the ads that work, the best times to run them, and the way to set them up for success. Your ads will attract clicks, even when alongside another ad.
Unconvinced by Google Ads?
You’ll likely want to understand how this happens, to get similar results for your pharmacy.
You might have tried Google Ads for your pharmacy and not seen much success from them. You might have heard horror stories of people pouring thousands of pounds down a black hole with no return. This is entirely possible, when Google Ads are run without the proper knowledge of how to get results.
But our results speak for themselves. Here’s an Ad we pointed towards a website. Note – we are showing you SMART Campaigns here, not Advanced Campaigns. We’ll be adding info about Advanced Google Ads at a later point.
Example SMART Google Ad Campaign
It gave the option to call immediately or visit the website for more information, as well as links to book appointments for that service. 50p/click which is the low end of average. Think we’re showing off? I literally just picked a random ad. Here’s another one. (This was the second one we looked at, I can’t even guarantee it’s the best performing.)
This Ad targeted flu jabs and averaged approximately 30p a click in North London.
This second Ad was promoting a Flu Jab service (the Pharmacy forgot they’d asked us to do it and were wondering why they were getting private flu jab enquiries!) They got an even lower cost per click at 30p! This one was aimed at driving calls to the pharmacy and physical visits.
The search terms this ad got results for.
You lose customers by not showing up when they’re searching online.
Exceptional results even without a massive budget.
Both of these ads are LOW budgets. And we don’t recommend that. For multiple reasons.
Our management fee remains the same regardless of your budget (unless you want super serious Ads). So the more you spend, the greater the value is.
The same is true of Google’s charges. The more you budget, the lower your average cost per click is. It’s the equivalent of buying in bulk.
A limited budget means that your ad switches off during the day when the daily budget runs out. This means lots of people could be searching for your service and your ad stops displaying whilst your competitor’s ad keeps going. And they go back to winning all the business.
Also, please note that the above ads were run on SMART campaigns which is the basic form of Google Ads. Advanced Ads require more budget and management fees because of the data we are gathering. We’re learning exactly how to make the best ROI from every pound we spend.
Want to increase clinical bookings with Google Ads? Book a call and we’ll get you up and running.
https://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Untitled-design-1.png10801920JP Quinnhttps://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Pharmacy-Mentor-Logo-Header-Website-300x56.pngJP Quinn2020-10-29 18:36:552022-05-16 14:15:33Google Ads for Pharmacies: How to advertise your pharmacy on Google
“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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
https://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Edinburgh-Case-Study.png10801920Pharmacy Mentorhttps://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Pharmacy-Mentor-Logo-Header-Website-300x56.pngPharmacy Mentor2019-11-27 18:40:202022-05-03 08:01:16How we’re helping a pharmacy in Scotland generate over £15k per month in Pharmacy Service revenue
Digital communication is the primary way people talk. According to Statista, 53 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 live now, pharmacies should be 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
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 2022 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, not a marketer. So you’ll need help implementing, or at least advising on the best way forward. We offer courses, periodically do educational and instructional webinars, and regularly write guidance for marketing pharmacies in our blog and our weekly emails. The best way to stay up-to-date with what we’re doing is to sign up for our emails.
1. Train your pharmacy team
I can’t stress this enough. Your pharmacy staff, 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.
If the experience of a patient and customer is improved, they’ll return 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 dispense, space is inadequate and the lighting is poor, then you’ll no doubt benefit from a redesign of your pharmacy.
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 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 bring people into the store and engage them while they’re in there.
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.
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 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.
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
8. Digitise your direct communication with patients
Phone calls 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, which 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 and market occasionally, but directly to them.
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 does depend on what 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 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).
11. Visit key stakeholders and other businesses in the area
I remember when I used to work for Boots 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 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 are related, however, they are different. 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 2022 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. Organic social media therefore is a long-term strategy.
For a more overnight success, 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).
Watch, listen & learn on the Pharmacy Mentor YouTube channel!
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. At the time, it cost them £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.
Don’t invest in a poor website with a lack of support. It’s just a waste of time and money for everyone. Instead,invest in a good, solid, mobile-optimised sitethat 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 your 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.
Check out this article for more on what makes a killer pharmacy website.
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.
Build an online booking system and host all the services you offer
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.
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.
https://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/How-to-market-your-pharmacy-1.png10801920Pharmacy Mentorhttps://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Pharmacy-Mentor-Logo-Header-Website-300x56.pngPharmacy Mentor2019-09-21 08:47:522022-02-09 16:02:39How to Market your Pharmacy – The Ultimate Guide (2022)
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Marketing your Travel Clinicis absolutely, 1000% required for its success. But, putting a poster up about it in your pharmacy and phoning up the GP to let them know you offer it doesn’t cut it. We live in a time where more and more travel clinics are coming into existence and competition is on the rise. Furthermore, you have a plethora of marketing channels that, when used effectively, will drive up to 1000% more consultations in some circumstances. So, it makes sense to have a solid marketing plan in place when offering a Travel Clinic.
In November 2018, our Director, Saam, presented at The Travel Health Conference. And yes, he aptly presented “How to Market your Travel Health Clinic”. In the presentation, he gives you a breakdown of what channels you should be thinking about, both online and offline, when marketing your Travel Clinic for optimum awareness and conversions.
The Pharmacy Mentor team are partnered with PharmaDoctorand ECG Training to provide pharmacies with a One-Stop-Shop solution to the effective running of a Travel Clinic. Make sure you check them out!
Sometimes, especially as business owners, we forget the most important reason we do what we do in the pharmacy. So, to begin this presentation, I’d like to remind everybody in this room, including myself, what that reason is.
It’s to help people. We’ve been granted a position to help improve people’s lives every single day.
That is an incredibly prestigious position to have and something we should all be grateful for. I’m sure you can agree that there’s no better feeling than when a patient has thanked you because you’ve made their life better.
And it’s this principle of helping people that should always lie at the forefront of your Travel Clinic. We get so entangled in our daily operations in the pharmacy, it’s something that we often forget. Providing your best patient care must be at the top of your agenda.
Supporting this Golden Principle are the reasons why running a Travel Clinic is a good idea:
We’re improving access to yet another healthcare service. It makes sense – we’re the most accessible healthcare team there is.
Over 70 million trips abroad are made every single year in the UK but only 50% of those seek advice before travelling. This represents a huge opportunity for Community Pharmacy to step in and make a real difference.
And if you do step in, then you’re looking at potentially making a lot of money from it. I’m working with some owners who are making close to 5 figures a month purely from Travel Health and there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
And of course, you’ll be reducing pressures on GP’s and the NHS who are notoriously known for being at full capacity and overburdened.
The vast majority of pharmacies in the UK who employ a travel clinic are not experiencing the maximum benefit of it, nor are the people they deliver the service to.
Pharmacies could be making a much greater impact in their Communities and offering their patients a better overall experience. While delivering an outstanding service to your patient is critical to its success, an equally important factor is how you market it. This is an area that most business owners struggle with but is where much of the opportunity exists.
Improving your marketing around your travel clinic will increase how many people use your service. That’s an absolute fact and that’s why marketing exists.
Q. So how do we improve and maximise our marketing?
In fact, let me rephrase that.
Q. How do we improve and maximise our marketing with the budget and resource we have?
Marketing can be very complex and the more you can budget for it, the more you can get out of it. But we’re not made of money of course – we have our limits. And it’s complexity means that I won’t be able to fit everything into the next 20 minutes I’ve got with you anyway.
Rather, I’m gonna summarise the most important elements of marketing you should consider for this particular service, with more of a focus on the digital side of things.
Digital marketing seems to be the biggest challenge for pharmacy owners but it happens to be an area of expertise for me.
Let me give you a 30-second synopsis of me and what I do. I’m a Community Pharmacist of 12 years and counting and many moons ago, I set up one of the first ever travel clinics at Boots which was a great success.
However, back in 2014, I took a break from practice and dived head first into the online and technology sector. I taught myself how to build websites, learned how to create high-quality digital media and have been perfecting digital marketing ever since.
So, at the beginning of 2017, I launched a digital marketing agency that focuses primarily on the Community Pharmacy sector. Through trial and error, keeping up to date with the latest social and digital trends, and evaluating data and feedback, we know which channels make a real difference to your pharmacy business.
So, getting back to answering this important question…How do we improve and maximise your marketing with a reasonable budget?
Well, there are three types of marketing you need to consider. These are:
In-store marketing is something you’ll all be familiar with and is pretty standard duty. I’m not going to go into too much detail about this type of marketing because you guys will know quite a lot about that already.
There are a couple of items I would like to mention however that I feel are very important. In-store marketing involves your staff actively talking about the service in your store. I know, as a pharmacist myself and having locumed across the country, that staff fail to talk about these types of services, even when the subject pops up in conversation! It’s a pandemic across many pharmacy teams.
But it exists because the staff have not been briefed well enough to talk about them confidently to a patient. They don’t know what the purpose of the service is and what it all entails.
So, my advice on that front is to turn every single member of staff into confident marketing machines. Give them the reasons behind WHY you’re going to implement a travel clinic and a brief about what it involves. If you’ve got a training module to show them, then that’s even better.
And very importantly, make sure everyone knows how to book someone in for an appointment. You’re gonna lose sales otherwise. Developing your staff is developing your business.
The other item I’d like to mention is about digitising your in-store marketing. More and more pharmacies are adopting for digital displays and there’s a good reason for it.
Since the launch of the smartphone, the human brain has become complacent. Our attention span today, quite sadly, is at an all-time low at just 8 seconds. That means, if our mind isn’t constantly stimulated, we get bored quickly and forget easily.
That’s why video is the most engaging and converting form of content marketing there is today.
If you don’t yet have digital displays in your pharmacy then I strongly suggest you think about investing in them. Not only will they help you convert more customers, but they will also save you plenty of time in constantly changing marketing material in the long run.
The next type of marketing is Direct Marketing.
This is where you contact businesses, organisations, and people directly to let them know you’re offering a travel clinic. It’s targeted, personal, cost-effective, and does deliver an ROI.
Yet, hardly any pharmacies employ it.
How many of you have mailed out letters to your Community?
You’ve all seen the letters sent out by Pharmacy2U. That’s direct marketing on a HUGE scale and although their copy is dubious to say the least, they’ve not broken the law and it’s been hugely successful for them.
What’s stopping you from doing the same on a local level? There are plenty of services that can help you with this. However, do bear in mind that this is one of the more expensive options.
As well as contacting the end user directly, you should definitely consider sending out letters to every one of the following in your city or catchment area:
GP Surgeries – That’s a given.
Travel agents – Again, fairly obvious why.
Police Stations – Because police officers need to have a Hep B vaccine for their work
Mosques – Because Muslims will need the meningitis vaccine before they travel to hajj
Colleges and Universities – Because many students take a GAP year abroad
And any other type of organisation you think will be affiliated with your target customer
Again, we’re always having to consider budget here. But mailing out to more peopleand organisations will lead to more people knowing about and using your clinic.
Email marketing is another form of direct marketing, has been around for decades, and can be effective. However, since your a local pharmacy, it’s unlikely that you’ll have any email addresses to begin with.
They can be sourced online, but bear in mind, if you buy a bunch of cold emails to market to, you’re conversion rate will be much poorer than a list you’ve built up yourself over time. I’d avoid this type of marketing unless you already have a list of people to market to.
So, an alternative this could be the use of LinkedIn. This channel allows you to reach out directly to the people and key stakeholders that matter to you. If done correctly, this can be a very powerful form of marketing.
If you’re already connected with a key stakeholder, i.e. they are your 1st-degree connection, simply send them a message to let them know you’re now offering a Travel Clinic.
If they’re, say a Director of a company, why not send over a digital voucher giving all 200 employees a 10% discount off their travel health purchases.
I know this type of marketing is effective because I do it for my own business with success and some clients of mine have had success with the flu season at present.
And if you’re not connected on a 1st-degree level to any important key stakeholders, you can always pay to message them directly. Now I’m not entirely sure how effective this kind of paid outreach is in terms of conversions but it’s just another option you could try. Budget with £50 and see what kind of results you get. Marketing is all about testing to see what works and what doesn’t work.
There’s another form of direct marketing which is relatively new to the scene but is making a significant impact in the local business world. That is WhatsApp marketing.
I only know a very small number of pharmacies employing WhatsApp Business in their strategy but the feedback has been excellent from it. It makes sense. It’s the easiest and most popular form of direct messaging we have today. On top of that, all messages are securely encrypted for confidentiality.
I highly recommend that every pharmacy owner UK employs WhatsApp Business in their marketing strategy.
It’s gonna improve conversions for your Travel Clinic and every other service you offer in store, and your customer loyalty will go through the roof. Can you imagine how happy customers will be WhatsApp’ing their local pharmacist?
I’m pretty sure this app is gonna reduce the number of phone calls you’ll get at the pharmacy too. It’s a real winner in my eyes.
There are, of course, other forms of direct marketing you could employ, such as:
Leaflet dropping, again proven to be effective
Using Swipii, the digital loyalty scheme that seems to be going viral in the local business world
And messaging people directly through other social media channels, such as Instagram and Facebook.
The more methods of direct marketing you can cover, the more likely you are gonna convert people.
And finally, we arrive at the realm of inbound marketing.
This type of marketing is a technique of drawing in the customer using content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimisation, and branding. It’s kind of like your in-store marketing, but online.
Let me explain what and why you should employ the following marketing tactics to promote your travel clinic.
If you’re running a travel clinic, it’s absolutely mandatory today that you give the patient the option to book an appointment online. Or at least, for them to be able to begin their consultation online.
We’re in the year 2018, not 1998. As a consumer myself, it horrifies me when I see that I have to ring up and speak to another human being, just to book me in. For the sake of the consumer and yourselves, please, automate this process. Make it as seamless and simple as possible for the patient.
Having a booking calendar and online consultation process is one thing. But they render useless if no one can find it. So, How do we get people to find this online?
Well, there are loads of ways we can do this. Too many to go through with the length of this article, but, I’m gonna explain a few of the most important ones you should consider.
When someone is looking for a service they’d like to use today, they won’t type the name of a business into Google, they type the exact phrase of the service they want to find. These are called “keywords”.
In terms of a Travel Clinic, people are logging onto Google Search and typing in “travel clinic + location”. That’s why, if you have a piece of content online, such as a blog post, optimised for these specific keywords, you can get to page one of Google. And if your blog post has a link directing patients to your online consultation form, then it’s a winner.
I often get asked if it’s worth conducting Google Ads. For your Travel Clinic, the simple answer is, yes it is.
You only need to type “travel clinic + your location” into Google to understand this. For example, if you type in “Travel Clinic Luton”, you’ll see a bunch of Ads right at the top of the first page. This shows you how competitive those keywords are.
Google Ads are worth trying, like all marketing channels, to see if you get a good ROI. However, this type of marketing is complex, usually requires more of a budget and will most definitely require outsourcing. If this is something you’d like to do, then come and speak to us.
Keeping on the subject of Google, your Google My Business profile is yet another extremely valuable tool when marketing your Travel Clinic.
When you type the exact name of your business into Google, you’ll see a profile appear, like the one you can see in the corner of the map there. It holds vital information regarding your pharmacy. That’s your Google My Business profile.
By verifying your business on Google, you’re able to add plenty of information to your profile about your Travel clinic for people to see. You can even add photos and videos, just like we’ve been doing for this pharmacy. And you can also categorise your business as a travel clinic too, secondary to a pharmacy.
Enabling this will mean that when someone is searching for a Travel clinic in your area, your pharmacy will be seen on the map. Tremendously powerful and again, should be mandatory in terms of marketing.
And of course, one of my favorite types of marketing that can’t be excluded from your marketing strategy is Facebook Ads.
Paid advertising on Facebook is by far the quickest and most cost-efficient way to reach 1000’s of people in your locality. Furthermore, you’re able to target your preferred customer.
As an example of how effective Facebook Ads can be, we created an Ad for a pharmacy down in Birmingham, to promote the launch of their travel clinic. We spent £10 and targeted only the people within a 10-mile radius of the pharmacy, between the ages 18 and 65, and who are interested in travel topics. Two days after publishing, the pharmacy sold £400-worth of Travel Health products to a single customer. And we know that this sale was attributed to the Ad because we asked the guy how he knew about the service.
As another example, for a pharmacy down in Colchester, we pushed a £50 Ad to promote the launch of their travel clinic, targeting similar demographics. The Ad reached 19,000 people in the area, and in that first month, the pharmacy completed 11 consultations and totaled £1,200 net profit. Again, we know the Ad influenced people because we asked them how they knew about the service.
Facebook is a must for Community Pharmacy. I’d budget around £25 to £100 a month to market your travel clinic at a single location, at least for the first few months of its launch, and then in the summertime again.
Once more, please talk to usabout the best strategy to deploy when it comes to Facebook Ads.
There are many other Social Media channels you can market through, but one other worth mentioning quickly is Instagram.
With around 18 million monthly users and a largely younger demographic between the ages of 18 – 34, Instagram can come in handy.
What I like about it in terms of marketing your travel clinic is that you can create good and engaging campaigns just by using high-quality travel images. It’s definitely worth employing and building up a local audience with time.
So to summarise what we’ve been through right now:
When it comes to in-store marketing, as well as making your pharmacy look pretty with posters and leaflets, think about how you’re going to prepare your team to become marketing machines and about digital displays.
For direct marketing, we talked about how mail marketing can be very potent. We dabbled in LinkedIn marketing and its direct messaging feature, and I highly recommended the incorporation of WhatsApp Business or PharmZap.
And for inbound marketing, we briefly discussed the importance of an online booking calendar, how blogging can improve the visibility of your Travel Clinic on search, how it could be worthwhile conducting Google Ads, how optimising your Google My Business profile will place your clinic on the map, and the power of Facebook Ads.
If you manage to conquer all of those marketing channels, you’ll no doubt be the king of Travel Clinics in your region.
Now, you’ll probably have read this and will be thinking…“Well, how on earth am I going to implement all of that? I don’t have the time nor the skill to execute.”
You’re right. Time is a huge limiting factor. But marketing is a journey, not a sprint. It can be implemented gradually and adjusted accordingly so you’re only focussing on the things that work.
If you can do some of it, or a competent member of staff could take on some tasks, then that’s great. And of course, you have external help too. You know more than me that it’s all about utilising every possible resource you have available to you.
And finally, I must mention the word “strategy”. This is key for any business activity and it absolutely applies to marketing as well. Following a well-laid out plan always produces better results than when executed blindly.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us to help you develop a solid marketing strategy for your business, or if you need assistance in marketing your travel clinic.
https://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Travel-Clinic-Pharmacy-1.png10801920Pharmacy Mentorhttps://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Pharmacy-Mentor-Logo-Header-Website-300x56.pngPharmacy Mentor2019-03-16 15:07:232021-05-09 09:28:56How to Market your Travel Health Clinic – The Ultimate Guide
Marketing your Flu Jab Service digitally will help you deliver more vaccinations
Reach Pharmacy are a small chain pharmacy in and around the city of Glasgow in Scotland.
The director has a good understanding of digital marketing and knows how important it is when promoting services locally. He wanted to create more visibility of the Flu Jab service they are offering on Google but didn’t want to go down the route of paid advertising.
Pharmacy Mentor creates an optimised blog post that focuses on the most common keywords associated with the flu jab service in Glasgow.
Two months after publishing, the blog post has topped Google for the keywords “flu jab Glasgow”, beating the likes of Boots and Lloyds. Analytics confirmed the posts’ popularity during the 2017 flu season and is expected to be better engaged for 2018 and beyond. The combination of this blog post and their Pharmacy Flu Jabs entry means they are dominating the Google rankings in this niche.
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.
The boys from My Locum Choice, finalists at the C&D award ceremony 2017
“Excellent help and support. Bringing pharmacy forward. Has developed and is driving a digital strategy for our company that is growing and engaging our audience, but is also helping us acquire new clients.”
Mitesh Shah – Chief Executive Officer
My Locum Choice is one of the UK’s leading agency for locum pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. Their innovative online platform provides an all-round solution for their clients.
Although the directors were relatively active on Social Media, there wasn’t a clear and defined strategy that was leading to growth and acquisition. Furthermore, their social activity ate up vital time that was required for other business activity.
Completely revamped their blog and developed The Ultimate Guide to Locum Pharmacy as their cornerstone article. User experience is greatly improved. Creating highly targeted blog content on a monthly basis to position their company higher on Google for a number of important keywords.
A significant increase in engagement and audience numbers across Facebook and LinkedIn. Social activity is leading to an increase in client acquisition, but the time freed up is allowing the directors to focus on other aspects of the business, including client retention.
If you’re looking for help in marketing your services better and building on online presence, then please get in touch with me and I’ll be glad to help.
https://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Screen-Shot-2018-03-30-at-13.54.35.png14122534Pharmacy Mentorhttps://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Pharmacy-Mentor-Logo-Header-Website-300x56.pngPharmacy Mentor2018-03-30 11:52:312018-05-09 11:56:08Case Study: Driving acquisition, visibility and recognition for My Locum Choice
Helping one of their branches promote themselves and their Christmas stock across Facebook
“Pharmacy Mentor have transformed our digital capacity with a brand new website, a Facebook page and regular postings, online videos and a growing digital community of patients and customers. And this is just the start! “
Andrew – Director and Superintendent Pharmacist
Green Cross Chemists Ltd are the largest chain of Independent Pharmacies in Sheffield and have been providing healthcare in the city since 1992.
Although the company director understood the importance of being online, he didn’t know where to start and was unable to find the time to dedicate to it. This led to long delays in getting a website created, let alone introduce Social Media into the company strategy.
Creating a custom-built, modern website designed for the experience we expect from users today
A tailor-made Social Media Marketing pack covering Facebook and Instagram
Blogging for target keywords around their pharmacy services
The company is now proudly and prominently positioned online. Their professional website mirrors their companyon the ground and is receiving queries via email to help reduce the number of calls in the pharmacy.
Pharmacy Mentor is driving a strategy on Facebook (organic and paid) and Instagram. This is helping grow and engage with a loyal audience in their catchment areas and build brand awareness. This is now an integral part of their overall business strategy.
By creating highly-targeted blog posts, we’re positioning their pharmacy services on page one of Google for the keywords people are searching for. As a result, website traffic has increased and their services are now competing better with those offered by the large chains.
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’d be glad to help.
https://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/GCC-Case-Study.png10801920Pharmacy Mentorhttps://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Pharmacy-Mentor-Logo-Header-Website-300x56.pngPharmacy Mentor2018-02-23 11:17:062018-12-16 18:31:04Case Study: The Birth of a Digital Green Cross Chemist