The Travel Clinic. It’s an entity on it’s own and it’s truly an incredible opportunity for pharmacy. Not only for generating a new stream of revenue, but for helping their city access travel healthcare easier than ever before. Take a look at the blueprint we’ve created that explicitly tells you how to maximise this great service
In today’s digital age, attracting and retaining patients requires a robust digital ecosystem. For your Travel Clinic, it is by no means any different. This guide will steer your pharmacy business towards generating hundreds of bookings per month.
Implementing the strategies above can be a game-changer for your pharmacy, since the margins developed through this service are excellent. Even embedding only a few of the strategies that our CEO describes in the Blueprint should help increase bookings. You can find more insightful tips and tricks on his LinkedIn profile.
If you’re keen on implementing this ecosystem and taking your pharmacy to the next level, be sure to get in touch with us and book in for a consultation.
This Case Study is another one that blows our minds. Back in the day, we undervalued our services because we didn’t realise the ceiling for our marketing was quite so high. This Pharmacy reaped the benefits of that with their Ear Wax Removal Clinic.
About this Pharmacy
Located near London, this pharmacy was seeking to expand its service offerings and tap into the potential of Ear Wax Removal. With no digital presence prior to our collaboration, the pharmacy aimed to increase awareness and bookings for their Ear Wax Removal Clinic.
The pharmacy faced the following challenges:
Lack of a digital presence and online booking system.
Difficulty in promoting their Ear Wax Removal service
The need to stand out in local search results for “ear wax removal services.” and similar search terms
To overcome these challenges, we provided the following solutions:
Designed and developed a professional website with an integrated booking calendar
Curated optimised content on the website and performed technical SEO to improve the search visibility of this particular service
Our efforts led to the following impressive results:
A significant increase in organic page views, now reaching 4,000 per month.
A total of 2,578 ear wax removal bookings generated online, with additional bookings likely from phone calls and walk-ins.
With an average revenue of £60 per Ear Wax Removal service, the pharmacy has generated £154,680 in revenue from online bookings alone.
This represents a remarkable ROI of 15,468%, showcasing the power of a well-executed digital marketing strategy for pharmacy owners. You can work out how much the pharmacy invested with us.
It also showcases just how much we’ve historically undervalued our services. We are continuing to target keywords for this pharmacy owner on a monthly basis, and they are no doubt the most popular ear wax removal provider in their city.
https://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/3-Featured-Image-7.png10801920Saam Alihttps://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Pharmacy-Mentor-Logo-Header-Website-300x56.pngSaam Ali2023-04-03 06:56:282023-04-03 08:26:38Generating 2,500+ Ear Wax Removal Bookings for a Community Pharmacy
This Pharmacy has a thriving clinic, because they committed to marketing it properly. Over the past three years, we’ve developed their marketing piece by piece, until now they’ve got a thriving model where any input (investment) drives significant output (returns).
About this Pharmacy
This Pharmacy in the North is a standalone Pharmacy. They run multiple clinics, one of which is their Travel Clinic, and have been marketing through us since early 2019. It’s worth noting they are a Late-Night Pharmacy, which allows for a greater number of bookings than pharmacies who open traditional hours.
The Challenge with this Pharmacy isn’t especially situational for 2022. They came to us in 2019, wanting, as most pharmacies do, their clinics promoting, having taken on the full suite of PGD’s from Pharmadoctor.
Whilst we marketed their pharmacy through Facebook and Google Adverts, we managed their Social Media and grew the page by hundreds of followers.
We also built them a standalone Travel Clinic website (separate from their templated Pharmacy website from another provider) with an online booking calendar that can be used across two websites – their custom-built pharmacy and travel clinic websites – they didn’t have a booking system before. The total cost was around £1500 in 2019 (legacy pricing).
Following that, and a highly successful PCR Testing campaign using SEO and Google Ads across 2020 and 2021, it was once again time for Travel Clinic bookings in 2022.
The total spend for 2022 was around £75k including improvements to their Travel Clinic website (and we completely redesigned their Pharmacy website from that pre-existing templated one.)
£68k of this went on Google Ads budget, with their SEO work from 2020/21 still working for them.
With SEO in place, they drive a significant amount of organic page views to both their Travel Clinic and Pharmacy Websites. The image below shows how many people are visiting the Travel Clinic website on any given day and the source of the visitor.
Source of traffic to their Travel Clinic website
They’ve also invested significantly into Google Ads, with our Advanced Google Ads management. Their lifetime spend with Google is around £117k over the course of around five years, but it’s been dramatically increased since we’ve set up the rest of their digital ecosystem. (£68k of this budget was spent in 2022).
That sounds like a lot.
But with a total of 18,429 bookings, each averaging around £100 spend with some spends in excess of £300, that £68k investment has yielded between £1,105,740 and £1,842,900 in revenue for 2022.
17.4k conversions over the three years, averaging to 483 per month. That’s around £25k in profit/month, every month for three years.
And 2023 is off to a good start, too.
Number of visitors to the booking pages, taken from the last 30 days from the 8th Feb, 2023.
In 2022, they generated a total of 18,429 bookings, mostly made up of PCR Testing and Travel Vaccinations
This booking system also reduced walk-ins and phone calls which reduced disruption to the pharmacy workflow
The culmination of all of this is we’ve helped this pharmacy turn £75k into £1m+ in 2022 alone
50% of all local search ends with a visit within 24 hours. (Source: Uberall, 2019)
All of those are applicable to Community Pharmacies. But the “Near Me” searches are where NearSt shines, and where the main benefit for you as a local business comes in.
How does NearSt help Pharmacies?
NearSt solves your community’s problem of needing something immediately but not knowing where it’s in stock. NearSt (hence the name) lets them know where the product is being stocked near them whenever (and wherever) they search for it online.
Anything that solves your customers and patients problems, is an asset for your business.
Turning online shoppers into in-store customers
People shop online for convenience. But waiting even a day for a product isn’t convenient compared with collecting it that same day from a local shop. With healthcare products, it’s even more likely your customers want things immediately.
A real-time view of what local shoppers want
Sir Lord Major General Alan Sugar has a phrase he rolls out every series on The Apprentice – “smell what sells.”
NearSt gives digestible insights into what nearby customers want to make sure your pharmacy is always stocking the right products, by providing real-time information about what shoppers near your pharmacy are searching for.
By stocking the things your community is searching for, and showing up when they search for it, you’re putting yourself in a winning formula which equals sales.
How does NearSt work?
NearSt integrates with your EPOS system and puts your live in-store stock onto Google, as well as product descriptions, price, and images. It’s constantly talking to your EPOS system which means the information online is always up-to-date.
The difference between NearSt and Pointy by Google
Those of you with Pointy might be thinking, I already have that! Well, yes, but not quite. Understanding the difference between Pointy & NearSt took me a while too, but there are critical differences.
The main differences between Pointy by Google and NearSt are:
Pointy is hardware, NearSt is software. Instead of having to manually scan your entire product range, it’s uploaded automatically, saving you loads of time.
Pointy is owned by Google, therefore only works with Google search engines. NearSt works with every search engine, including Facebook.
Because it’s linked with your EPOS system, NearSt has LIVE information about your stock levels, meaning people aren’t making the journey into your store then getting dissapointedd when you have no stock.
What if I’ve got an eCommerce website?
An eCommerce website is a great solution for declining footfall and the increase in online shopping activity. However, it may not solve the problem for patients and customers who need a product right now i.e. on the day and not delivered in 2 days, for example.
Using NearSt, even if you’re an eCommerce brand, you’re offering your patients and customers even more convenience by giving them an immediate solution as well as an online one, where they can go and get the product in store.
In just 4 weeks, Massingham’s products were discovered over 152,000 times in Google by nearby shoppers, driving 157 new customers in-store. One was noted as saying, “we didn’t know you existed, what a lovely shop!”
“It’s been great for us. It’s been useful to give people the opportunity to see what we have available in the shop. Our regular customers also use NearSt to check that we have a product in stock that they already know they want.”
– Nick, Clare Pharmacy
Whilst NearSt don’t operate purely with Community Pharmacies, their existing cases show it works. Knowing what I do about most Community Pharmacies’ desire to increase the retail sales, this for me seemed like an obvious solution.
And there’s no massive commitment, either. Pay monthly just like you would a Netflix account.
In this presentation delivered at The Pharmacy Show in 2021, Saam talks about how Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can help plant your private services on the first page of Google and drive significant revenue from them
That graph represents the most remarkable story for a particular independent pharmacy up in Scotland.
Can you see that red arrow there…that’s when I still classed the business as a pharmacy back in May 2020.
Its private service offering was doing well but like most other pharmacies, its bread and butter were prescriptions.
But fast forward to today, I can no longer call this business a pharmacy. A more accurate description would be along the lines of:
“Hollistic Primary Healthcare Hub”
Let that slide sink in for a second.
Look at how the private service offering today now dwarves its NHS services, and look at the variety there. Not only can you get your prescription, but this “pharmacy” can also help you:
Get your yellow fever vaccine before you travel
Remove that excess build-up of wax in your ears
Feel more energetic with a Vitamin B12 injection
Clear up your chest infection with antibiotics through its private GP offering
Access a dentist immediately to help with your persistent toothache
Help you lose weight via the most powerful POM treatment on the market
And much, much more…
It truly is a one-stop-shop for many of your healthcare needs.
Furthermore, this business is absolutely thriving financially. The private service side is generating more revenue than its NHS side, and much more profit. Prescriptions have become their secondary source of income. They are now working on automating more of their prescription journey so that profits can improve on that side too.
For me, that’s the future of Community Pharmacy. Automating the prescription journey as much as possible and focussing on the provision and growth of clinical services.
Not only will you be building more avenues of revenue, but you’re stepping away from the mundane tasks of checking prescriptions towards a more fulfilled holistic service approach, and improving access to healthcare in your area.
This kind of opportunity exists for all pharmacies around the Nation. It’s how your gonna survive and massively thrive.
Now, getting to this position requires that you innovate and think about your business in a different way.
There are many factors that you have to consider, such as:
Getting trained to provide these services in the first place
Making sure you have the right resource levels to deliver
You’ve developed strong SOP’s , and so on.
Essentially, you need to be in a position to be able to deliver these services well to your patients.
But aside from delivery, you will not get towards the success levels of this pharmacy without the right digital infrastructure around your services, and investing in marketing. And in terms of marketing, one of the secret weapons to driving 100’s of clinic bookings every month is Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO.
SEO is what I’m gonna talk about primarily in this session. It is the most underutilised marketing tactic in pharmacy but one that offers the biggest opportunity, and I firmly believe it can change the landscape of Clinical Community Pharmacy.
So just before we get into the juicy world of SEO….the rest of this content is available in The PM Academy!Sign up for free hereto download all the slides and the transcript 🙂
In this presentation, delivered at The Pharmacy Show 2022, Saam will show you how you can turn your PGD or Independent Prescribing status into £10,000’s per month. He shows you what digital tools, mechanisms and formulas you need to adopt to make it work.
The presentation has been transcribed below:
After she said those words and shot me down in front of a room full of people, I did something that would change the course of my life forever.
I got up, adjusted my tie, and said “I won’t do this anymore”. And walked out.
That was the last meeting I ever had with them, back in 2012.
I was working for one of the big corps and I had a very well-paid job. But towards the end of my time there, it felt like I was wearing a straight jacket to work instead of a suit jacket.
I had so many ideas for growth, but they just didn’t get listened to. I understood, of course. It’s tough to get anything through the big corporate red tape.
But I needed to grow.
And the only way I could do that was to break free and personally innovate.
As much as I love the NHS, I see it as a bit of a straight jacket for Community Pharmacy.
It’s very restrictive.
The market for prescriptions is heavily saturated, you’re getting paid less, and you don’t set the prices.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t focus on driving item numbers – it’s always gonna be part of your business model.
But, I’m sure you’ll agree, things a getting tighter.
But because you’re an Independent Pharmacy where no red tape exists and where you make the decisions about where your business goes, there are no boundaries like I had all those years ago.
You’ve got room to innovate.
And that tightening NHS grip can loosen if you put more time and energy into offering private clinical services.
It’s incredible what pharmacies can offer today.
And, with the help of the brilliant companies in this expo, you can become, I believe, the most powerful, diverse health hub in your city.
There’s so much potential for growth down this route.
Yet, like my store manager all those years back, I’m still hearing these sentences from time to time.
The way of the NHS has been a habit.
But these comments don’t stand any more, and here’s why…
I’ve broken it down into chunks:
Your sphere of Influence
The Boom in Private and Digital Healthcare
How our behaviour has now altered
Your ease of access to training
And Digital Marketing
When you go down the clinical route, your sphere of influence….the rest of this content is available in The PM Academy!Sign up for free hereto download all the slides and the transcript 🙂
Pharmacy Mentor launched a new website for a community pharmacy in October 2021. Understanding that websites aren’t much use without visitors, we recommended that the pharmacy employed a blogging strategy, driving traffic from Google to their website.
The top of Google is a profitable place, making it competitive.
Lots of competing clinics in the local area.
Producing professional, ethical advice in the blog.
How we did it
We talked with the pharmacy owners about what services were most profitable for the pharmacy. Once we knew that, we mapped out a 6-month content strategy, covering a range of profitable services the pharmacy wanted patients to find.
Our blogging team then created optimised blog posts on the chosen subjects. These blogs posts answered FAQ’s, highlighted symptoms, causes and treatments for the relevant query and had relevant high-quality imagery supplementing the text.
We started creating the blogs before the website launched, attracting visitors from the moment it went live.
Using Google Analytics, we tracked the traffic generated by these actions for each specific blog post, as well as for the overall website visitors.
From launch, the site averaged around 30 visitors per day, which meant hundreds per week. But the important thing is that these aren’t just people stumbling across the website.
3.6k targeted visitors to the site since launch
The pharmacy is the top result on Google for every query we created a blog post for
Ear Wax page delivering exceptional results, with over 300 visits in the June 2022.
These visitors are searching for pharmacy services, and they’re finding this community pharmacy online.
The important thing isn’t really how many visitors the website got in the first three months. The important thing is this strategy continually delivers visitors all year round. Especially when Flu season kicks in.
Most community pharmacies have a pharmacy website. But just having a website is pointless if it doesn’t serve a purpose for your pharmacy.
What makes a good pharmacy website?
A good pharmacy website is one that creates value for your business. Good pharmacy websites are assets, just like a member of your team. And just like a member of your team, your website should be nurtured, not neglected.
This is a list of 5 features you should treat your website to. With all these in place, you’ll quickly see the value of a “good” pharmacy website.
1. Discoverability (Search Engine Optimisation)
Creating a website that gets no visitors is about as useful as opening up a pharmacy in the middle of the Sahara desert. Ie, you just shouldn’t bother.
With every website should be a plan to acquire visitors. Don’t have one? Get one.
A lot of people expect that somehow when their website is built, visitors will sort of just, happen.
There’s a definite blind spot between consumers and website designers, where consumers expect this to be part of their website build, and designers don’t ask the right questions for the client to realise that the on-page content needs to be optimised for search engines to pick it up.
So, whose responsibility is it?
I sympathise a little with the designers. Designers see themselves as architects, not interior designers. You wouldn’t expect your architect to choose your wallpaper. That’s how most web developers see the written content on your website. As your responsibility. After all, their speciality is coding, not writing.
However, I sympathise more with the business buying the website. Websites are relatively new, compared to my analogy of houses and architects. And because they’re new, there isn’t a common understanding of how they work. So in my view, it’s on the agency, service provider to make sure the client is at least aware of what having a website entails.
However, there are a surprising number of web development agencies who wash their hands of the success of a website once it leaves the design phase.
We are very transparent with our clients that without an SEO strategy in place to attract visitors to their site, the website won’t be as effective.
What is SEO and how does it attract visitors?
If you don’t know what SEO is or how it works, I’d strongly recommend you check out our complete guide to SEO. But in a nutshell, SEO is the process of optimising your website so it shows up on search engines.
SEO tells Google what searches you’d like to show up for
Whilst there are a lot of technical aspects that contribute to SEO that do fall under the responsibility of your web development team, your on-page content (ie the words on your website) determines which search terms you want your website to show up for. So it’s massively important this is given the attention it deserves, not swept under the rug like it often is.
Is there no other way to attract visitors?
Technically, there could be other ways you attract visitors to your pharmacy website, but realistically, most pharmacies don’t have anything like the right online infrastructure in place to do this. For instance, you could have a great email or social media funnel which regularly links to your website. But even if you did, that’s no reason to close the door on an opportunity to attract thousands of new visitors.
2. Modern, mobile-friendly design
Design matters so much when it comes to your website. Website design isn’t just how a website looks, but also how it works, how it’s laid out, and how easy it is to use. And especially nowadays, how easy it is to use on a mobile device.
Why design of a pharmacy website matters so much
In this whole section on design, and I can’t promise it will end there, user expectations will dominate the conversation.
Expectation vs Reality
There are three levels to expectations. You can either exceed, meet, or fall short of them. And at the time of writing, so many pharmacy websites fall short of the public’s expectations.
Where do these expectations come from? Experience. And not just with a pharmacy website. But with any website.
Your pharmacy website should be as easy to use as any modern website, because that’s what you’re up against in the eyes of the public.
If your website doesn’t meet expectations, people will leave, and quickly.
Great design starts with good foundations, but it shouldn’t end there. Once your site is live, you can analyse how users are interacting with your site.
Understanding how your users behave on your website helps you create an even better design, which encourages more users to spend more time on your pharmacy website. The longer they spend on your website, the more they understand what you offer. The more they understand what you offer, the more likely they are to take you up on that offer. It’s a lovely little chain that all starts with the design of your site.
What are the expectations of a pharmacy website?
Expectations for a pharmacy website would be the same as the expectations of a pharmacy:
Clean and spacious feel
Clearly signposted areas of interest e.g., prescriptions, clinics, products
Short waiting times
Information & advice available on demand
Ability to book and pay for services & products
The more you imagine replicating your pharmacy experience on your website, the better your website will be.
A good user experience (UX)
The bar for best practice is constantly being raised, as both technology and developer’s skills improve. This is why older designs aren’t feasible anymore. It’s like modern cars being designed without anti-lock brakes, or power steering. The technology is there, so there’s no excuse to not incorporate it into your design. Asking people to use your old website with poor functionality is like trying to sell a car from the ’90s in a new showroom. No one’s going to accept it.
3. Updated Information
Updated information on a pharmacy website helps both you and your community. The last thing your pharmacy team needs is pressure from patients who’ve read something on your website that doesn’t apply anymore, such as opening times, or prices.
Consistently updating your website might seem like a lot of effort. But if you think of how many people that information serves, compared to how many times you’d have to individually explain it over the phone or in-person…it is actually a time-saver.
Imagine how many fewer phone calls you’d get if your website had up-to-date COVID information on it. (Now, that particular example is extreme, as it isn’t your information, and it’s changing constantly, but it’s a relevant example for the moment.)
Search engines love updated content
Updated information also helps with your on-page SEO, which we talked about earlier. Search engines want to give their users the most relevant information for their queries, so fresh information has a better chance of being recommended more highly.
4. Booking Calendar
A booking calendar gives all your online marketing activities a focal point. It gives your customer journey a finish line. In short, as a pharmacy aiming for more clinical bookings – it’s your marketing’s raison d’etre (the reason it exists).
Directing people to your booking calendar
Social Media Posts
Now, this doesn’t mean that every time you make any post on social media ever, you link your booking calendar. But anything that relates to your services can (and should) absolutely have a link to book the service in question.
The same goes for any blog posts you do. The reason you should be blogging is to drive relevant traffic to your website. Relevant, in a pharmacy’s case, means people who might well become patients or customers. Throughout these blogs, but especially at the end of the blog, you need to provide a link and show people they’re able to book now.
If the blog is about a health condition, there’s a good chance they’ve just searched their symptoms on Google. Now they’ve come to your website because of the updated information on your website that you’ve optimised for search engines, (see points 1 & 3), you might link to booking a consultation with a pharmacist.
If they found your private clinic page, it means they’re looking for treatment, and there should be an option to book that treatment, making it as easy as possible for people to use your pharmacy.
Free up your pharmacy team
Your pharmacy team is too busy to handle bookings. Especially when it’s often not just bookings, but rescheduling or cancellations. (20% to 30% of patients cancel or re-book their medical appointments ((Well App, 2021)).
This pharmacy website has a separate booking calendar for each category of clinical services.
Improve Your Patient Experience
Booking an appointment online takes less than a minute. Booking over the phone takes 8.1 minutes on average, taking into account being put on hold. (CalendarHero, 2021).
87% of potential new patients do not leave a message or book an appointment when reaching voicemail (CallTracker).
An elegant solution, a simple website addition
Let your website handle your pharmacy bookings and you get:
Increased bookings – physicians who offer online appointments alongside phone appointments were booked 24% more than those who offer phone appointments only (Dental Economics, 2021).
Out-of-hours bookings made – 43% of patients search for health care professionals after business hours (Dental Economics, 2021).
Minimise no-shows (especially in combination with text/email reminders)
Give a sensible Call-To-Action (CTA) for any service-related digital marketing activities
Efficient appointments – online appointment scheduling makes time for two extra patients every day (Deloitte).
Booking software is cost-effective, especially if you have an already thriving clinical business. Just in the time saved for your pharmacy team, it pays for itself.
Having an online payments solution on your website hinges on whether or not you sell products or take bookings through your website. But on the assumption that you’re doing at least one of those two things, taking payments online is a real must.
Why should I accept payments on my pharmacy website?
Firstly, with a pharmacy eCommerce website, (follow the link for a how-to guide for eCommerce), payments are a must. You can’t sell products if you can’t take payments. There isn’t much more that needs to be said on that.
Even if you’re only promoting clinical services, however, taking online payments on your pharmacy website is a massive boon. We touched on minimising no-shows in the previous point, and it applies again here. When someone has paid for a service, they’re committed to showing up, allowing you to run your clinic without constantly wondering if the next patient’s going to be there.
It’s more convenient for both you and your patients
If a patient has already paid, they don’t need to remember to bring anything to the appointment. There isn’t an issue if your card machine stops working, or if you don’t have the right change.
Payments take up everyone’s time
Let’s say private Flu Vaccine Clinic appointment slots are 5 minutes, and it takes a minute to make a payment.
For every 5 patients you see, you lose an appointment slot. And if your calendar doesn’t take this time into account, it can quickly make your time run over for your appointments.
Allowing people to pay when they book kills two birds with one stone, allowing your clinic to run efficiently, and with peace of mind that those appointments will actually be fulfilled. Read more about online payments here.
Read our article for the Top Online Payment Gateways for your Pharmacy.
Want to talk more about your pharmacy website?
Get in touch! We can help with everything you need, including everything you’ve read in this article.
https://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/What-does-a-good-pharmacy-website-look-like.png10801920Saam Alihttps://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Pharmacy-Mentor-Logo-Header-Website-300x56.pngSaam Ali2022-01-29 10:36:592022-04-06 08:43:565 features every Pharmacy Website should have in 2022
Looking for an Independent Pharmacy Marketing Agency can be a hard task, especially if you don’t really understand marketing. This guide explains what you need to look for, so you can find an agency with confidence.
An Independent Pharmacy Marketing Agency should:
Understand how an independent pharmacy works
Understand the strict rules around advertising for pharmacies
Practise what they preach
Offer pricing that makes sense
Have a range of case studies that make sense
Where to start
There’s a lot to consider when entering into any business agreement. As an independent pharmacy marketing agency working with hundreds of pharmacy owners and superintendents, we understand what makes a good partnership. Like all partnerships, it’s a two-way street. For a truly successful working relationship, you have to understand what the agency needs from you and be willing to work with them too.
But in this article, we’ll focus on the independent pharmacy marketing agency and what they should bring to the table.
Naturally, if you’re like most people that have ever existed, your initial instinct will be to hunt down the prices and find the cheapest option.
And whilst that instinct is of course a consideration, I’ll explain why the price tag isn’t the be-all and end-all.
Don’t be drawn in by a low price tag
Price comparisons are only comparisons when the product is the same. Is the new iPhone cheaper from one supplier than another? Great. Grab the cheapest deal.
But if one life insurance policy costs £5/month, and another costs £100/month? It would be foolish to rush out and grab the cheapest deal without knowing what you’re getting. If the £5/month deal only pays out £50 if you get hit by lightning, whilst the £100/month policy pays out £1 million, whatever happens, it’s clear that the £100/month policy was by far the better option.
Comparing service offerings from marketing agencies means comparing what’s being delivered, as well as the levels of service you receive. Once you have an idea of what’s being delivered, you can begin figuring out the comparative costs.
Return on Investment (ROI)
What’s also worth assessing is what return you’re going to see on the investment you’re making. It’s something you can address with an agency in any talks you have prior to signing any agreements.
Now, marketing is hugely variable, so not even the best agencies can give you accurate figures for your business. That’s crystal ball territory. But what they should do is discuss how businesses similar to yours have performed to give you an idea of what to expect.
Does the marketing agency practise what they preach?
A pretty simple way of finding out if a marketing agency is worth employing is to check how they market themselves, especially with regards to the specific services they’re offering to you.
Sign-up to their mailing list and see what their emails are like. How does their website compare to other agency websites? Check their social media out. Do they rank well on Google for a range of different search terms? Do they create how-to videos?
You’re choosing an agency to represent you. How they represent themselves gives a good indication of how your pharmacy will be represented.
I mentioned them before, but as well as executing their own marketing strategy well, nothing gives you more proof than what the agency has achieved with other pharmacies like yours.
Compare them with other case studies. Make sure to pay attention for stats, rather than just wild claims. Anyone can say they’ve increased sales, but that might mean generating one sale.
Why an independent pharmacy marketing agency should understand pharmacy
Okay, I wrote that heading a little obtusely. It’s pretty clear that it helps to know the subject you’re going to market.
But aside from that, we know the most precious commodity in pharmacy is time. Whilst it can be helpful to get an outside perspective on your business, you don’t want to be spending all your time educating your agency and fielding questions on all the ins and outs of pharmacy.
At Pharmacy Mentor, for instance, we balance the two. Our CEO is a pharmacist, and every new team member gets trained in pharmacy knowledge. What that means as an agency is bringing all the fresh marketing ideas to the industry whilst keeping our client interactions to analysis and strategy.
Whatever agency you look at, make sure they have that understanding.
Any agency working with pharmacies must understand the advertising policy around Pharmacy
Marketing fashion or any other simple consumer products online is simple, at least when it comes to rules to follow. You’d have to do something pretty outrageous to get an advertising account banned in most industries.
But with advertising pharmacy on digital channels, caution is highly advised. We’ve had several clients come to us with accounts that have been banned for advertising prescription medicines, and others banned for promoting their COVID-19 vaccination service & PCR tests.
Once you are banned, it’s nigh-on impossible to get un-banned. This is really harmful to your marketing prospects, as advertising can be a massive source of new business.
So it’s critical that whomever so handles your advertising…is aware of the minefield they tread.
Facebook & Google’s Policy on advertising pharmaceuticals
This is because Facebook and Google‘s advertising policies have extremely strict policies for certain areas of medicine on their platform. I’ve linked them there so you can have a quick peek, but often what you’ll find is it’ll say things like “as determined by Facebook in its sole discretion.”
Now, what that means is, it isn’t explicitly written anywhere what you can and can’t say. And your advertising account can be banned without warning for breaching the advertising policies around pharmaceuticals.
What that means is, if you value your ability to advertise online, you need to tread carefully when advertising your pharmacy. From an agency standpoint, that’s why it’s important to work with people who know what the rules are. Pharmacy Mentor are have both Google & Facebook agency reps who help us navigate this terrain, and it’s worth its weight in gold.
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https://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/perfect-agency-partner.png10801920Saam Alihttps://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Pharmacy-Mentor-Logo-Header-Website-300x56.pngSaam Ali2022-01-07 07:38:512022-01-07 07:43:52What to look for in an Independent Pharmacy Marketing Agency
A pharmacy based in Wales with no digital presence at all, no website, no social media, no email marketing. The pharmacy is in Wales which means they don’t have EPS either. They’ve also recently started an Ear & Hearing Health Clinic, as well as signed up for a prescription-reordering app.
The challenges of having no digital presence whatsoever were primarily:
Customer acquisition for private clinics, prescriptions, and sign-ups for their new Prescription Collection Point & prescription reordering app.
Their phone was constantly ringing and they wanted to move away from dealing with phone calls.
They were restricted to offline advertising.
Being in Wales, they also don’t have EPS, so another solution to automate needed to be considered.
They have no way of cross-promoting their services to their existing community.
Website & SEO
Pharmacy Mentor began by developing their website with a booking calendar, we created Search-engine-optimised (SEO) blog posts (what is SEO?) for their private clinics (e.g., ear wax removal and both NHS & Private flu jab clinics.) We then implemented the following:
We created optimised blog posts, written clearly and informatively. The blogs give prospective patients all the information they need to make an informed appointment booking.
At the end of their SEO blogs for their clinics are calls-to-action with a conveniently integrated booking calendar.
We promote the prescription re-ordering app through organic Facebook channels, as well as the website.
We created a unique EPS-style form for them. Patients fill in the form, select their local GP and nominate them as a pharmacy. This is then sent to the GP’s for admin/approval.
We designed a poster with a QR code to attach to the Prescription Collection Point. This QR Code is linked to the sign-up form for the service.
Anyone who signs up to the PCP service gets automatically sent a custom-designed branded welcome email explaining the service and what they need to do. The email has a picture of the pharmacy team which instills a sense of connection early on. It lets the patient know that despite signing up for an automated system, there are real people working behind the scenes.
Social Media & Advertising
We created an optimised Facebook & Google profile for their pharmacy. Managing these with branded content is growing awareness in their community of what the pharmacy offers.
We create and run ad campaigns both on Google, promoting their Flu Jab clinics, as well as Facebook Ads promoting their Ear Wax Removal service. The Facebook ads in particular drive multiple bookings per week.
The primary function of the ecosystem is to attract new patients digitally (ie with no input from the pharmacists) and retain them within a digital system, be that the Facebook page, an email list, the Prescription re-ordering app, or the PCP sign-up system.
There are a lot of good results here, because starting from zero leaves a lot of ground to cover.
The revenue isn’t being tracked through the website, hence displaying as zero.
Website & SEO
We installed analytics into their site two weeks ago, 567 sessions and 1000 page views since that time. (Previous performance is, unfortunately, untracked, but these are good stats for a pharmacy that 6 months ago had no digital presence.)
44% of their website traffic comes from Social Media & Google, directly through the ongoing Social Media & Blogging work we do for them.
The booking calendar on their website means all clinic appointments are now booked online. Meaning fewer phone calls.
In the past month, they’ve seen 166 appointments booked for either Ear Wax Removals, Ear Health Checks, or Flu Jabs.
Their email marketing list is currently at 177 subscribers since its creation 2 months ago. This is currently used to inform patients of services available at the pharmacy, but there’s more potential for promoting products and special offers.
We are driving signups to their Prescription Collection Point through both organic Facebook posting, and Facebook Ads.
The Prescription Collection Point also generates sign-ups through its QR code, meaning patients who see it and like the idea can sign-up immediately without having to contact the pharmacy. Meaning fewer phone calls.
Overall, the digital ecosystem is up and running successfully. The pharmacists are enjoying the time they get to spend on patient care instead of admin. The digital marketing we’re doing is driving patients to the pharmacy and all the pharmacists have to worry about is patient care. The results aren’t out of this world compared to pharmacies who’ve been operating digitally for years. But this is the very start of this pharmacy’s digital journey and they’re already seeing the benefits.
Now we have analytics installed for them, we can review and optimise our tactics further, which will mean increased success rates further down the line.
https://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Digital-Ecosystem-Case-Study.png10801920Saam Alihttps://www.pharmacymentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Pharmacy-Mentor-Logo-Header-Website-300x56.pngSaam Ali2021-12-06 14:20:122021-12-06 14:21:03Case Study: Building a Digital Ecosystem from the ground up
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