There is a growing appreciation for local business. The modern age of the internet and publicly displayed community involvement has led to a surge of support for local business. The trend is working its way through every industry including healthcare.
A disconnect has existed in the way people view their health and the way they view their providers. When selecting a doctor, people consider accolades, success and recommendations from friends and family. When selecting a pharmacist, they opt for the cheapest most popular option nearest to their house. Therein lies the issue. During a doctor’s visit, the majority of time is spent with the receptionists and nurses. The doctor is in the door and out before you can even put your shoes back on. The pharmacist answers all questions about the drug, monitors progress and continuously provides the medication needed daily. Shouldn’t they be the ones sought out as a perfect fit?
From a marketing perspective, local pharmacies need to display the level of care they provide and differentiate themselves from that of big box stores such as Walgreens or CVS. What sets local stores apart is that care, a neighborly, community centric ability to heal. Design a marketing campaign that challenges customers to enter a large chain pharmacy and see if the pharmacists know their name or their ailment. Patients enter a pharmacy every few weeks for years on end. Personal relationships are very important. Prove to your community that you do know names, that you take seriously the job of healing rather than merely ringing up little orange bottles to nameless credit cards. Utalize social media to stay in the forefront of people’s minds.
Pharmacists are advocates for health. They are the final step in the cure and providers of necessary treatment that keeps the community well. Show your patients and the community of prospective customers the level of care you provide and involve yourself in the discourse regarding local first. Participate in local business meetings. The most attractive marking for your pharmacy will be to explain that anyone can pass a prescription over a counter but not everyone cares about the prescription they pass. Your pharmacy does. You’re local grown, deeply invested and local serving. Radiate that into the community through your actions and your marketing.