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How to Win at Marketing Innovation


mswitzer - July 5, 2019 - 0 comments

Congratulations to Parkland Health Mart Pharmacy in Desloge, Missouri! The pharmacy staff recently received Health Mart’s 2019 Marketing Innovation Award. Continue reading to learn more about their success with leveraging online and social media platforms in order to engage with and serve their community. 

When Debbie Hamby started as the Marketing Director at Parkland Health Mart Pharmacy over 8 years ago, she knew the importance of brand awareness and loyalty in independent pharmacy. “It’s just always been at the front of my mind.”

Competition fuels motivation

During her years at Parkland Health Mart Pharmacy, Debbie has seen one location turn into four. “We do have big box stores that are here that we compete with,” Debbie remarks of all four locations. But competition fuels motivation. “We have that mantra in our stores – Do Whatever It Takes. Not just with customers, but when it comes to promoting our company and our stores and what we stand for.”

Parkland Health Mart does whatever it takes by offering med-sync, compliance packaging, an on-staff nurse, immunizations, education, and medical equipment, and is a preferred provider for many insurance plans in the area. “If you think about having it done in your pharmacy, we are probably doing it,” Debbie playfully asserts. 

Although most marketing efforts are focused online and on social media, Parkland Health Mart also includes radio and community engagement in their promotional mix. “We want people to think of our pharmacy anytime they need a pharmacy. We try to create and promote strong brand awareness.”  

Pharmtastic Four

Under Debbie’s analytical eye, Parkland Health Mart has done more than create brand awareness. They have created a true fan base with their beloved characters, the Pharmtastic Four.  

“When it comes to marketing online with our social media platforms, we like to keep it fun because people are not online to be educated, necessarily. They’re on social media to be entertained. Like I said before, we have a strong education piece to what we do, but we try to do it in a fun and unique way.”

But before you can promote your pharmacy’s brand, you have to create a collection of quality products and services that your customers are actually searching for, all while maintaining a culture centered around patient health and customer service. “People love to do business with us because we stay so positive. We truly make people feel important when they come in,” Debbie explains. “We’re interested in more than just their business. We’re just interested in making sure that they stay healthy. And we’re just interested in their lives.”

Debbie’s advice for pharmacies looking to ramp up marketing efforts – “do something!” It seems easy enough. “You don’t have to hit every platform – just pick one or two that you feel would get you the most traction for your customer base and then just concentrate on being really good at that for a while and see what kind of results you get.” 

To elaborate, Debbie highly recommends building a strong online presence. “I think you need to go where your customers are, and your customers are online. We see evidence of it every day.” She urges, “People are looking for you online, so you need to be there.”

All of the time and creative energy expended has definitely paid off for Parkland Health Mart. Marketing fills the gaps between what patients want and the services your pharmacy offers, ultimately supporting better health throughout the community. 

Debbie concludes, “I love what I do. I hope it shows. And we’re just very honored that our work is being noticed – it’s very humbling.”

Get inspired by Parkland Health Mart on Facebook and Instagram

Click here for more on Parkland Health Mart Pharmacy and other recipients of Health Mart’s 2019 Awards.