The pharmacy industry runs on the act of doing. It’s all about pushing boundaries and rethinking what’s possible behind your pharmacy counter.

Marketing your pharmacy reinforces that idea. Your independent pharmacy stands out from the rest of the community for a reason. Use that distinction to your advantage.

That’s the not-so-secret ingredient to an independent pharmacy’s success: it’s a one-of-a-kind healthcare destination, always replicated but never duplicated.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to marketing your independent pharmacy. However, there is as much value in knowing what not to do when marketing your independent pharmacy.

Marketing is all about showcasing your pharmacy’s strengths with the right tone and even more impeccable timing. To truly master the art of pharmacy marketing, you need to know the various pitfalls that might come your way.

Time is money, and making the right marketing decisions will expedite the road to success. Here are some pharmacy marketing potholes to avoid.

Stop Airing TV Ads

First, it was radio, then came television. The most prominent forms of advertising ebs and flows through the years. In order to leave room for the latest and greatest marketing techniques, older marketing tactics have to step by the wayside.

Such is the case with TV ads. Though commercials continue to flood the airwaves, viewer retention and interest have lowered.

A Midia Research report found that 52% of TV viewers stop paying attention when ads start playing. What’s more, 61% of viewers aged 55 and above tune out of TV ads.

The numbers speak for themselves. TV ads are a pharmacy marketing pitfall. They will only do more harm than good, especially for your independent pharmacy’s bottom line.

The modern equivalent of TV ads is social media. Utilizing social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others will modernize your independent pharmacy.

Social media outlets will also strengthen your pharmacy’s online presence, making it more well-known to potential customers.

The Social Media Assistant on the RxLocal app has resources that can take your pharmacy’s social media page to the next level. If you haven’t already, check it out to learn what, when, where, and how to post online.

Be where your customers are. They’re likely not going to be flipping through cable channels. They’re scrolling through their social media feeds.

Reconsider Handing Out Flyers

This comes with a caveat. The main marketing benefit of handing out flyers is you directly interact with potential customers.

While one-on-one interactions with would-be patients are a valuable asset for a loyal customer base, there are other pharmacy marketing tactics you can be using instead.

Handing out flyers would be best suited for more rural areas with an elderly population. Depending on your community’s demographics, a flyer is a fantastic pharmacy marketing tool.

It helps get the word out about your independent pharmacy throughout your community (side note: local coffee shops usually have a bulletin board where you can hang a flyer).

Then you get to the flyer itself. Ensure it’s well-designed, visually appealing, and that it cuts to the chase. Every inch of that paper is prime marketing real estate, so make your message as clear, concise, and brief as possible.

Include your website URL, social media links, or a QR code that includes all of those links. Speaking of websites…

Do Away with Your Old Website

You only have one chance to make a good first impression. That goes for job interviews, first dates, and visiting your independent pharmacy’s website.

Your pharmacy’s website represents your small business in the online sphere. It needs to tell a clear and strong message about your pharmacy.

At its best, your pharmacy’s website can be a chest-thumping statement of how it is an undisputed healthcare destination, willing and able to help the community’s health needs.

Design is everything, and web design is constantly modernizing. Be ahead of the curve with your website’s design by hiring a website designer. Tell them what message you want to convey with your pharmacy’s website and they will do the rest.

If you prefer to be more on-hands with your website design, visit PCMag’s “The Best Website Builders of 2023.”

Just a word of caution: avoid using Comic Sans as your website’s default font.

Avoid Inconsistent Brand Messaging

Though you have different social media apps, your brand messaging must be consistent. The best way to approach social media is to see it as a way to enforce your pharmacy’s main brand message.

For example, Instagram is a visuals-based social media outlet. Twitter is mainly focused on copy and written posts, with the visuals accompanying the tweet.

The two outlets focus on two different mediums (visuals and text), so your social media profiles need to adhere to that dynamic.

Make your Instagram posts pop with incredible visual variety that is consistent with your pharmacy’s aesthetic. Set up a color scheme for your independent pharmacy if you haven’t already.

Use that color scheme as the template for your social media posts and your website’s layout. After getting the visuals aspect settled, focus on your pharmacy’s message.

If your pharmacy primarily focuses on clinical services, make that the basis of your pharmacy marketing message. The same applies to other avenues of pharmacy work like general patient care or specialty pharmacies.

The more consistent you are in your pharmacy’s messaging, the more people will remember what it does. You’re building a reputation with your pharmacy’s social media feeds. Make it a good and — more importantly — memorable one.

Don’t Be Negligent

As mentioned earlier, your social media outlets are prime internet real estate — put it to good use.

Having no marketing plan for your independent pharmacy is a recipe for failure. Even going through with TV commercials or radio ads is worse than having no marketing plan.

By all means, put your best foot forward with your pharmacy marketing plan. There are a wealth of resources to help you in your pharmacy’s marketing journey — such as the Marketing section on our “How to Open a Pharmacy” page.

This is a blog on what not to do with your pharmacy marketing. Though you should avoid a plethora of pharmacy marketing tactics, remember to at least do something.

Avoid that pothole in favor of a greater, more productive path to pharmaceutical success.

Avoid the Pitfalls, Achieve Marketing Excellence

As with any business, marketing is an essential part of its success. Such is the case with your independent pharmacy. The industry is constantly evolving and so do the best pharmacy marketing techniques.

Get with the times by knowing which pharmacy marketing methods to avoid. Though airing TV ads or handing out flyers is not the most modern way of pharmacy marketing, at least it’s something.

Let your community know what your independent pharmacy is capable of with exceptional marketing and consistent brand messaging. After all, your pharmacy can only be successful if people know about it.

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