Strategic and running advice : marketing in the pharmacy
It is a fact that the pharmacy no longer only represents the place where the pharmacist supplies the patient with the medicines prescribed by the doctor; today, and above all in the future, the pharmacy will have to become a modern sales point where the new needs of the clients in terms of health and well being can be met. The role of the pharmacist will need consequently need to evolve and he/she will have to integrate his/her pharmaceutical knowledge with competence in the management of economy and marketing. The pharmacist will therefore need to have an approach oriented towards economic performance, to consolidating his/her client base and to acquiring new clients, in relation to the user catchment area that the pharmacy has in the territory in which it is situated.
This change in paradigm that introduces managerial skills into the pharmacy , however, implies a certain effort on the part of the pharmacist, whose training has not perhaps included managerial skills and in-depth marketing. Which is why the Pharmacavigar staff, not only made up of planners and designers but also of commercial experts, technicians and pharmacists offers a precious consulting service , with the aim of transforming the pharmacy into an even more attractive premises for the clients that are ever more remunerative for the pharmacist . The Pharamacavigar staff will therefore proceed to develop a real and proper marketing plan together with the pharmacist, starting from his/her principal objectives and from these developing the actions to be implemented. The starting point for a marketing plan is constituted by the objectives we aim to reach, in relation to the user catchment area supplied by the pharmacy.
Firstly, in this phase, it is fundamental to identify the sources of prescriptions for medicines, such as doctor’s surgeries, hospitals, private clinics or rehabilitation centres, and, above all, to analyse the competition, which is no longer limited to other pharmacies but to other sales points which offer the same products and services, such as parafarmacies, herbalist, beauty shops and sales points of the chain store organisations. At this point the pharmacist should have a clear idea of how the health and wellbeing “supply and demand” functions within his/her own territory and develop his/her own distinctive targeting.
That is, identify what are the best products and services to offer to satisfy the health and well-being needs of his/ her clients; needs met through the pharmacy on their own territory, nearest to them. At this point the levers of operative marketing intervene, which for a pharmacy translates into, besides a meaningful choice of over the counter sales products and services in loco and the relative price policy, also into layout of the premises and visual merchandising, the elements that the Pharmacavigar Planning Office is able to develop with maximum professionalism. With the pharmacist we will then need to think of communication skills, to generate new traffic of potential clients in the pharmacy; beyond the classic tools, like flyers to distribute in the surgeries, today the web can supply us with numerous means of communicating in an efficacious manner, for example through a website or a Facebook page, which is also useful for gathering customer feedback.
Finally, it would be opportune to measure the impact of the action undertaken on the overall performance of the pharmacy, to see if the economic goals set have been reached. To sum up; all told, running a successful pharmacy today has implications which go beyond mere pharmaceutical knowledge: that is why Pharamacavigar works side by side with the pharmacist to elaborate effective strategies for their pharmacy.