Every pharmacy business owner wants to provide excellent patient care while growing their pharmacy year over year. Your pharmacy has tried various marketing ideas and marketing plans but nothing seems to work. In this article we take a look at some unique innovative pharmacy ideas using technology to take your pharmacy to the next level.
Go Mobile with a Mobile Pharmacy App
A pharmacy mobile app is an excellent way to grow your pharmacy and reach patients. For example: You can advertise your pharmacy mobile app with in-store signage, t-shirts, window decals or bag stuffers. Another great method I see a lot of pharmacy owners do is create QR codes on the prescription bags so patients can download their pharmacy application.
Pharmacy mobile apps allow you to keep in touch with your patients. Almost all pharmacy apps give patients the option to request refills and set reminders to take medication. But some apps allow the pharmacy to directly communicate with the patient through the app. This is a great tool for communication and provides a direct line to the pharmacy for the patient.
There are a lot of other cool things an app can do. For example: Show a picture of the medication the patient should be taking. Lookup detailed information about prescriptions (expiration date, last filled on, dosage instructions etc..)
If you decide an app will work for your pharmacy you have two options. First if you have a pharmacy IVR you can ask if they develop mobile apps. Some of them do and some do not. Second, check to see if your pharmacy system offers a mobile app development. Most of them do.
However, we do recommend going with your IVR company for the mobile app. Most of the time IVR companies develop custom mobile apps with your pharmacy name. Most of the pharmacy systems will just add your pharmacy to an already made app not custom to your pharmacy.
Offer mobile payments through your Point Of Sale
Does your pharmacy offer a delivery service? If so, why not allow patients to pay when the prescription is delivered? Most point of sale systems now offer mobile payment solutions usually on an i-pad. For example: PioneerRx offers mobile PoS (point of sale) included with their point of sale system.
Mobile Point of Sale usually requires a data plan on a tablet from a cellular provider. However, this is a must-have for any pharmacy owner. Patients expect independent pharmacies to keep up on their technology. This is a great addition to any workflow and usually patients can sign the i-pad with their finger. So when your drive comes to reconcile the signature is automatically added to the pharmacy system.
Curbside service is another option. What is curbside pharmacy service? This is when pharmacies who do not have a drive-thru will come to the parking lot to deliver the medication. The patient never has to leave their car and can pay for their prescription on the i-pad.
Focus on innovative outbound marketing for your current patients
Do you only communicate with your patients when they come into the pharmacy? Do you send out happy birthday cards? Perhaps upping your outbound communications can help your patients stay connected to you. Try to reach out to your current patients with your services because odds are most are not aware of all your services.
What is outbound communication? This can mean outbound texting through your IVR provider or pharmacy system. Notifying a prescription is ready or their refill is due. The best part about outbound texting is most if not all can be automated. Patients can sometimes reply back via text and talk to the staff directly. Check with your pharmacy system for these features.
Another form of outbound marketing is direct mailers. These are often expensive but can provide a great return on investment. If you decide to do direct mail be sure to create a great value coupon to get patients in your door or on the phone.
Update your Google Maps (Google My Business) page
A great way to get new customers into your pharmacy is to stay on top of your Google Maps listing. This is a free tool offered by Google that helps business owners manage their online presence in Google Maps. Not to mention it helps with SEO on your pharmacy website. Here you can add photos, hours, reviews and more of your pharmacy. The more complete and updated your Google My Business page is the more likely you are to show up when someone types in “pharmacy near me”.
Also, do not forget to add your services here. If you offer compounding or medication flavoring you should add those services to the page. In addition to all these marketing benefits you can see how many people found directions, address or phone number to your pharmacy every month. Google now offers the ability to create updated posts about your business, kind of like social media. For a complete guide on Google My Business and optimization of your page check out this page.
Make sure you check out our sister company PharmacyLive’s new Google and social media marketing service. This service is designed to optimize, run ads and manage your Google and social media accounts.
In conclusion, there are many ways to grow your pharmacy. We only focused on a few technology inspired ideas for marketing. Stay tuned and sign up for our newsletter to learn more technology driven ideas to elevate your pharmacy!