Unlock the Power of Digital Marketing for Independent Pharmacies


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During a session at McKesson ideaShare 2024, Martin Dennis of RxOwnership was joined by digital marketing experts to discuss key marketing tools for independent pharmacies.

In the 21st century, digital marketing is the most cost-effective way for independent pharmacists to market to their customers. During a session at McKesson ideaShare, 3 marketing experts discussed the power of digital marketing and how it has become one of the most important tools for independent pharmacies to reach their customers and boost revenue.

The on-stage presenters included Martin Dennis, RPh, start-up specialist with Rx Ownership at McKesson; Elizabeth Nelligan, Vice President of media strategy with Ansira; and Kamri Campbell, media lead with Ansira.The trio of presenters discussed the value of digital marketing to help independent pharmacists gain customer recognition and help retain a customer base.1

The marketing funnel is a simple way for pharmacy owners to visualize their approach to successful marketing. | Image credit: suththirat - stock.adobe.com

The marketing funnel is a simple way for pharmacy owners to visualize their approach to successful marketing. | Image credit: suththirat - stock.adobe.com

Turn-key digital marketing programs—designed to increase store traffic and give owners a competitive edge in their market—are available to members of Health Mart, a network of independent pharmacies which is part of McKesson, through a new solution called Health Mart Marketing Edge. Members can apply matching funds to help offset the cost of running the campaigns. Ansira is the agency partnered with Health Mart to help pharmacists with their local marketing efforts, digital marketing plans, branded merchandise and in-store marketing materials. Their technologies and programs are designed to help business owners drive demand and accelerate sales.

According to Dennis, McKesson ideaShare attendees have been able to participate in hands-on activities to learn about the newHealth Mart Marketing Edge platform.

READ MORE: Do's and Don'ts: Social Media Tips for Pharmacists

During the session, titled “Unlock the Power of Digital Marketing,” the speakers focused on the marketing funnel and how pharmacies can execute it properly. The marketing funnel is a simple way for owners to visualize their approach to successful marketing: The funnel begins with customer awareness, which leads to identifying shopper intent and ultimately ends with the common goal of retaining a customer’s loyalty.

Another way to picture the funnel is to look at marketing from the customer’s perspective. Instead of the process starting with customer awareness and ending with customer loyalty, a customer might discover a brand or product, consider using it, and eventually be converted and retained into a loyal customer.

“As a pharmacy owner, if you don't have one of these strengths, you have to surround yourself with people that do,” said Dennis, touching on insights he received from a fellow pharmacy owner. “There's only 24 hours in a day.”

The programs from Health Mart Marketing Edge allow independent pharmacists to keep the focus on their day-to-day operations while still boosting the increasingly important digital marketing side of the business.

When it comes to execution, the first step is letting customers know that the business exists. Specifically with digital marketing, the best ways of approaching a pharmacy’s intent to exhibit more visibility is through search engines, social media, streaming, television, and websites. It’s important to understand that digital marketing should be specifically aimed at individuals using digital platforms on a daily basis. Those digital platform activities can include surfing the web, perusing social media, or consuming content via various streaming platforms.

Dennis explained that a pharmacy’s growth and success can more easily be reached if owners are able to identify growth opportunities and then direct their marketing dollars to help increase the revenue from these additional areas.

Campbell ended the session by detailing some of the specifics of what Health Mart and Ansira can offer independent pharmacists. From creating a landing page to utilizing customized dashboards to track customer data, Health Mart Marketing Edge provides owners everything they need to collect data and be dynamic when it comes to attracting and retaining a customer base.

“At the end of the day, you're investing in yourself and you're investing in your business, and you should see what that's doing for you,” Campbell concluded.1

Click here to check out more of our coverage from McKesson ideaShare 2024.

1. Dennis M, Nelligan E, Campbell K. Be a click magnet: drive business with digital marketing. Presented at McKesson ideaShare 2024; June 23-26, 2024; New Orleans, LA.
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