If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that pharmacies are part and parcel of beating COVID-19. But ironically, many pharmacies across America found themselves struggling ever since the public health crisis started.
If your pharmacy is one of those that found themselves in a difficult situation since COVID-19 started, or if you want to boost sales and get your brand out there, here are some tips for marketing your pharmacy or drugstore during the pandemic.
Engage local patients and customers.
There are no two ways about it: Larger corporations have the masses at their beck and call, and they will most likely be the first stores people will go to in terms of online shopping and delivery. But these bigger companies don’t have what small businesses like yours have: A personal and caring touch. Amazon does not have the charm of customers knowing the owner (unless they feel like they know Jeff Bezos) or knowing that their medication is carefully chosen and packaged by skilled pharmacists who care about their well-being and not just their ability to pay.
Hire friendly and qualified pharmacists who can help engage your local patients and customers and build a personal rapport with them. Build up a reputation for being reliable, having fresh supply, and being a team of pharmacists that genuinely care about the health and well-being of your patients and customers.
Develop a brand and messaging that resonates with your audience.
We live in a time when capitalism is showing its true colors when the world’s biggest corporations and countries won’t wave patent rights to allow poorer countries to develop their own vaccines. Wherever you stand on capitalism, you can’t deny that the messaging of this system does not always allow for empathy, compassion, and a genuine concern for the health and well-being of consumers—especially those in the margins and have the least access to medical resources.
This is why your pharmacy’s brand and messaging need to stand for stand with and for your community. You need to set the tone for how consumers will perceive your business during this crisis. Here are some tips for messaging and content that can do just that:
- Show your community how your pharmacy has been standing in the gap for the most vulnerable in your area. This can be done through corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. Don’t just talk about how much your store cares about the elderly, disabled, sick, and homeless—show them that you do.
- Be more than just a businessman or an entrepreneur; be a thought leader. If you have a background in medicine or pharmacology, come up with virtual events that can help you position yourself as someone who knows what you’re talking about in your area of expertise. One example of a topic is how the medicines in your pharmacy were developed and why consumers trust them. If your medicine supply has gone through In Vivo pharmacology services, for example, that lends credence to their effectiveness and reliability in treating diseases.
- Another example is vaccination education. With so much misinformation going around vaccination these days, you have an opportunity to educate your audience about why vaccination is key to ending this pandemic and to clear up some lies that have popped up in the past few years. If you have expertise in the medical field, you are uniquely positioned to help people gain access to information to help protect them against COVID-19 and other diseases.
Lead with compassion and heart on social media.
Information can only do so much during times of upheaval; what audiences really need right now is to know that they’re not alone throughout this crisis. Here are some examples of social media content that can tug at their heartstrings:
- Testimonials and reviews can be an effective tool for getting consumers to choose your pharmacy. Remember building up your reputation as a brand that cares about its patients? Once you do that, the reviews and testimonials will write themselves. Invite trusted customers who had a great experience with your pharmacy and ask them to appear in a video, or maybe in a photo of their quote on it.
- Another example is showing your community projects on social media, like encouraging the younger and healthier members of your neighborhood to run some errands or write cards for the elderly in your community.
Owning and running a pharmacy during these unprecedented times is both a challenge and a privilege. Lead with empathy and compassion, and brand loyalty will be sure to follow.