Pharmacy Marketing Lessons From Icons

pharmacy marketing
pharmacy marketing

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There’s a lot to learn from the lives of John Madden and Betty White. Here are some marketing lessons you can glean from their lives to apply to your pharmacy marketing.

We lost some great people recently. The two most impactful for me were John Madden and Betty White. As I read many articles about these two greats, I came to see a pattern for success. One that my brain kept applying to pharmacy owners and pharmacy marketing. I know I am weird; I am always thinking about how to help pharmacy owners!

You don’t have to care one bit about football or sitcoms to appreciate the lessons from these larger-than-life people.

1. John Madden took the complex and made it understandable.

Football is a complicated game. But as a broadcaster speaking in a microphone to millions, John used such basic, accessible language that kids and grandmothers could understand it.

He also made it entertaining.

“BOOM!” he’d say when a linebacker caught the quarterback. “DOINK!” when a ball caromed off someone’s head. “POW!” on a big hit to a running back.

You could also FEEL his love for the game.

So …

Can you do the same in your pharmacy marketing? Are you eliminating professional jargon and translating clinical mumbo jumbo into understandable terms that also teach your patients? Are you delivering your message with passion and enthusiasm?

You are the expert on prescriptions, supplements, and many other patient health areas. The best way to show it is to make it understandable to everyone. Hop on TikTok and tell people why the vitamin D you carry is good for their health. Explain how getting medications via mail order isn’t always the best way. Break it down and make it easy. Bonus points if you dance on TikTok! Remember, being professional doesn’t mean boring.

2. John kept it simple.

While other coaches had long lists of rules and dos and don’ts, Madden famously had only three rules for his players. They were:

  1. Show up on time
  2. Listen
  3. Play hard on game days

What are the few simple rules you could focus on to move your pharmacy forward in 2022? I like John’s rules for employees. I would rephrase them as showing up on time, being coachable, and giving 100% when on the clock.

Many pharmacy owners aim to increase profits and diversify their revenue streams in 2022. What simple rules might you indoctrinate into your pharmacy to ensure those goals happen? How about these as simple adaptations:

  1. Always offer an OTC item at every transaction
  2. Ask patients if they have referred a friend recently
  3. Drop the rebate game and purchase net pricing products

3. Both Betty and John Were Unapologetically Authentic

Being authentic is my number rule for business in general and in particular for pharmacy marketing. No one likes a bait and switch. Betty and John gained icon status in large parts due to their authenticity. John’s appearance could often be described as frumpy or unkempt. He was who he was. John was jolly and gave it to you straight. He earned people’s trust.

Betty was no different. If you wanted good sound bites, all you had to do was ask her opinion on something and sit back and get ready for a belly laugh. She didn’t worry about offending anyone; in fact, she often showed a ton of personal humility in her humor. I think my favorite jokes from Betty might be her long-standing schticks with Ryan Reynolds. Through her jokes, you got to know who she was and what she stood for.

Be yourself.

Can your community tell who you are through your marketing? Do your passion and commitment come through? The need for complete authenticity is why video marketing has become so popular. You really get to know someone through video on a much more personal level than you can from some sentences on a page.

Live video is one of the best ways pharmacy owners can boost their pharmacy marketing while developing close relationships with their community. I know it feels awkward at first. No one does stellar videos the first time. I guarantee that you will feel like a pro by the time you are on your 20th video. The only way to get to the 20th one is to do the first 19 as quickly as possible!

Check out this past article if you are looking for help on what you should be saying in your videos.

4. Betty is a lifelong learner

Betty White had a career in entertainment for over six decades. The amount of change during that time is just staggering. She started in theater and then moved to radio and then eventually television. Instead of getting frustrated at change and challenges, they seemed to energize her.

How are you approaching the ever-changing pharmacy industry?

Do you look at challenges as new opportunities, or do you sit back and complain? Is it possible for you to take a step back and reevaluate some of the most vexing challenges in our industry? With fresh eyes, maybe you can develop some unique solutions that will benefit your patients and your bottom line.

Here are some examples:

DIR Fees – can you carry OTCs or provide services these patients are willing to pay. Find other ways to monetize your Medicare patients.

Cost of Goods Sold – is there a better way to buy that you should be taking advantage of.

Pharmacy Hours – are your current hours the best for serving your patients. Might they want later hours or a delivery option?

A Product Isn’t Selling – instead of getting frustrated or looking to return it, can you try something different to sell through it. Have an employee competition. Post about it every day for a week. Make some in-store signage or bag stuffers.

It is the start of a new year. Break free of any ruts you are in and commit to making this year your best. If you need help diversifying your revenue or improving your profits, please reach out to DiversifyRx at

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    DiversifyRx is dedicated to helping pharmacy owners kick ass and create profitable, thriving pharmacies. We strongly believe the key to success is diversifying your revenue streams and maximizing each opportunity that is right for you. DiversifyRx was created by a pharmacy owner for pharmacy owners. We offer tons of free information and our Pharmacy Badass University membership. This site contains affiliate links to products or services. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

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