Point of Care Testing (POCT) is a powerful tool for independent pharmacies, offering an opportunity to expand revenue streams and provide essential healthcare services to your community.
This comprehensive guide will explore effective marketing strategies to make your POCT services successful. From understanding your target market to leveraging online reviews, we’ve got you covered.
Understanding Your Target Market
Before diving into marketing strategies, it’s crucial to understand your target market thoroughly. This knowledge can differentiate between a successful campaign and one that falls flat. Here are some ways to get to know your customers better:
- Ask Your Patients: Conduct formal Q&A surveys or have your staff engage in conversations with patients. Get insights into their needs and preferences.
- Know Your Demographics: Determine whether your pharmacy caters to an elderly population, busy executives, or families with children. Tailor your tests and messaging accordingly.
- Competitor Analysis: Research what urgent care centers or same-day clinics in your area offer, their pricing, and accessibility. Identify gaps in services and focus on filling them.
Marketing to Your Current Patients
Dr. Lisa Faast often teaches that retaining and expanding business with current customers is easier than acquiring new ones. Here are some high-converting, low-cost in-store marketing strategies:
- Signage, Flyers, and Posters: Use vibrant colors and clear messaging throughout your store. Place posters strategically in areas where patients spend time, like waiting areas and drive-through lanes.
- Bag Stuffers: Change these monthly, promoting different POCT Services. Offer discounts or special promotions to incentivize purchases.
- Staff Training: Ensure your staff is knowledgeable and comfortable discussing point-of-care testing with patients. Regular training sessions improve their ability to upsell and cross-sell related products.
Leverage Social Media Marketing for POCT
Utilize social media to reach a broader audience, create awareness about your services, and remove barriers from your patients’ minds by addressing potential questions and concerns about new services like POCT. Provide answers to common queries such as appointment requirements, walk-in availability, duration, costs, required documentation, and operating hours. By eliminating uncertainty, you make it easier for individuals to take action.
In addition to addressing questions, incorporate the following types of posts:
- Educational Posts: Share infographics, video clips, or live Q&A sessions with healthcare experts to educate your audience. Include local infection rates and common health issues in your town.
- Testimonials: Capture video testimonials from satisfied customers, showcasing authentic and engaging recommendations.
- Promotions and Discounts: Create flash sales and countdown timers for special offers. Consider offering multiple-test discounts to encourage family or group testing.
Partner with Local Businesses and Healthcare Providers
Form strategic alliances in your community to increase visibility and credibility. Identify partners that share your target audience. Potential collaborators include local gyms, health food stores, chiropractors, dentists, optometrists, and healthcare providers. Consider collaborations like reciprocal promotions or discounted services for partner customers. Establish relationships with healthcare providers without point-of-care testing but with substantial patient databases. Engage with local employers by offering bulk testing discounts, on-site testing, or infection control programs like supplements.
Email Marketing to Grow POCT
Email marketing enables direct communication with patients, fostering engagement and trust. Consistency is key. Provide value, education, and entertainment in your emails. Increase promotional email frequency to ensure you’re top-of-mind when patients require testing services. If you have a weekly email or newsletter, consider having a section for point-of-care testing.
Participate In Community Health Events
Position your pharmacy as a healthcare hub by participating in wellness and health events. Offer free or discounted tests during local health events in collaboration with organizations. Present educational material to establish expertise and offer recorded videos for those unable to attend in person.
Utilize Local Media
Local media outlets like community papers, TV, or radio stations can effectively spread the word. Distribute press releases when launching services, even if they aren’t entirely new. Sponsor health segments on local radio shows to subtly promote your POCT services.
Build relationships with local media personnel and keep them updated on your pharmacy’s clinical products and services through regular emails.
Leverage Online Reviews
Online reviews play a crucial role in attracting new customers. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews in exchange for discounts on future services. Respond thoughtfully to all reviews, demonstrating your commitment to customer feedback.
Simplify the review process with QR codes and include review links in follow-up emails.
Grow Through Referrals
Implement a robust referral program for your POCT services by following these steps:
- Determine Reward Amount
- Establish Guidelines and Logistics
- Track Performance
- Train Your Team
- Promote to the World!
Leverage Thank You Cards for Your POCT Referral Program
Implement a thank-you card program to enhance referrals. After a patient undergoes testing, send them a handwritten thank-you card. Express well wishes and politely request referrals.
Monitor and Adapt
Regularly evaluate your marketing efforts by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs). Select 3-4 essential KPIs to focus on, such as the total number of tests performed, gross sales, referrals, and customer feedback. Be open-minded and flexible, ready to adjust your strategies based on performance metrics and customer feedback.
By implementing these strategies, you can create a comprehensive marketing campaign that drives awareness, engagement, and trust in your pharmacy’s POCT services. Solidify your trusted community healthcare provider position, ensuring your success in a competitive market. If you’re ready to start or grow your point-of-care testing program, consider joining Pharmacy Badass University for comprehensive support and resources. Become a Pharmacy Badass and lead the way in Point of Care Testing in your community!