Friday, April 10, 2009

How to Market a Pharmacy ?

A friend of mine in a yahoo group asked other members how to market his/her Pharmacy especially in the market of non prescription drugs with its specific target segment is low to medium income customers. After reading his/her email, I remember the days when I helped my parents planning and implementing strategy to increase market share of our family-owned Pharmacy in Surabaya, Indonesia 7-8 years ago. Nowadays that Pharmacy still exist and grow even though there are more than 20 Pharmacy nearby it, but my parents decided not to open branches nor franchise opportunities like Pharmacy K24 because of some family considerations, one of those considerations is that Pharmacy was existed not only for profit-oriented business but also for social business.

First thing that shall be considered when you are going to market a Pharmacy is you shall have great and fix operational system, you shall service patients (Pharmacy's customers) fast, no errors, and with care. The second thing is what is the positioning of our Pharmacy ? if you position your Pharmacy as high class Pharmacy then it is not suitable for it to be opened in the middle of residential area for medium to low classes, or in the other word our Pharmacy must be placed on public shopping areas such as nearby supermarkets, inside plazas or malls, or in the middle of residential area for high class society. The layout and interior design must be luxurious too. You can also increase the price above normal price. Apotek Guardian is one of the Pharmacy that positioned as high class Pharmacy in Indonesia.

Okay let's forget about high class, medium, or low class Pharmacy. Pharmacy sells drugs that are basic needs for customers. People don't care where to buy legal drugs as long as they can get legal drugs whether prescription or non prescription drugs. Why is that? because patients don't like to be sick, so they just want to get drugs and get away to consume that drugs as soon as possible. There are no prestige in buying drugs in high class Pharmacy, nor there are bad image in buying drugs in low to medium class Pharmacy. There is no lifestyle in buying drugs nor in consuming drugs because nobody like to be sick!. That's why I personally suggest to all of my friends who want to have Pharmacy to target all segment of customers but position the Pharmacy as low to medium class Pharmacy. That was also my suggestion in past planning strategy of my family-own Pharmacy. The third thing that shall be considered when you are marketing a Pharmacy is medium to low class customers are not price sensitive customers, so please dont think to involve or to start price war in Pharmacy business. If you are considering to involve or to start in it please take a look first thing to be considered in the above part of this article because that is the main and the most important thing in this business :). If the operational system of Pharmacy is going well then more than 50% success is in hand. The next thing that you shall do is having people know and visit your Pharmacy. Please focus in personal communication and relationship development to invite people nearby your Pharmacy to become customers of your Pharmacy because trust is important in their mind. Trust is more valuable than various discounts, brochures, or other marketing programs for your Pharmacy. The fourth thing that shall be considered by you is your Pharmacy's layout/interior design. Don't use lamps that are too bright, just use medium-bright lamps, because it is correlated with the image of your Pharmacy in customers mind. If the light in your Pharmacy are too bright then the image of your Pharmacy is high class Pharmacy which sells drugs above normal price. Another thing that is related with Pharmacy's layout is cleanliness and neatness. Preserve your Pharmacy's cleanliness and neatness within high standard. Nobody wants to buy drugs in a messy and dirty Pharmacy.

1 comment:

  1. Is it easy to get a pharmacist for employment in Indonesia?