Engaging with customers to explain what pharmacy can offer does bring results, independent pharmacist Sunil Kotcha told delegates at The Pharmacy Show last month.

Marketing is not just a case of taking out an advert in a local paper he said. “Communicate in a way that people understand,” he advised. His pharmacy tested the impact of a simple A-board outside on the pavement with the message ‘Pharmacy Walk-In Clinic’, and monitored it for one month. “Each day it brought three new people into the pharmacy,” he said, and a significant number over the four weeks. This changed how the team worked, with more activity taking place in the consultation room, he explained.

The team has committed to several events that market their pharmacy services over the year, at the pharmacy and out in the community. “We will have a staff briefing with a three-month lead time for planning the activities, and the use of a data collection tool shows us that we are putting our time into the right things.”

However, it is possible to do too much activity, he suggested, and the team have now limited themselves to four events and one charity activity per year, with a staff member taking on the organisation each time. But it is also important to make make sure that you are delivering what you are marketing, he reminded pharmacists.

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