For nearly ten years, I was privileged to lead a team of sales and marketing reps at an independent pharmacy. We had a thriving business with more than ten pharmacists on staff at the time. One key to our success was leveraging professional brand supplements to differentiate our pharmacy from others in the area. Having that expertise labeled us as a wellness destination and enhanced our profitability while teaching our team a few lessons:
- Doctor detailing must be an essential component of a pharmacy’s professional supplement brand marketing strategy.
- Having an experienced professional brand willing to partner with you in this marketing strategy is critical.
In this blog, I’ll explain why doctor detailing is essential but challenging when marketing a professional brand. Then, I’ll introduce two exciting, ready-to-use assets that Pure Encapsulations® has created to combat those marketing challenges.
WHAT IS DOCTOR DETAILING AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
For those unfamiliar with the term, doctor detailing is a marketing strategy used by independent pharmacies to promote their business to healthcare providers. When prescribers are more aware of an independent pharmacy’s offerings, they may be more likely to refer patient prescriptions to that pharmacy. Increasing patient referrals is the primary goal of most independent pharmacies since nearly 94% of sales are derived from prescriptions (NCPA Digest 2022).
It doesn’t end there. Business headwinds within the pharmacy industry have created an opportunity for pharmacies to offer and promote a wide range of products and services beyond prescriptions. A successful nonprescription marketing strategy can increase revenue, boost brand awareness and enhance your pharmacy’s reputation as a trusted healthcare provider.
DOCTOR DETAILING PAIN POINTS THAT CAN AFFECT PROFESSIONAL BRAND MARKETING
While a robust doctor detailing strategy can effectively market professional brand supplements, it can also challenge pharmacists. You’ll need an experienced professional brand partner to navigate these common pain points:
- Trouble articulating value: Some prescribers may view professional brand supplements as unnecessary or expensive, which can create a perception that the pharmacy is trying to upsell the patient. If you cannot articulate the patient value, this can create barriers when promoting professional brand supplements. Select a brand partner with documented expertise in communicating with medical professionals.
- Lack of training: Pharmacists may need more training and education to differentiate professional brand supplements from the other options found in competitor pharmacies. Select a brand partner willing to provide you with turnkey educational resources (must be logged in to view) that clearly outline their value proposition.
- Limited staff and time: Effective doctor detailing of professional brands will require supportive marketing materials. If you have limited staff and time, you may be unable to create these marketing assets yourself. Select a brand partner that can provide ready-to-use marketing resources created from your pharmacy’s perspective.
- Limited access to prescribers: Pharmacists may have limited access to prescribers because of geography. Additionally, prescribers may restrict availability for face-to-face visits. Select a brand partner that can provide you with marketing resources (must be logged in to view) that offer flexible communication delivery.
TRY THESE PAIN-FREE MARKETING TOOLS FROM PURE ENCAPSULATIONS
Now that I’ve shared the difficulties of incorporating professional brand marketing into your doctor detailing strategy, let’s look at two simple tools developed by Pure Encapsulations that can alleviate these pain points.
INTRODUCE PURE WITH A PERSONALIZED REFERRING PRESCRIBER LETTER
A personalized letter from a pharmacist to a prescriber can be valuable in advancing communication between the two healthcare providers. In addition, it encourages dialogue, which can help foster a more collaborative approach to patient care.
Pure has created a pre-written personal letter that speaks to the value of Pure from the pharmacy’s perspective. It helps distinguish your business from other pharmacies while reinforcing your commitment to the patient’s needs. The letter can be downloaded, personalized and printed on your pharmacy letterhead or inserted directly into an email for digital outreach.
COMMUNICATE AND EDUCATE WITH OUR “WHY PATIENTS CHOOSE PURE” BROCHURE
Patient-centered care is an approach to healthcare that prioritizes the needs and preferences of the patient. Including patient-centered marketing in your doctor detailing strategy affirms your commitment to providing products and services that are relevant, personalized and accessible to the patient. Ultimately, it establishes a common goal with prescribers and promotes collaboration in patient care. Pure has developed a simple brochure that describes the differentiating quality patients have come to trust in our brand. It can be downloaded and emailed with our personalized referring prescriber letter, or you can request hard copies by contacting us directly.
Pure’s referring prescriber letter and brochure combine to alleviate each pain point by:
- Highlighting Pure’s status as the #1 most recommended brand by healthcare professionals.1
- Communicating Pure’s value proposition on behalf of the pharmacist.
- Eliminating the need for your staff to develop their own Pure marketing resources.
- Enhancing the flexibility of communication with print and digital options.
By leveraging these ready-to-use Pure Encapsulations tools, you can build strong relationships with local referring prescribers, increase customer loyalty and generate revenue for your pharmacy.
PARTNERING WITH PURE MAKES DOCTOR DETAILING SIMPLE
While doctor detailing isn’t easy, it’s essential. Having a brand partner supporting your marketing efforts is critical to your business growth. Now with two ways Pure can simplify your prescriber marketing strategy, you can more easily work towards becoming a wellness destination in your community. We are your proud partner.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
ASK THE PHARMACIST
Doctor detailing is critical in building and maintaining a successful pharmacy business. What have been your most effective tactics for marketing your pharmacy to local prescribers?
Meet face-to-face with your local prescribers and introduce yourself; don’t just drop off marketing flyers. A local pharmacist dropping by the office to introduce themselves is rarely turned away in my experience. Chances are you may be the only pharmacist that has ever stopped by their office, and this is a GREAT opportunity to differentiate yourself and your pharmacy!
Ben Holter, PharmD, RPh, MBA+
Shrivers Pharmacy and Wellness
1. Among professional supplement brands surveyed, Nutrition Business Journal® 2016, 2020.
+Ben Holter is a retained consultant to Pure Encapsulations.