Marketing the Independent Pharmacy

Independent pharmacies are not the best at marketing. That’s just a fact. We’re focused on the day-to-day, which is why we need Pharmacy Proud and Rick Raque. Mr. Raque is a marketing specialist who loves independent business. And it shows, his resume speaks volumes. He not only helped make Kentucky Proud a multi-million-dollar brand that pioneered the buzz words “shop local,” but he was also involved in the largest consumer loyalty program in the country, the Kroger Plus card.

Marketing the Independent Pharmacy, the Birth of Pharmacy Proud

Pharmacy Proud was born in the minds of John and Jerry, the name inspired by Kentucky Proud and the idea of “shop local pharmacies” the way we “shop local” businesses. The Pharmacy Proud team of John, Jerry, and Rick aren’t strangers to the business of independent pharmacy, marketing or each other. John and Jerry worked together with marketing specialist Rick Raque last fall on a project that brought a full spectrum hemp oil product exclusively to the shelves of independent pharmacies. The project was very successful.

During the process, Rick talked to a lot of independent pharmacists and worked closely with John who owns and operates a local independent. Rick was moved by just how many independent pharmacists do, and how much they go through. He was so inspired he moved his own prescriptions to an independent. During this time Rick, a marketing specialist with an eye for opportunity, was able to identify a lot of marketing possibilities to help independent pharmacists.

What really moved Mr. Raque was the relationship between pharmacist and customer. He says, “It’s not that the person behind the counter at the other stores don’t care, but they’re not allowed to come out from behind the counter and console a person and help them make the right decisions.” After his switch to an independent pharmacy Rick noted that it’s saved him money because he no longer has to go to the doctor as much. So, he’s not paying exorbitant copays to get information that he can get from his pharmacist. That’s a good example of the kind of knowledge that needs to be shared.

Coming Soon, Marketing Opportunities for Pharmacy Proud Independents

Mr. Raque’s professional marketing research shows a lot of low hanging fruit out there for the 22,000 independent pharmacies in operation. That’s a lot of independents that can come together and make Pharmacy Proud a very strong brand. Tools like loyalty and in-house digital customer education programs are coming soon to independent pharmacists that are part of Pharmacy Proud, and they’re going to be super cost effective. We’re very excited!

“Loyalty programs are all about leading the customer to where you want them to be,” says Rick. These programs are now available at a much lower cost than what went into creating the Kroger Plus Card. In the beginning, these programs were expensive and cumbersome, and that’s no longer the case. “If you give 1% of your time you can master this it will change the direction of your business,” says Mr. Raque. “Google ENLIGHTEN, it’s a digital in-home network coming soon to those part of the Pharmacy Proud family and you won’t be disappointed.”