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Having a Marketing Representative on Staff Can Change How a Pharmacy Operates

by Lottar

With a trained representative focused on building relationships with prescribers in the community, pharmacies have the opportunity to significantly expand how they do business.

Adding a team member trained and focused on sales and marketing has the potential to pay dividends, Nicolette Mathey, PharmD, owner of Palm Harbor Pharmacy, explained during a presentation at the National Community Pharmacists Association 2022 Annual Convention. Specifically, by describing and following up with even 5 doctors in the community, pharmacies can create opportunities to stock items that the doctors usually recommend to their patients or provide surgical kits for the doctor’s clinics.

“There’s always more and more and more to do with your physical marketing and your digital marketing,” Mathey said. “But do all the prescribers in your area know all the products and services your pharmacy offers? Because you do more than you think you do.”

Mathey noted that when she discusses the field of marketing, people often think of websites or search engine optimization.

“But what I really like most is physical marketing, so doctors explain relationships. But it can be intimidating, so we’re going to break it down,” Mathey said.

A starting point when approaching physician details is to pivot away from presenting what the pharmacy can do for that physician, and instead focus on asking the physician questions about what they do in their practice, Mathey explained.

“When we go, we ask a lot of questions. We don’t just tell them everything about us and what we do,” said Mathey. “We ask the prescriber questions: ‘What are you currently prescribing for,’ ‘Are you currently prescribing for compounds’, ‘Are you currently using any other pharmacies?’ Many of them send connections out of state, making them an easy target in your area. You can go make that connection and that relationship, and tell them, ‘Oh, I can do that.’

Mathey explained that by learning more about the details of the prescriber’s work and prescribing patterns, the pharmacy can better stock products specific to their patients’ needs.

“We work with a lot of podiatrists in my area, this was just our opportunity,” Mathey said. “So we’ve been able to develop really robust programs around podiatry in that niche.”

Mathey noted that through her work with podiatrists in her area, she learned that there are many different types of podiatry specialties, ranging from podiatry surgeons to other types of podiatry doctors. However, a similar issue arose in her conversations with everyone.

“There are all different types of podiatrists, and a lot of them will send patients online to get compression socks or online to get wound care and things. I said, ‘No, no, no, don’t send your patients online or to Amazon or anything like that. don’t send them. Send them to us. We know everything you like, and your protocol for your operations. We will make you the surgical kit, so send it to us, we will measure it, we will do all the things you want have in stock,” Mathey said.

However, Mathey noted that it’s important to strike a balance with the prescriber’s clinic about what they stock to sell to patients and what they don’t.

“So, I’m not going to sell patients’ shoes if the clinic sells shoes. Anything they offer, I won’t offer it. That’s why it’s so important to work with local prescribers in your area, so anything that they can’t provide to their patients that they send out on the retail side, the product side, the supplement side, the prescription side, they will send to us,” Mathew said.

Still, the areas of focus will vary for each dispensary, as not all dispensaries will have a significant number of podiatrists practicing nearby, Mathey explained. Either way, the pharmacy’s marketing strategy must be aligned with their patients, the prescribers and the payers if they are to gain traction.

“So as you can imagine, all the pharmacies we work with across the country are different,” Mathey said. “All the marketing strategies are totally different for all these pharmacies. I really feel no two are the same.”


Mathey N. Marketing Representative: The Staffing Role You Never Knew You Always Needed. Kansas City, MO: National Community Pharmacists Association 2022 Annual Convention; October 2, 2022.

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