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This sample marketing plan was created with Marketing Plan Pro software.

The Discount Pharmacy will have different marketing strategies for the two different segmented groups that they wish to reach.

The walk-in customers will be targeted through advertisements in the local paper, "The Oregonian." The advertisements will raise visibility for The Discount Pharmacy and their discounted prices. As the price of medication continues to skyrocket, The Discount Pharmacy will appeal to local people as a way to try to contain these rising costs.

The mail order customers will be targeted through an advertising campaign in magazines and newsletters that have an older (over 55) crowd that regularly needs medication and knows in advance what their needs are. One of the main newsletters that The Discount Pharmacy will be visible in is the American Association of Retired Persons (A.A.R.P) monthly newsletter.

Mission

The Discount Pharmacy's mission is to provide the customer with the best prices and service for prescription medication. We exist to attract and maintain customers. When we adhere to this maxim, everything else will fall into place. Our services will exceed the expectations of our customers.

Marketing Objectives

  • Increase repeat customers by 7% each quarter.
  • Decrease customer acquisition costs by 8% per year.
  • Increase customer awareness of The Discount Pharmacy as evidenced by an increase in product requests solely generated by knowledge of The Pharmacy's name.

Financial Objectives

  • A double digit growth rate for the first three years.
  • Reduce the variable costs associated with servicing each individual order by 4% a year.
  • Profitability by the end of year three.

Target Markets

The Discount Pharmacy will have different strategies for the two different groups.

The walk-in customers will be targeted through advertisements in the local paper, "The Oregonian."  The advertisements will raise visibility for The Discount Pharmacy and their discounted prices. As the price of medication continues to skyrocket, The Discount Pharmacy will appeal to local people as a way to try to contain these rising costs.

The mail order customers will be targeted through an advertising campaign in magazines and newsletters that have an older (over 55) crowd that regularly needs medication and knows in advance what their needs are. One of the main newsletters that The Discount Pharmacy will be visible in is the A.A.R.P monthly newsletter.

Positioning

The Discount Pharmacy will position themselves as the premier, customer-service-orientated mail order pharmacy in the U.S. The Discount Pharmacy will offer a good selection, great service, and better prices than traditional pharmacies. The Discount Pharmacy will leverage their competitive edge to achieve this positioning.

The Discount Pharmacy's competitive edge is superior pricing. Generally, it is not a sustainable practice to compete on price. This is the case because it is based on the assumption that the competition has the same cost structure, so in order to compete on price you have to accept smaller margins which over time will erode the business model and profitability.

This reasoning does not apply to The Discount Pharmacy's situation because they are able to maintain similar margins through cost-cutting measures and operating efficiencies.

The Discount Pharmacy is able to decrease operating costs by not offering all of the typical services traditionally offered by pharmacies. The first cost measure is only employing a single pharmacist, in compliance with Federal regulations, and using pharmaceutical technicians whenever possible. As long as a pharmacist is on-site during the hours of operation, The Pharmacy can use the pharmaceutical techs in all other capacities that most pharmacies use pharmacists for.

The Discount Pharmacy is able to maintain industry margins through the use of other operating efficiencies. By only having a small store front and doing the bulk of business through mail order, operating costs are significantly reduced.

Lastly, although there is a pharmacist on hand, The Discount Pharmacy is not designed to hold the patients hands when they purchase their medications. The vast majority of The Discount Pharmacy customers are veteran drug takers and are already aware of how to take the medication and any side effects or drug interactions that should be avoided. Regardless, The Discount Pharmacy will provide each patient with a print out of all the information they need for the consumption of the drugs.

Strategies

The single objective of The Discount Pharmacy is to establish themselves as the mail order pharmacy serving the U.S. The Discount Pharmacy will aim to achieve a 30% market penetration within five years.  The marketing strategy will seek to first create customer awareness regarding the products/services offered, develop the customer base, and work toward building customer loyalty and referrals.

The Pharmacy will use advertisements to communicate the message.  Advertisements will be placed in different venues depending on the target segment that is trying to reached.  To reach the walk-in customers, advertisements will be run in The Oregonian.  To reach the mail order target segment advertisements will be placed in A.A.R.P's newsletter.

Marketing Mix

The Discount Pharmacy marketing mix is comprised of the following approaches to pricing, distribution, advertising and promotion, and customer service. 

  • Pricing: The Pharmacy's prices will be better than traditional pharmacies.
  • Distribution: The products will be distributed throughout the U.S. 
  • Advertising and Promotion: The most successful advertising campaigns will be targeted advertisements.
  • Customer Service: Obsessive customer service is the norm.  All employees have been trained to ensure that all customer's expectations are exceeded.  This will occur at any short-term expense, realizing that this is needed to build a successful business.

Marketing Research

During the initial phases of the marketing plan completion, several focus groups were held to gain insight into the targeted customer's mind and the processes of their decision making.  These focus groups provided the Pharmacy with a wealth of information. 

Additionally, survey were handed out and completed by people that use traditional pharmacies to purchase their medications.  The surveys were developed by The Discount Pharmacy's owner himself, leveraging his statistic skills that he mastered while pursuing his MBA.  Having a carefully designed survey is paramount to ensuring that the data collected is accurate and applicable.  The surveys provided insight into the barriers that people face when moving from using a brick and mortar pharmacy to a mail order pharmacy. 

The last source of marketing research is an in-depth analysis of the pharmacy industry, focusing on consumer decision models within the industry.  Cumulatively, all of this market research provided the owner with the necessary "kick in the pants" to move forward with his idea.

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