One of the largest drug distributors in the world is going digital with a new marketing strategy designed to reach patients while they are waiting to fill a prescription in the pharmacy. On Tuesday, Cardinal Health announced plans to launch the Pharmacy Health Network, a closed-system video advertisement service fed to digital monitors in retail pharmacies. This program was developed out of the companyâ€™s marketing and solutions group, and is one of several programs that touch the awareness, trial, and usage phases in marketing.
â€œWe thought it would provide a benefit to our manufacturing clients to reach out to the customers that visit our stores,â€ said Jeff Foreman, VP strategic purchasing at Cardinal Health.
Programming includes traditional pharma advertising, health education, and in-store promotions. Cardinal has been talking with pharma manufacturers over the past few years as it developed the program, and said that there is definite interest in purchasing video space.
The campaign includes a brochure rack with additional information beyond what is in the 60-second television spot. Other reading material includes patient relationship marketing materials, opt-in loyalty programs, adherence information, and other pertinent take-away items.
â€œThis network is a way to provide or enable manufacturers to get patients to opt into existing compliance programs,â€ Foreman said. â€œSo the companies can talk about the programs on the network, and point patients to the brochure rack to pick up more information on the health living awareness program or the compliance program.â€
Cardinal has approximately 750 stores signed up for the network. The distributor will begin installing screens in the next few months with a â€œgo liveâ€ date of October 1. Pharmacies donâ€™t have to shell out a penny or install the equipment; local contractors are being used to set up the monitors on Cardinalâ€™s dime, with the expectation that costs will be recouped through advertising.
â€œDigital signage is one of the newest and most rapidly adopted forms of media delivery, and itâ€™s growing as much as online advertising. Itâ€™s cost effective and itâ€™s targeted,â€ Foreman said.