Marketing activity in the community pharmacy sector - A scoping review

Medicines Management Collection
Research In Social & Administrative Pharmacy : Rsap
Publication date:
30 March 2017


BACKGROUND: Community pharmacy ownership requires engaging with marketing strategies to influence consumer behaviour. There is a plethora of information from trade journals, expert opinion, and published discussion surrounding this issue. Despite this, evidence relating to the efficacy of marketing activity within the pharmacy sector is scant. OBJECTIVES: To review how marketing activity has been conceptualised in the community pharmacy sector and to determine the evidence for the effect of marketing activity. METHODS: Seven databases were systematically searched using a scoping review framework with the reporting protocol of PRISMA-P. The search yielded 33 studies that were analysed for year of publication, journal, country of focus, and framework of marketing. RESULTS: The majority of marketing research papers focused on the United States and were published in healthcare journals. These were various marketing strategy elements, including; segmentation, targeting, differentiation, and positioning. Also evident was research regarding marketing mix, which predominately involved the "4Ps" model. Actual marketing activity comprised little of the research. CONCLUSIONS: Research into marketing activity in community pharmacy is limited, and little evidence is available to show the effects of such activities. Future research needs to demonstrate the causality for the effect of marketing activities on consumer behaviour and economic outcomes.