Today Walgreens announced that through the end of 2009 their Take Care clinics will provide basic tests and routine treatments to people who are unemployed or uninsured.
While the success of this program won’t be noted for some time, the fact that Walgreens is providing something of value to thank their loyal customers and to attract new customers is the type of marketing that should pay dividends for them in the long run.
This program brings Walgreens’ customers back to Walgreens instead of shopping elsewhere for cheaper services or not shopping at all.
Additionally this program helps attract new customers by giving them a reason to choose Walgreens instead of just going to the same place they always go.
As marketers we know some of the greatest challenges rarely come from another competitor, they come from inertia and the difficulty in changing someone’s habits.
Walgreens has created a reason to change habits and it could provide Walgreens with some easy, incremental revenue.
So to determine if this program is worthwhile let’s look at some conservative numbers:
- Take Care Clinics have served 1.2 million customers since November 2005 or an average of 400,000 a year. 30% (or 120,000) of their customers were new to Walgreens.
- If Walgreens can capture a 10% increase in new customers from this program it would equal 12,000 new customers.
- For this program to make money all those 12,000 new customers would have to do is purchase $60 worth of merchandise over the course of a year to cover the $59/per visit gross cost.
Walgreens has created good will among its new customers who, in turn, will likely become regular customers of Walgreens not to mention the PR value this program provides.
So why should you care?
In today’s tight economy people are being forced to rethink their lives. This disruption creates the opportunity to consider new options and if your company can provide them with a new option that satisfies their need, you can gain a new customer.
The question is what are you doing for your target audience so that you can change their habits?