Growth in Pharmacies with Blended Learning

Learn how Pierre Fabre boosted their sales of products and increased professional service with a Blending Learning training programme.

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How blended learning increased sales

It is extremely important for Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique, that consumers get a great experience with professional guidance, when they buy Pierre Fabre-products at the pharmacy.

“We only sell our products through pharmacies because we want them to be sold with professional advice from a pharmaconomist, but this sometimes presents some challenges,” says Kamilla Greisen Bacher, Nordic Marketing Director for Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique, and continues:

“Pharmaconomists are really skilled at their job, and among other things, they like to know all the ingredients in a product in order to feel confident in advising customers.

However, it can be difficult to pull them away from the counter and over to the product shelf to offer their good advice.

For instance, if you are a customer in medical treatment for acne, you need special products that provide extra moisture to the skin, but you may also suffer from really dry lips, and sometimes pharmaconomists do not think about recommending the additional product which may relieve that side effect.”

Therefore, Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique set out to teach pharmaconomists to sell even better by offering customers improved services based on greater knowledge of the skin and the company’s products.

“In the past, we would mostly invite the pharmacy staff to major training events in the evening outside working hours.

We noticed that they were not particularly participative, some even sat there knitting, and that won’t help you remember much afterwards.”

A New Certified Education in Skin Care

Kamilla and the Danish Commercial Manager decided to create a training course focused on learning about the A to Z of the skin, consumer needs as well as, of course, the products. The training lasts one year and earns participants a title and diploma.

“We really wanted to appeal to the academic mindset of the pharmaconomists,” Kamilla says.

They contacted an expert in learning, who introduced them to the concept of blended learning, which involves learning in many different ways, e.g. through workshops, classroom training and digital learning.

“As it happens, Learningbank had contacted us several times during that period, so Helle (Commercial Manager at Pierre Fabre, ed.) and I chose to have a meeting with them. Actually, what Learningbank presented was internal training of employees as well as onboarding, so we started thinking about how we could transform this and use

it as a digital element for the external customers doing the training” Kamilla says.

It turned out not to be a problem. The Learningbank design team helped Kamilla and Helle further in the process by creating the digital platform for Pierre Fabre Academy.

“Pierre Fabre is the only pharmaceutical company which also develops cosmetics products, and we created the concept ‘dermocosmetics’. Our production and testing methods are unique, and generally, there are tons of facts and a rich history of the company that many customers do not know about.

It was a target of the training to also cover this area, with the aim of making the pharmacy professionals knowledgeable as well as proud to sell Pierre Fabre products. We wanted to share the Pierre Fabre spirit with them,” Kamilla says.

During the development phase, Kamilla and Helle presented the creative features they had prepared together with Learningbank to the management, as the initiative was new in every conceivable way.

“We were challenged about the animated style offered by Learning- bank, and not everything was a good match for the company’s DNA, but we finally settled on a strong balance between the medical and serious aspects and the interactive and animated learning universe,” Kamilla says.

“It’s been an unparalleled creative process. We found solutions continuously because we were pressed for time, as we also had to get the other parts of the training ready.

However, it the end it matched our needs and the fact that external users had to complete the digital modules.”

“The Learningbank team has helped us structure the entire process and has been extremely good at managing it. They have been very professional, positive and friendly throughout the process,” Kamilla says.

Reception by the Pharmacy Staff

In the final story learning module, the pharmacy employee starts by choosing their character who, at the request of a dermocosmetics expert, travels to the head office of Pierre Fabre to learn more about the products in order to offer customers improved advice and service.

However, as you reach the office of Mr. Pierre Fabre, you cannot enter because you have lost the key. You have to continue your journey to Pierre Fabre’s first pharmacy in Castres, where Mr. Pierre Fabre has hidden a spare key.

In the original office, you have to solve a number of interactive challenges, while you learn about the history and mission of Pierre Fabre.

Each challenge earns you a number for the combination to the safe where the spare key is stored.

Finally, with the right combination of numbers, you can open the safe and travel back to the head office, where the expert turns out to be waiting – ready to praise you for solving the challenges and for learning about the history and the Pierre Fabre DNA.

Learningbank also helped Pierre Fabre design many more digital learning modules as part of the training, including modules on acne, infantile eczema etc.

“Of course, we were slightly nervous about the reception by the pharmaconomists, both because they are slightly less digital and because we wanted them to take the matter seriously. As it turned out, a few individuals needed follow-up emails and support to know how to get through it.”

“Overall, however, the whole training has been received with an incredibly positive attitude, and the evaluation feedback from many has been: “The digital modules are super cool. Many also thought it was great fun to complete,” Kamilla says.

A further aim with the training for Pierre Fabre was to increase sales of their products in pharmacies. Now that the course participants have passed their exams, the analysis shows that sales to pharmacies, which have had a participant in the course have risen twice as much as to other pharmacies.

The most striking and important result is that their sales to consumers have risen three times more during the period than at other pharmacies, which is indeed noticeable.

International Recognition

“The greatest praise was that we have gained a completely different image in the industry, because we appear as innovative and pioneering within learning, and Learningbank was absolutely a part of that.”

“We presented the training and the digital modules internally to the directors of all the international subsidiaries, and they were completely blown away with the design as well as the results, and also by the fact that we succeeded with this in spite of limited resources.”

“Now we’re getting specific inquiries from other countries that are very interested in copying the digital modules and translating them,” Kamilla says, concluding:

“I would definitely recommend Learningbank to others. The output has been exceptionally good, but also the process itself.”

”All the staff are incredibly service-minded and knowledgeable, but in a humble and pleasant way. We felt a tremendous interest in getting to know and understanding our line of business. In addition, we’ve managed to establish a really good flow that also allows us to contribute greatly to the production, which again makes the output both financially sound and efficient for us.”

”We really wanted to appeal to the academic mindset of the pharmaconomists,”
– Kamilla Greisen Bacher, Nordic Marketing Director i Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique


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