If you’ve been following our blog, we’ve been touching on some vital cannabis marketing topics such as branding, website design, SEO, CSR and much more. Once your brand’s business plan, mission and vision are in place, it’s important to consider how you’re going to successfully sell your cannabis product, while maintaining customer retention and attracting new customers.
Keep reading as we explain why cannabis product marketing is so crucial, and how you can optimize your customer journey throughout the lifecycle of your product.
6 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Cannabis Product Marketing Efforts
Because of the recent cannabis industry “boom”, folks tend to forget about the sacred nature of the cannabis plant, and the fact that it has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Taking that into consideration, as a cannabis brand, it’s important to communicate the specifics on why your product is distinguished in the market and what makes it special.
Here are 6 questions to ask yourself when strategizing your cannabis product marketing efforts:
- What type of product do we offer?
- Whether you offer cannabis concentrates, edibles, pre-rolls, vapes or flower, it’s always important to consider your product type – because that will determine who your target market is going to be. This will further help to determine your style of communication and education surrounding your product offering.
- Where is my product offered?
- Location, Location, Location! Where you offer your product (on a local, state, or national level) is also important. This can help determine the style of your communication, your marketing activities, CSR efforts, as well as long-term campaigns.
- There are great resources, like BDSA, which capture analytical product trends in different markets that cannabis business owners and marketers utilize in order to make informed decisions.
- How was my product grown?
- Although in theory this should always be top priority for any cannabis product, over time it’s only going to become more and more important to consumers.
- Transparently marketing cannabis and products that are organically-grown in a sustainable manner – is way more effective than marketing cannabis that isn’t grown in such a way. Especially because, at the end of the day, cannabis itself is the most important aspect of this entire experience.
- Where was my product manufactured?
- Similarly to the importance of how cannabis is grown, it’s important to know where and how a product was manufactured. While cultivation, extraction, manufacturing and retail licenses work differently state to state, it’s still important to be transparent with consumers on when, where and how products are made.
- What ingredients go into producing my product?
- What ingredients were used in growing my cannabis? What ingredients go into my edibles? What extraction method do we use for our extracts? What do we use to make our cannabinoids more bioavailable in our tinctures? These are all things to consider and educate your target audience about, depending on your cannabis product class.
- For example: there are brands like Kanha, promoting both natural and vegan ingredients which can really resonate and provide a sense of comfort to consumers.
- What do my lab test results look like?
- It’s important to have lab tests readily available for consumer review. Placing a QR code on packaging, promoting on social media, sharing on a newsletter and placing a “lab results” call-to-action on a website are all great examples of how to share this valuable information.
We’re seeing consumers becoming more educated on cannabis so, in turn, be sure to pay attention to the finer details that go into products, brands and cannabis organizations as a whole. As the industry continues to grow, the above factors are going to become more and more important.
The Importance of Effective Point of Sale (POS) in a Cannabis Dispensary
Your POS is the time and place a retail transaction occurs. POS marketing in a cannabis dispensary can be a unique and difficult experience because every state, county, and city differs in terms of demographics, budtender education, consumer education/regulations.
Although there are dispensaries like Planet 13 in Las Vegas, that are massive, most dispensaries are nowhere near the size of a normal retail space or grocery store, so POS marketing can really be crucial for cannabis brands.
Keeping this in mind, here are 4 tips to help with your POS marketing efforts in dispensaries:
- Your all-around branding is going to be the first foundational principle to your process. Not only will this be reflected on your packaging, but it will also be reflected on your in-store marketing materials and in-store advertising, all while helping develop a sense of trust with the budtenders who are pushing your products.
- This will also help to develop that same sense of trust and comfort that pushes customers to be subliminally attracted to your product on the shelf.
- Similarly to any other POS retail marketing, it follows that cannabis packaging design plays a huge factor in a customer’s decision. The tough part is that all cannabis packaging must be child-resistant, so there tend to be limitations in functionality, design, etc.
- It’s smart to consider who your target demographic is – so you can create a packaging design that attracts their interests.
- It’s also smart to execute a competitor analysis on what packaging styles are working in dispensaries and where your packaging will potentially be placed on shelves.
- Some bonus packaging points to consider:
- Sustainable packaging
- Doing a giveback program that is communicated on your packaging
- Having user-friendly functionality
- POS Display
- It’s certainly wise for a cannabis brand to seize the opportunity in enhancing their POS at the counter where a particular product is both selected and acquired.
- Having your products in a POS display case can increase the chances of the budtenders making sure to recommend the product, while also increasing the chances of consumers purchasing said product.
- Tangible Marketing Materials
- Education is one of the most important aspects in any cannabis marketing project. Because the cannabis industry is so new, there’s not as much research as with other consumable products, and the stigma of the plant is unfortunately still there.
- Earlier in the blog we mentioned 6 questions to ask yourself about your products. With that information, it’d be great to educate your consumers and potential consumers so they can associate your products with trust, loyalty and comfort.
- If you have an opportunity to place physical marketing materials in the waiting room, at the counter, and/or to have the consumer bring them home, take it! Having these materials available is also perfect for events.
- In-Store Digital Advertising
- As some of you may already know, paid digital cannabis advertising is unfortunately against the guidelines of popular platforms like Facebook and Google. This can of course be very frustrating for cannabis organizations who are looking to increase sales.
- Cannabis tech companies like GreenScreens and Enlighten have successfully bridged this gap, by providing dispensaries with the technology to conduct digital advertising on digital dispensary menus – located in waiting rooms and also behind the counter.
We’re seeing that brands who put time into each of these areas are also the ones who have the most customer retention. Simply put — when it comes to creating a loyal cannabis customer — it really is all about the little things.
Your Cannabis Digital Marketing Footprint
Now that you’ve dialed in your product marketing and customer journey, it’s time to enhance and create an alignment between both, through your digital marketing efforts. Your digital marketing platform is a great way to create a relationship with consumers and keep them properly informed.
Here are 8 ways you can enhance your product marketing and customer journey through your digital marketing strategy:
- Custom and User-Friendly Website Design and Development
a. Your website serves as a critical tool in your cannabis digital marketing strategy and customer journey for a number of reasons – including but not limited to:
i. Menu/Online ordering
ii. Location map of where to find your products
iii. Safe space to host specials and pricing information
iv. Great places in your website to host brand info:
3. Community Efforts
4. Badges or Certifications
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy
a. It’s crucial for consumers to be able to easily find you online. Executing an SEO program to make your products and brand easy to find across search engines can be extremely helpful to your customers’ online experience right from the start. Not to mention, SEO can help with load times, which can then lead to a higher click-through rate (CTR).
- Social Media Program
a. In addition to being strong SEO tools, social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Reddit and Twitter, can be great ways to create a relationship with your consumers, attract new consumers, establish brand awareness and educate your audience.
b. The only downside is that there are limitations to posting pricing information, as well as limitations to targeted advertising when it comes to cannabis social media.
- Online Directories
a. Online directories like Weedmaps and Leafly can also be great SEO tools for cannabis brands, on top of being safe places to host pricing information. They’re able to communicate pricing, product and brand info, all while catering to their users’ geographic locations through their websites and applications.
- Targeted Paid Advertising
a. Although targeted paid advertising for cannabis organizations is limited on Google and Facebook, there are still opportunities to advertise. There are some workarounds that we mention in a previous blog, but there are certainly a lot of hoops to jump through.b. Here are a few of the ways we utilize paid advertising for our clients – to promote specials or create brand awareness:
i. Banner advertising
ii. Paid ad on another business’s social media
iii. Targeted newsletter
iv. Print ads can also be valuable, such as on:
2. Public transportation
- Public Relations (PR)
a. Strategic PR is a great tool to introduce a cannabis brand and its products to the public. PR helps to enhance a brand’s digital footprint in a number of ways, including:
ii. Reaching a wider audience
iii. Social media, email and website content
iv. SEO boost – through digital back linking
a. Once you’ve locked a customer into your pipeline – an excellent way to (directly yet safely) communicate with them is through text message and email marketing. These are quick and effective ways to share pricing, product drops and major updates.
b. Some dispensaries, and brands like Olio, can actually sell out of an entire product drop in a few hours – just from one text blast!
- Custom and User-Friendly Website Design and Development
It’s safe to say that most humans experience a flawless digital experience outside of the cannabis industry when it comes to their recurring transactions, so there is absolutely no reason their experience in the cannabis industry should be any different.
What Can Be Done Outside of the Dispensary & Digital Landscapes?
It may have not crossed your mind, but did you know that you can add quality to your product marketing and customer journey outside of the dispensary and digital landscape, through community and staff engagement?
Not only is it important for a person buying your products to associate your brand with quality, loyalty and trust, but it’s just as important for the humans making the products as well.
Here are two ideas to help this process for your cannabis brand:
- Host an event alongside other local cannabis and non-cannabis businesses, musicians and artists, that gives back to a local non-profit(s).
- Engage your staff to do a trash cleanup at one of your local water sources (ie. river, lake, etc.) alongside other members of the community. Give prizes to participants, and maybe even host a contest for who picks up the most trash!
Hopefully, these two points sparked some creative ideas of your own. We’ve found that every cannabis business has its own story, so it’s really fun and rewarding to stylistically infuse that story into efforts like community and staff engagement.
Why Should I Use PufCreativ to Enhance My Product Marketing & Customer Journey?
When it comes to the cannabis industry, there will always be an obstacle to overcome, every step of the way. We come from years of experience in the cannabis industry, and we’re here to use that experience to remove any obstacles hindering our clients’ cannabis marketing goals. In addition to our many accolades, most recently our expert team at PufCreativ was honored to be featured among the Top 30 Colorado Branding Agencies by DesignRush.
We work with cannabis organizations all over the world; from concept, to launch, to the day-to-day marketing hustle. The combination of our highest-quality output and our trusted network allows clients to expertly navigate the murky waters of the cannabis industry, while achieving their aspirations along the way.
To experience our branding, design, website, social media, content creation, digital marketing and consulting services – please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org