Marketing Tips for Cannabis Dispensaries
Operating a marijuana dispensary can be a lucrative business, but only if people know it exists, and prefer it to other dispensaries in the area. Just selling cannabis is not enough to obtain the profitability and sustainability you need for your business to be successful. You will need to market and advertise that business if you want people to know and trust it.
1. Differentiate your brand
Clients in your area probably have many dispensaries to choose from (as long as you are in a place where they are legal). So what makes yours different? Do you have a wider range of products? Can you afford to sell at lower prices? Do you offer a more individualized and personal customer service?
2. Be consistent
The advertising is more effective in many iterations, because of the effect of mere exposure. But for this effect to manifest, it must be consistent. You must present your brand in the same way, adhere to the same values and offer consumers the same type of images, tone of voice, and other distinctive characteristics of the brand. Make sure you have thoroughly documented your brand standards. Inspect every published marketing or advertising material to make sure it meets those standards.
3. Appeal to a local hearing
While some dispensaries may sell to customers in many different areas, most are limited to a local audience, or at least will get most of their income from it.
4. Watch your costs
You will need to watch your budget carefully if you want to be successful. If you spend very little or nothing on marketing, you will never achieve the growth you want. But if you spend too much on campaigns that don’t work, you’ll be in an even worse position.
Your goal is to maximize your return on investment (ROI), which means selectively choosing the most effective and profitable strategies. You can do this by starting with minimal investments, measuring the results and preferably maintaining the best strategies per currency spent.
5. Segment and target your audience
You can improve your results by selectively targeting specialized audience segments. Who are your top customers and what are their top priorities? Are they buying cannabis for an underlying health condition or to enjoy it recreationally? What kinds of messages and images will evoke the best response from them?
6. Invest in SEO
The optimization of search engines (SEO) is one of the best overall internet marketing strategies. Using a combination of on-site content development, off-site link building, and other tactics, you will build your online presence and increase your search engine rankings, generating more traffic for your site. It’s a long-term strategy, so it won’t yield immediate results, but the long-term value is unparalleled.
Experimenting is also important, as you can’t be sure which tactics, channels, or messages will be most effective for your audience. Try a wide variety of different approaches, and be sure to measure your results to see what works.
8. Understand the regulations
Finally, but perhaps most importantly: make sure you understand the marijuana advertising laws where you live . Some places are stricter than others, but in almost every state in the US, for example, you will be responsible for providing factual and verifiable information about your product and displaying it responsibly. In some cases, you will need to advertise your business, rather than your product. In some states in the US, for example, you may not be dealing with specific marijuana advertising laws. Work with a lawyer if you are unsure how to proceed.
Retention versus customer acquisition
It’s also important to realize that for most dispensaries, customer retention is cheaper than customer acquisition. In other words, it is less expensive to keep a current customer happy and buying your products than it is to find a completely new customer. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to invest in strategies that will keep your customers happy and loyal, such as rewards programs and exceptional customer service, as well as spending money on marketing and advertising.
Cannabis dispensaries work best when they have solid marketing and advertising strategy that drives them forward. It may not finish working right away, and your return on investment (ROI) may be low in the initial stages, but if you continue to test and improve you will eventually put together a campaign that will work.