If your customers have had good luck with cannabis for chronic pain or stress, they’re probably a great promoter of your products. However, a certain stigma remains in this industry—and creative, educational marketing strategies can help bridge that gap.
Determine Your Target
For those who have a strong focus on CBD products, your target market may be older folks with pets. You could set up a marketing email campaign around seasonal weather changes, when inflammatory pain becomes most challenging, to remind your target market that help is possible at your shop.
If your target audience ranges in age, as many dispensaries’ customer bases do, you should focus your marketing campaigns on the product itself, the quality of source ingredients and the limited-time offers available at your dispensary.
If you want to cultivation a younger audience, seeking the emerging Gen-Z demographic, you will need to tailor your campaigns to their interests. You can do this through design or with a partner business.
No matter what age your target audience is, it is important to always keep them in mind when you are creating these marketing campaigns. Always ask yourself if what you’re doing will be appealing to people who fall into these categories you’re looking for in your consumers. Think of both the customers you currently have and the customers you are trying to reach.
Go as Mainstream as Possible
Your dispensary is a legitimate and legal business. Do your best to work with cannabis-friendly professionals, from cannabis real estate companies to accountants to insurance agents. Once you have a solid business connection with these professionals, do your best to get your name out in the community.
For example, if you have a cause that is near and dear to your heart or you have hired someone who champions a particular cause, study up on local fundraisers. Events such as fundraising walks, half marathons and other events that will allow you to raise your visibility will benefit your company by bringing you into the mainstream. Consider setting up a canopy at a fundraising event and handing out free bottled water and a reusable tote bag to get your name out there.
Another great way to go mainstream in your area is to partner with local businesses to create co-promotional campaigns together. Find a popular local coffee shop and design a sticker together that incorporates both products. Partner with a local artist to create a mural on your building or a window painting, this can keep your dispensary an attraction for Instagrammers as well as new customers. No matter what partnerships you make, be sure they sell products you agree with, and you enjoy working with that business. Put everything you do on social media and your dispensary will no doubt grow in its following through these partnerships.
If you dispense CBD products for pets, make your shop as dog-friendly as possible.
Create an open floor plan and easy access for four-footed visitors, and do your best to stash away any products that a dog could lick or mouth at canine height.
You can also use this as an opportunity to promote your store with photos of the dogs that come visit your shop. Always ask their owner if you can take a picture of them, but you can use these pictures on social media or put them up inside your store. This is a cute way to interact with your customers and show them you care about them and their pup!
Offer a Loyalty Program
Let your current customers know that you appreciate them by providing them a discount on their next visit. Try to be as mindful as you can about what each customer is looking for in their purchases. If they're buying CBD oil from you this month, send them a special discount for edibles. If they purchase the blend that you market for anxiety, consider sending them a discount for a sativa product known to help with focus. By recommending other products that may help your customers and improve their usage, you can also make more sales and improve your relationship with each customer.
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The past year has been a tough, anxious time. You offer a product that can help people shut down the stress and worry of the world and help to shed fear. Make your shop and product offerings a place to step away from the stresses of the world and build a calmer life. Once buyers know that you are a trustworthy source of these products, up the offerings to address the next step.
Promote Your Expertise
Offer a newsletter that provides customers and potential customers the information that you have on conditions commonly treated by cannabis. If you have information on a new pain management product, print up a laminated FAQ sheet and post it near the new offering. Offer a flier in the shopping bag for buyers on new offerings coming up.
Starting a dispensary isn't easy. If you have a passion for cannabis because it helped you to overcome a health condition, or if you have an employee with a compelling story, get that data out there. Make sure that you offer information on the science of how the product functions as well as anecdotal evidence.
Monitor Your Reviews
Study up on your own reviews.
If someone came into your shop and leaves a wonderful review because the employee helping them was compassionate as well as knowledgeable, you now have two thanks to give; the employee and the reviewer.
Consider profiling employees who work directly with the public in your newsletter. Let your employees, as well as your clients, know that your team is knowledgeable and caring.
Cannabis is a very personal product to use and may be a difficult choice to make for some who've only heard the negative data. It can be nerve-wracking to break through the societal pressures to say in a review, "I used this product and this is how it helped me!" A positive review is well worth celebrating and rewarding with a coupon or a boost of loyalty points.