We all know that marketing is an essential aspect of business, but when it comes to marketing and cannabis you need to learn how to be a Ninja Marketer 🥷From social media to email marketing we give you some inside tips to help you improve your marketing and grow your business.
Maria McCliggott: Welcome everyone. Today, we are going to be talking about dispensary marketing, why you need it and how to do it. Tom, do you wanna start us off with the importance of marketing?
Tom Mulhern: Marketing is so important because really marketing helps you grow. Brand recognition. And there's so many different brands for any different type of business, whether you're in cannabis, you know, in my town, I live in a small town in Alberta and in our town alone, I think we have five or six different dispensaries.
And so. Marketing helps you kinda stand out from the crowd. You know, we all know there's a reason that we have our favorite fast food brand or brand of shoes. Like I'm a, you know, I'm a Vans guy, a New Balance. I don't really stray too far. And part of that is the marketing. So marketing is so important.
Maria McCliggott: And of course that's gonna include social media marketing as well as you might wanna run print ads, you might wanna do even a commercial. There's all sorts of things you can get involved in.
Tom Mulhern: Well, and marketing in the cannabis world is obviously a bit different than marketing in any other industry. And so, you know, today, we just want to give you as a cannabis dispensary owners, some tips on how you can be kind of a ninja marketer and get what you're doing out there so that you can bring new customers into your store.
Maria McCliggott: There's a lot of compliance issues when it comes with marketing cannabis. All different states and countries, depending on where you are, are gonna have different laws regarding cannabis advertising. But of course there's ways around it. I like using tricky words that cannabis users would know, but maybe a compliance officer wouldn't things like big buds.
Tom Mulhern: Well, you have to, like, I, I know when I went on TikTok and TikTok is a social media platform looking for cannabis, I typed in cannabis and it was like, there's nothing here on TikTok about cannabis. And a lot of the social media platforms really are pretty legislated.
Maria McCliggott: TikTok is a tricky one. They ban absolutely everything relating to cannabis, but people find ways around it. So a few, few ways on TikTok, if you're trying to look up cannabis things you can look up, there's an emoji and it's the leafs, two leaves blowing in the wind on TikTok. That means cannabis.
Tom Mulhern: That's what that means. I was wondering, I just thought there was lots of people that loved trees, you know?
What other tips are there for social media that dispensary owners can use? Cuz I know a lot of dispensary owners will set up a social media page and it gets taken down right away.
What are some tips that you have?
Maria McCliggott: It is so hard to put any sort of cannabis on social media. A lot of them are just gonna get flagged right away. Some. Platforms actually allow cannabis advertising. So Twitter allows cannabis advertising where it is legal and Reddit allows it only in Canada or CBD in the United States where it's legal.
So those are some examples that you can use for paid ads, but for unpaid social media, if you're just wanting to post things, you just gotta be a little bit tricky about why you're posting. Maybe don't put hashtag cannabis in every single post.
Tom Mulhern: That's right. #420, although #420 is probably a hashtag that you could use without it being pulled down.
Maria McCliggott: Yeah, definitely a safer one.
Tom Mulhern: Email marketing we know is such a powerful form of marketing and email marketing is great because you can get your message in front of your clients a lot easier.
So if your dispensary has some sort of loyalty program or an email list, or even, you know, you are a part of an event and you get some email addresses email marketing is a great way to really connect with your customers, send them deals, send them all sorts of great information. You could even send them information to kind of do training and help them to learn more about the product that they love.
Maria McCliggott: And if you're a brand new dispensary, you might not have an existing email list. So there's different things that you can try. Maybe you can run a contest in store and to enter people have to give you their email. Now you've got a customer base built right in.
And if you've already got a website, that's a great tool for marketing built, right in. So along with ads for your own product on your website, you can also utilize tools like having a blog.
Tom Mulhern: Yeah. And A blog really helps your customers to learn more about the product they're using. You can do videos, you can do all sorts of training on there about different you know, the different strains and the different products that you're selling. And it just helps your customers to engage with your brand and really , become, you know, huge fans of what you're doing.
And. That in the end will help your dispensary to grow and your profits to go up, which is what we want as business owners.
You're probably thinking to yourself, okay, how am I gonna afford to hire a full marketing team? I need a video person. I need, you know, an email marketing person. I need a social media manager. I need all of these things. How am I gonna afford this?
Maria McCliggott: Just start small. Maybe you're just gonna start by yourself. So make a tick TikTok account, have your employees come in and make some silly videos behind the counter. Maybe you can reach out to other brands and companies see if they wanna write blog posts for you. And a lot of big established brands actually have media kits available of pre-made posts.
So you can just download them, post them and you don't have to worry about it.
Tom Mulhern: Another type of marketing you could do as a dispensary which I think is gonna be kind of fun. If more cannabis retailers do this across the country is some gorilla marketing. So imagine getting involved in your local community. As a dispensary, throwing a pancake breakfast for everyone in the community.
And just being able to give back or, you know, get involved with a local animal shelter buds for buds or whatever, you know, you could, you could have some fun with it and show that cannabis is an amazing industry of people that are helping people around the world and kind of drop that stigma. I think, I think it would help grow your brand, but it would also really help cannabis in general. If more cannabis, dispensaries got really involved in things that they're passionate about.
Maria McCliggott: Gorilla marketing. I love that. Plus if you put on a gorilla suit, you can make a really great TikTok out of it.
Tom Mulhern: There you go, there you go. So these are some easy things that, that dispensary owners can do to get started doing marketing today. it's scary and it seems like a lot, but , once you just start small, like you said, Marie, it just starts small, do little things, and you know, it's gonna have huge impacts on your dispensary.