It's never too early to start planning for the 420 holiday! With consumers on a tighter budget this year, it's important to implement best practices and use your data to figure out what to stock while educating educating and rewarding budtenders, creating flexible discounting promotions and driving loyalty across all of your sales channels.

In this webinar, VPs from Meadow, Weedmaps, SparkPlug and Alpine IQ discuss best practices around marketing efficiency, budgets, ROI and avoiding a "race to the bottom" in terms of pricing and discounts.

Dispensaries can use their full visibility into customer data (the who, when, what, where, buying history and buying patterns) to deploy sophisticated marketing campaigns and use marketing budgets effectively.

VPs at Weedmaps, Alpine IQ and SparkPlug share best practices on how to create a 420 marketing plan that will help you drive omni-channel sales.

Best Practices from 4 Cannabis Marketing Experts

Here are select excerpts of this roundtable conversation with recommendations for cannabis retail operators preparing for 420 cannabis marketing: Cannabis marketing best practices for dispensaries

420 Cannabis Marketing Tip #1 from David Hua, CEO & Co-Founder, Meadow:

"One thing that helps dispensaries the most in terms of rank ability is get Google Places, Weedmaps and Yelp reviews. Ask customers to leave a review in exchange for 10% or 20% off. And if you start implementing that today, by the time 4/20 comes around and you have an extra 40-50 reviews, when people search 'dispensary near me,' you will rank higher. If you're able to drive that type of engagement by layering in an extra step on your budtender SOPs, then you get that step curve with that type of attribution on something that is simple to execute.

There's also a fair amount of work that you can do around your neighborhood. We saw a campaign where a dispensary partnered with a local pizza shop, as well as a local artist, and created a pizza special that had a free joint that came with it. And it was very much branded toward that experience. When people brought the pizza receipt to the dispensary, they received a free pre-roll, creating a story and connection between the dispensary and the wider community.

Whether it's your local hotel or a bagel shop, you can collaborate to drive sales with a percentage off; that type of stuff where other local businesses will let you put a sign up of your specials; that can go a really long way.”

Cannabis marketing best practices for dispensaries with online menus

420 Cannabis Marketing Tip #2 from Alyx Gatti, Group Product Marketing Manager, Weedmaps:

"We know that on Weedmaps, 80% of our consumers actually use price as a gauge in their purchase decision. And 40% of those consumers are comparing multiple retailers before making a decision. There's a way to strike a balance between running broad discounts and deals versus being more targeted with what are your basket anchors, and then building your pricing strategy around trending products, categories, brands.

Best practices that we always share are making sure that your top of funnel marketing efforts are tied to down-funnel actions. So in this context, getting ready for 420 menu accuracy and making sure that you have the right inventory. You should have ease of mind knowing that your menu is accurate, that it's easy to order from you online, with efficient fulfillment without having to do manual work to take orders from the multiple channels that you're running.

We're excited about the Meadow order integration because that's taking the order information straight from Weedmaps and automatically putting it into your POS so that your team can start fulfilling orders faster. It's an efficient way get through that large volume influx that you're going to see leading up to and on the day of 420."

Cannabis marketing best practices for dispensaries who know how to upsell

420 Cannabis Marketing Tip #3 from Andrew Duffy, Co-Founder & CEO, SparkPlug:

"The moment when the customer is highest intent to purchase and most willing to try a new product is when they're standing right in front of the budtender at the counter. Leverage that opportunity to expose them to a new product and train your employees to sell them on products that might be a fit for the use case that they're describing.

That can not only expand your opportunity in the moment to increase that basket size at comparatively lower cost, but it can also increase the likelihood that the customer will be trying newer and more products in your dispensary into the future. You can affect the trajectory of their buying behavior by starting to train them to do more discovery in the store and making sure that your employees are motivated to do that.

If you can increase your order averages by 10%, by simply adding on an average of one upsold product into the basket, then that'll get you a lot more juice than trying to get new customers into the door."

Cannabis marketing best practices for dispensaries includes consumer education

420 Cannabis Marketing Tip #4 from West Paschal, Chief Revenue Officer, Alpine IQ:

"If I took my mom to my shop and had her sign up for one of our programs, I wouldn't want her to randomly receive tons of ads about dabs and concentrates.

But being able to provide something like CBN where that's a proven sleep aid and won't give necessarily any of the effects that a dab would is probably more in line with the type of messaging that I think she would need.

How many times have we all heard stories of people who didn't consume cannabis for a very long time and then came in and bought edibles and had an awful, awful experience? I think maybe that's because they didn't hear that they needed to take two and a half milligrams instead of five or 10. How can we use data to make sure that experience never happens to someone that could potentially finds tons of benefits from the plant?

The other side of that is, we have the ability to see people who have certain trends of behavior are likely going to switch from being high-volume flower buyers to being concentrate buyers."

Watch the webinar recording to hear all of the 420 insights and explore more information about cannabis marketing on the Meadow blog leading up to the high holiday.

420 dispensary guidebook and best practices

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