There are two ways to learn from mistakes. You can make them yourself, or you can watch others make them and learn from their failures. The first way is often more time-consuming and costly. To that end, if you own a cannabis business and are about to embark on marketing that business, here are some mistakes to avoid along the way.
1. Hiring a marketing agency with no cannabis experience.
If you have the money in your budget to hire a professional marketing team, that's great. Just make sure you hire someone who has experience working in the cannabis industry. This industry has a lot of legal oddities that someone who has spent their career marketing baked goods or dental practices probably knows nothing about. You would not want to hire a marketing team that uses text or marketing practices that can get you in trouble with the DEA or other government organizations.
2. Relying on social media for marketing.
Most of the big social media platforms either outright ban all content related to cannabis businesses or they have employed algorithms to make advertising your business on their platform basically useless. This is unlikely to change until marijuana is legalized on the federal level. So for now, rely on your own website for your online advertising. It's worth pouring lots of extra resources into your website to make it nice, since this will be your only major online presence.
3. Including a lot of "stoner" messaging in your marketing materials.
As marijuana has become more common, users have sought to distance themselves from the stoner stereotypes. As such, you really do not want to make stoner messaging a big part of your marketing materials. Pictures depicting someone eating abundant snacks, lazing around on the couch, or thinking "stoner" thoughts are unlikely to appeal to a wide audience.
4. Not focusing on return customers.
Your number one goal should be to get customers in the door for the first time — but you can't stop there. With new dispensaries popping up on every corner, you need to also take steps to ensure they return. You could issue a punch card that they can get punched with each purchase that rewards them with $10 off when they get 5 punches. You could also offer them a free bag if they bring a friend in on their next visit. You'll make a lot from your loyal customers — so put money into developing them.
For help in promoting your cannabis business, consider turning to a seasoned cannabis marketing agency who can help keep your business in the public eye.