• Jessica Kaiser

5 Advantages to Direct Marketing

In an earlier post, we spoke about the legal advertising and marketing requirements for licensed Colorado cannabis businesses. In-person, or direct marketing, is the easiest and most reliable way to verify your impressions fall on those over the age of 21. Most cannabis centric marketing opportunities take place in already age-verified locations such as cannabis specific parties, trade shows, and dispensaries. These types of events are easy to come by, and the locations hosting anything cannabis related must be checking IDs before entry. Because of this, you can not only provide 70% 21+, but you can easily provide “reliable evidence” of near 100%.

The biggest challenge for in-person marketing is finding the right person, or people, for the job. Human capital isn’t distributed like magazines, and a person can only be in one place at one time. Many businesses choose to send their sales person - after all, they already know all about the product and have a vested interest in sales. This is a wonderful option assuming you have the manpower, the locations of your events are relatively close to home base, your salesperson has the right promotional skillset, and they are willing to work often and after hours. Canna Demos was founded to solve the challenge of manpower for compliant and educated in-person marketing.

What are some ways to ensure the most effective direct marketing opportunity?

Build Your Base

For a new cannabis business, in-person representation is the best way to build a loyal customer base. If you’re a new brand in the industry, you often run into the challenge of differentiating your product with the competitors on the shelves. The best way to get information about your product direct to the consumer, is to have someone in front of them answering questions and giving advice. Both end consumers and the budtenders selling your product will benefit from interacting with your reps during direct marketing events.

Return Your Investment

Return on Investment, or ROI, can be a dirty word in the cannabis industry because it is difficult to track and many conventional ways of doing so are not available. Outside cannabis, magazines have readership data, websites have analytics, and social media allows in depth data analysis. Inside the industry, many magazines are newly formed and have little data, websites are indexed poorly, and social media opportunities are blocked.

In-person dispensary marketing works great because there is sales data before, during and after events at specific locations. Putting dollars towards direct marketing have proven sales increases when compared to prior weeks or months. Here we can find the data necessary to find out the exact value of each event or marketing initiative.

If your product is being sold at a dispensary, frequent in-person dispensary marketing visits is very valuable way to translate marketing to direct sales. Not only are you in front of consumers who may purchase your product on the spot, you also have the opportunity to create a repeat customer through a wonderful experience. At the point of purchase, the opportunity exists to answer any questions that could have kept from from making the purchase and create trust in a lifelong customer.

Converse with Your Consumer

This is our favorite part. As earlier mentioned, it's great to be given the opportunity to answer questions, and it’s also great to be able to tell the customer what makes your product unique. This time can be used to chat with the “I only smoke flower” customer about the benefits of vaping, and talk to the “I need the highest THC” person about trying concentrates. The educational aspect is not only important for making sales, but for creating loyal customers and moving the industry forward as a whole. While print is a one-sided conversation, this is an opportunity for dialogue with existing and potential consumers. Direct marketing creates a position to share information about your new products as well, gaining momentum moving past their launch.

Reach an Audience

Having in store representation is the most common way to educate your direct consumer, but events are valuable too. A 3 hour in-store event may reach 30-50 ready-to-purchase customers, while a 4-5 hour event may see thousands of frequent cannabis consumers. Many cannabis magazines offer events, and having in-person representation at these can help communicate your brand to more people than a single ad. Whether you’re unable to attend the event, or would prefer to experience it from the consumer side, Canna Demos can help support your team.

Give Back to Clients

One of the biggest values of in-person marketing is showing businesses that carry your products that you appreciate them! Many dispensaries, head shops and other retail locations are starting to take after the food and beverage industry by asking for in-store representation, often referred to as pop-ups! Showing up to these shops to promote the product builds trust with your clients, gives you an opportunity to chat with and train the people selling your product, and does everything else we mentioned here. Being in the shops that carry your products keeps you fresh in the budtenders’ and cashiers’ minds, which often result in a long lasting sales boost far past the event. Ensuring your brand rep is energic, fun, and friendly is the key to keeping these relationships strong and your brand elevated in the staff’s minds.

Cannabis businesses that get the most value: Manufacturers and distributors whose product is sold in brick and mortar stores such as dispensaries, head shops and grow stores

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