Marketing is a huge endeavor, and if you are a cannabis business owner, I’m sure you recognize the importance of successful marketing, especially in a fast growing and volatile industry like cannabis. But the prospect of hiring a full fledged marketing agency is daunting, not to mention expensive. So before investing your hard earned cash in a cannabis marketing agency, it’s a good idea to assess what exactly it is that they do.
Whether they specialize in cannabis or not, a marketing agency helps its clients formulate and execute manage marketing strategies in support of their overall business goals. Their job is to identify the most viable options and platforms with an eye on increasing a company’s mindshare and convert eyeballs into sales. A full-scale agency will work with the client through the entire marketing process, from conception to execution and analysis.
While this type of endeavor is familiar to veterans of most other industries, because of the unique situation with cannabis, the idea of actually marketing your product is sometimes new and foreign to legacy growers who are more accustomed to shying away from publicity or attention.
Why Is Cannabis Marketing Important?
While most cannabis company owners are focused on making a great product, the secret to business success actually lies with your marketing team. The fact is that marketing is possibly the most important aspect of your business plan. It doesn’t matter how great your flower is if nobody knows about it, while a mediocre product can become a best seller with clever and effective marketing.
Successful marketing can accomplish a number of goals. It can serve to educate your potential consumer. Not just about who you are, but why your products are desirable and how they can benefit or enjoy them. In a brand new industry like cannabis, customer education has the potential to be highly lucrative for businesses that invest the money now.
Marketing, when done right, does more than bombard your customer with ads. A smart marketing agency will focus on engagement, using marketing, whether via social media, trade shows, your website, billboards, or even traditional print advertisements, as a way to start a conversation with your potential customers. But you can never forget the ultimate goal is to sell more product, even if that product is yourself. An effective cannabis marketing agency knows how to get results, which is defined as conversions, the ability to turn people interested in your company into paying customers.
What’s Unique About Cannabis Marketing?
The cannabis industry, quite literally, is unique. There’s no other market like it, not even alcohol. This is because until very recently, growing and selling cannabis was illegal, and the idea of marketing your product would be a great way to end up in jail. But with more states legalizing cannabis in some form every year, cannabis growers and distributors are coming out of the shadows and being forced, willingly or unwillingly, to operate as a legitimate business.
But because cannabis is federally illegal, there are many traditional avenues of marketing that are still closed off to business owners, even in states where cannabis is fully legal. Every state has its own rules about what’s allowed and what’s not in terms of advertising, and in many cases, media publications are left to make their own decisions about whether to accept ads for cannabis products.
This is especially obvious when it comes to social media. Companies are constantly finding themselves banned, their accounts taken down, with no explanation from the platforms as to what policy was violated. This makes it extremely difficult to formulate marketing plans, when you don’t even know what is and isn’t allowed.
Before you hire a cannabis marketing agency, it’s important to do your homework and make sure they provide the specific services that you need. Not every marketing agency is able to do everything, and even if they were, it’s often a good idea to find a specialist. Although the following is not a complete list, here are a few of the tasks that a cannabis marketing agency can handle:
- Product Photography
- Video Production
- Graphic Design
- Packaging Design
- Logo Design
- Social Media Management
- Ad Placement
- Web Design
The big categories that most cannabis businesses are most interested in cover photography, video, graphic design, web design, and digital marketing. While technically, all of the above can be considered digital marketing, what we mean here refers to SEO, Social Media, PPC Campaigns (when allowed), and geo-fencing.
Some cannabis businesses will turn to a large agency that can handle all of the above. But others will hire vendors that specialize in each area. For instance, an agency that specializes in product photography may not be the best company to handle video and live-streaming for a large ceremony, and the company handling your social media posting may not be the best company to fly a drone at your outdoor grow.
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Cannabis Marketing Agency?
There are some major advantages to working with a cannabis marketing agency. First of all, a marketing agency knows not only how to create great content, but how to share it in a way that gets verifiable results. In business, the bottom line is what matters most, and if your marketing isn’t directly leading to increased sales, then you may be wasting your money.
A marketing agency will also approach your marketing strategy in a holistic manner, with an eye on your overall branding. One reason to work with a single agency is that it’s easier to maintain consistency in your various marketing endeavors, whether it’s a billboard, a magazine ad, or a social media post.
Finally, a full-fledged agency doesn’t just design your assets, but they also keep track of your data and analyze your results. They will then be able to identify what is and isn’t working, and adjust accordingly.
Hiring A Cannabis Marketing Agency Vs. A Freelancer
Because of the upfront expense involved with hiring a marketing agency, many companies will turn to freelancers. This has the advantage of saving you money, but if the content they create is less effective, it may be a waste of money.
Of course, the other option is to hire an in-house marketer. For larger cannabis companies, this makes sense. But even then, you will still turn to outside help to handle the specific tasks that your in-house marketer doesn’t excel at. Your marketing exec is probably not equally capable at shooting professional video, piloting a drone, and designing a kick-ass logo. This is where a marketing agency is especially useful.
The bottom line is that when you find the right marketing agency, it’s well worth the investment
Published by: Cannabis Promoter