In the ever-changing landscape of cannabis marketing, we thought it best to turn to the experts for advice. How do you supercharge your customer funnel? How do you stay ahead of the curve? We asked Guillermo Bravo, Chief Evangelist of MediaJel to lend his expertise.
Have you implemented an omnichannel marketing strategy for your cannabis business? If not, you’re already behind the curve. Omnichannel marketing experiences are rapidly becoming the norm for cannabis brands in markets across the industry, and they’re one of the ways that marketers can help supercharge their customer funnel. In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at omnichannel marketing and check out some strategies you can use to supercharge your customer funnel.
What is omnichannel marketing?
Essentially, omnichannel marketing involves creating one overarching customer experience across all of your company’s outlets. It means conjuring the same branding across your website, social media, delivery services, and brick-and-mortar locations.
One key aspect of creating an omnichannel presence for your brand is consistency. To really dial in an omnichannel marketing strategy, you need to have consistent branding across all of your channels. For a cannabis dispensary, that means cultivating the same experience for your customers whether they’re shopping online for pickup or delivery or at one of your brick-and-mortar locations.
Another key aspect of omnichannel marketing is to create a frictionless customer buying experience. A company’s omnichannel presence should act like a giant funnel that collects customers from any platform before channeling them smoothly towards their point of sale. For a cannabis company, this means guiding your customers to your online menu.
Although the omnichannel experience is fairly new in the world of cannabis marketing, the concept itself has been around for a while. Banking was one of the first industries to implement an omnichannel scheme, with ATMs and online banking giving customers access to their accounts across a variety of platforms.
Banks really nail the branding aspect of their omnichannel experience, too. Regardless of whether you log into your account online, stop at your bank’s ATM, or head down to your local branch, you’re still going to see the same color schemes, fonts, and other brand assets. That tight brand image gives the customer the sense that they’re interacting with the same entity regardless of how they bank.
Why are omnichannel marketing experiences important for cannabis companies?
Obviously, you implement an omnichannel strategy because you want to provide engaging, seamless shopping experiences that drive increased revenue. But there’s a bit of nuance to how this actually works. Let’s look at the two main ways that you can cultivate value from your omnichannel presence.
Breeding familiarity and trust with your customer base
Connecting with your customers is a great way to drive your brand’s social proof. This is one of the biggest challenges facing marketers in today’s increasingly social, online world. How do you prove that your brand is more legit than the next one? This is a challenge for cannabis companies in particular, since so much of the industry is based around customer perception. When executed properly, a strong omnichannel presence can help achieve this.
Standing out from your competition
There’s no real shortage of cannabis companies out there, even though today’s market is much more developed in most places than it was during the height of the wild west “green rush” era. As a result, your brand is going to have some stiff competition from opponents who want to gobble up your market share like they’ve got a serious case of the munchies. But a refined, carefully-cultivated omnichannel experience can make your cannabis company stand out.
Implementing cannabis omnichannel strategies
To properly implement an omnichannel presence in your cannabis company, you’re going to need to create a consistent customer experience across all of your platforms. That means having consistent branding across your social media, website, paid media ads, and owned and earned media. As you would with any other kind of ad campaign, use these outlets to show your customers what kinds of problems you can solve for them. And always remember: your brand’s omnichannel presence needs to be as consistent and accessible as possible.
Which channels should a cannabis brand tackle first?
Let’s look at some initial ways that you can get your cannabis company’s omnichannel strategy moving. In addition to attacking these channels, make sure you have some way to measure your success. Using data analytics is a powerful way that cannabis marketers can understand the investment they’re putting into their omnichannel campaign and determine their return on ad spend (ROAS).
First order of business: Your website
We mentioned earlier that a good omnichannel experience should feel frictionless to customers. And your website is the place to start. To that end, make your in-person and online shopping experiences as similar as possible. For example, ensure that your online menu describes products in the same ways that your budtenders do, that you have a good system for sorting products, that it’s a breeze to pay for a a purchase, and that it’s easy for customers to leave reviews. Finally, it’s especially important to make sure your customer experience is flawless on mobile devices, since they’re capturing a majority of browsing market share.
As you would expect , Google is a critical channel for your brand to target. Google has cornered the lion’s share of the search engine market, and search engines drive 300% more traffic to websites than social media does. And one of the best ways to take advantage of Google’s search supremacy organically is through a combination of posting SEO-optimized blog entries.
Blogs are actually one of the biggest tools in a cannabis marketer’s kit. There are a ton of ways regular content can help improve your brand’s omnichannel experience. For one, a proper SEO-optimized blog can draw in a ton of traffic and redirect it to your company’s store. Additionally, they can serve as a way for you to help educate and build trust with customers. This, in turn, will boost your brand’s credibility. Finally, you can use the tone and language of a blog to further reinforce your brand’s identity. Another way to boost your site’s SEO friendliness is by creating optimized “About Us” or “FAQ” pages.
Budtenders education empowers on-site brand ambassadors
Don’t forget that your budtenders are a channel, too! They’re the main human-to-human point of contact between your company and the customer. That means your budtenders need to be experts on everything in your store. This will help them build social proof with your customers.
Help budtenders become the perfect brand ambassadors and capable of both educating and connecting with your customers. Educate them to help any kind of customer, from the soccer mom looking for edibles to the patient seeking CBD to the daily dabber who’s constantly searching for the newest strains and products. You can also train budtenders to ask for Google reviews, making them work in synergy with your online presence.
Offer delivery if possible
If local regulations allow you to deliver to customers, do this, too. It’s an important long-term play. In order to fulfill your customers’ orders accurately and efficiently as possible, you may want to consider implementing a third-party payment system to streamline the delivery process. Offering customers different value points and flawless customer service strengthens your overall omnichannel presence.
When to bring in the professionals
Regardless of whether you’re still a developing cannabis company or an established brand, sometimes it doesn’t pay to create your own omnichannel experiences. After all, you’ve got a bunch of other things to do – like managing your own company. That’s where a marketing partner can help cultivate your brand’s omnichannel presence and implement a winning strategy.