As the landscape of licensed cannabis retailers continues to expand across North America, dispensary owners increasingly need to dedicate time, energy, and resources toward marketing in order to stand out from the crowd. But raising brand awareness and increasing store traffic is a full-time job on its own — and you already have enough on your plate as a dispensary owner or general manager.
Clearly, bringing on a dedicated marketing manager for your cannabis retail store is the answer. But the fact is that most seasoned marketing professionals you interview will be coming from industries outside of cannabis.
There are many questions to ask a potential marketing manager. To help you get the most from the interview process and identify the best candidates for the job, we’ve put together this list of 10 questions to ask your interviewees.
10 Interview Questions for Cannabis Retail Marketing Managers
1. How familiar are you with cannabis marketing regulations and restrictions?
While most candidates you interview won’t necessarily be experts in cannabis marketing regulations, this question is important to help you gauge their current level of knowledge and awareness of the restrictions under which they’ll potentially be working. Of course, once hired, he or she will need to quickly get up to speed on exactly what strategies and tools are available to cannabis marketers — and, perhaps more importantly, precisely what isn’t allowed.
2. How would you structure a marketing budget?
As with any department head, one of the most important duties of your marketing manager will be administering the marketing budget. This question will help you get a sense of their previous experiences with budget management and resource allocation.
3. What metrics would you use to assess the success or failure of a marketing campaign?
Perhaps the primary responsibility of the marketing manager is to develop and launch campaigns that raise brand awareness and drive store traffic. The only way to gauge whether a given campaign worked or not is to analyze key metrics — which will vary depending on the type of campaign being assessed — and use that data to inform the next campaign.
4. With cannabis marketing so heavily regulated, what are some of your ideas for unconventional marketing strategies or tactics?
Those in the industry know that cannabis marketing is hindered drastically by regulation, which means many traditional marketing tactics are off-limits for dispensaries. Creative, outside-the-box thinking is definitely a quality you’ll want to look for in any marketing manager.
An added benefit to asking questions specific to cannabis marketing regulations is to suss out those who have taken the initiative to do preliminary research and prepare for the interview — another vital quality to look for in any member of your management team.
5. 420 is the biggest sales day of the cannabis year. What offline marketing activities would you pursue to boost our store’s success on 420?
Marketing professionals coming from a retail background will understand the significance of Black Friday promotion; in our industry, 420 is Black Friday on steroids. If the candidate has spent any time preparing for the interview — or even has a cursory understanding of the significance of 420 within cannabis culture — they’ll have some ideas on marketing tactics to boost sales on your dispensary’s biggest day of the year.
6. What are some common SEO best practices and mistakes in digital content marketing?
With so many advertising restrictions at play, content marketing and SEO are major tools in the cannabis marketer’s belt. Your dispensary marketing manager should have a solid understanding of digital marketing strategies and SEO best practices.
7. Who do you see as our biggest competitors? What differentiates us?
Knowledge of the competitive landscape is essential for effective marketing. Good marketing managers understand the key differences between competing businesses, and use that information to develop unique value propositions that separate their operation from others.
Whether the candidate is a cannabis consumer or not, he or she should spend some time visiting competing retailers and analyzing exactly what differentiates your store.
8. What market segments do you see as opportunities, and how would you target those segments?
With social acceptance of cannabis at an all-time high — and with legalization continuing to spread like wildfire — more distinct consumer segments are taking shape within the cannabis market. You’ll want to get a feel for your candidates’ understanding of consumer demographics and their ideas on using segmentation to craft effective marketing campaigns.
9. What’s the most effective campaign you’ve ever been a part of? What was your role, and what made it so successful?
Giving your interviewees a chance to describe a successful campaign will give you deeper insight into their marketing experience and knowledge. Even if they were only a marketing coordinator or assistant at the time, they may have gained invaluable perspective that they will carry forward into future campaigns and strategies.
10. Why are you interested in working in the cannabis industry?
Last but not least, get a feel for the candidate’s interest in cannabis. Are they passionate about cannabis, or are they looking to get into a high-growth industry purely out of self-interest? While a drive to succeed and climb the ladder isn’t inherently a bad thing, the fact is that cannabis marketing is extremely challenging. A candidate who shares your passion for cannabis and genuinely wants to help people lead better lives through cannabis may ultimately have more staying power than one who is solely career focused.
Looking to Build Your Cannabis Retail Team? Get Our Free Guide
If you’re launching a cannabis retail shop or looking to expand your dispensary’s team, download our cannabis job description guide — it’s full of ready-to-use templates for every position for which you’ll need to hire. And the best part? It’s absolutely free. Get your cannabis job description guide today!