Just like any other retail business, marketing plays a major role in the success of your cannabis dispensary. Having a well-researched marketing strategy and executing targeted advertising campaigns can help drive business to your store and boost your bottom line.At the same time, retailers must be mindful of the many marketing restrictions placed on cannabis businesses in legal markets. Not only do these regulations make cannabis marketing more challenging than traditional industries, but they also mean potential penalties for running a campaign that’s non-compliant.
Because there’s so much on the line — and because you have enough on your plate as it is — it’s essential to hire a dedicated manager to oversee your dispensary’s marketing efforts and ensure you stay compliant with all applicable marketing regulations.
Five Critical Functions of the Dispensary Marketing Manager
Here are five fundamental yet critical functions carried out by cannabis dispensary marketing managers:
1. Conduct market research and keep up with industry trends.
In order for your marketing to be successful, you need to have a strategy — and before you can develop a winning strategy, you need to conduct market research. Digging into industry analytics and keeping up with the latest market trends are some of the most important responsibilities your marketing manager will undertake, as they’ll help inform and guide the development of actual campaigns. Which brings us to number two...
2. Develop and implement marketing strategies and campaigns.
Using the insights and knowledge gained from cannabis market research, your marketing manager is also responsible for the development and execution of marketing and advertising strategies and campaigns. This also includes creating quantifiable goals and metrics with which to measure the effectiveness of the campaigns, and using the data to improve future efforts.
3. Support dispensary sales team.
Continuous industry research and analysis not only drives marketing strategy development, but also helps support your dispensary sales staff. By arming budtenders with sales data, market trends, forecasts, account analyses, and new product information, your marketing manager helps keep your team informed and on the same page when it comes to sales goals and opportunities.
4. Plan and execute events.
Cannabis events — whether in-store pop-ups or industry trade shows — can boost brand visibility and attract new customers. However, they take a lot of time and attention to coordinate and execute. Your marketing manager will be in charge of identifying event opportunities, assembling and coordinating requirements, establishing contacts, developing schedules and assignments, coordinating mail lists, overseeing execution, and conducting post-event analysis to garner key takeaways and improvements for the next show or event.
5. Understand and keep up with all cannabis marketing and advertising restrictions.
Perhaps one of the most important duties of the cannabis dispensary marketing manager is keeping up — and staying compliant — with marketing and advertising restrictions. Each legal market has its own unique set of rules and requirements, and failing to abide by the regulations can land your dispensary a penalty in the form of a fine, license suspension, or even the loss of your license altogether. This is why it’s absolutely critical that your marketing manager stays informed of what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to marketing your dispensary.
Here are a few examples of marketing restrictions in major cannabis markets:
California: In the Golden State, retailers cannot give away any cannabis, cannabis products, or cannabis accessories as part of a promotion. Additionally, any advertising or marketing directed toward persons under 21 or within 1,000 feet of a school, day care center, playground, or youth center is strictly prohibited.
Canada: Canada has some of the most restrictive marketing and advertising regulations of any legal cannabis market. Cannabis promotions in Canada may not include any testimonials or endorsements of any kind, whether from an anonymous patient, a celebrity, or a fictional character.
Colorado: As one of the most mature cannabis markets in the U.S., Colorado has become a hub of cannabis tourism. However, retailers are prohibited from targeting consumers from outside of Colorado in their marketing and advertising messages.
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