420 may not be a national holiday. Yet. But in the cannabis industry, it may as well be. It’s the most important day of the year for cannabis enthusiasts (and stoners). As a cannabis dispensary owner or marketer, make sure you take advantage of 420 in a big way. If you play your cards right — that is you’re strategic about your marketing initiatives — it should be one of your biggest days of the year.
With 420 right around the corner, hopefully, you already have a plan and you’ve already started promoting your 420 events. If you’re on it, you’ll find this guide helpful to make sure you didn’t miss anything. (You may also find some additional revenue-boosting ideas you hadn’t thought of). If you haven’t started marketing yet, you can use this guide as your blueprint. Below you’ll find valuable tips on how to make 420 a huge success.
Create a 420 Event Marketing Cheat Sheet and Calendar to Track Promotional Activities
It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, your customers love deals! And on 420, they don’t just like deals, they’ve come to expect them. As you’re getting ready for your 420 events, make sure you’ve finalized all the promotions you plan to offer on 420 and leading up to 420. Compile everything on one central document like a Calendar or Cheat Sheet that you can email out to staff (and that you can display for your team).
Your Cheat Sheet should not only include a list of your promotions but should also include important dates and marketing activities you’ll be doing to support the promotions.
- What days will you be sending out a text message to your customers?
- Are you sending out flyers?
- When do you need to update your deals on Leafly and Weedmaps?
- What digital marketing initiatives will you be undertaking?
- What about conventional marketing tactics (like local media)?
- Will you be doing any co-marketing activities with partners or other local businesses or associations?
- What (if any) local events did you commit to sponsoring?
Pro Tip: Make Sure You’re Marketing Where Your Customers Are
You should know who your customers are (including what their profiles are, their age, gender, income range, interests, education, tech usage, where they live, etc.). It may sound obvious but start with the lists you’ve developed (SMS, email, loyalty programs, push notifications). Beyond channels, you already own and control, consider promoting on social media sites your customers are actually using. You can also leverage local alternative media (paid or unpaid).
Got Overstock? Create Promotional Bundles to Clear Excess Inventory
No doubt, you probably have some excess inventory that you’d like to get off the shelves to make room for new products. Why not use a 420 event to offer promotional bundles to your customers?
Most dispensaries don’t get too creative, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Come up with a few promotional bundle ideas, like:
- A bundle for pain that includes a strain that’s known for treating pain, a topical, and an edible.
- 420 party pack featuring a variety of cannabis products and accessories (e.g., a gram of flower, gummy bears, rolling papers, and a branded lighter).
- Romantic bundle for couples that features a gram of flower known for its sensual properties (e.g, Grandaddy Purple, Northern Lights, Jack Herer), a topical lotion, and artisanal chocolate.
To get more ideas, take a look at your inventory. Figure out what products you want to move and create some fun bundles.
Host a 420 Party or 420 Event
420 means one thing. It’s time to party! Consider going beyond just offering special promotions for 420. Why not host an onsite or offsite event (subject, of course, to local regulations)?
You can put on a 420 party and invite some of your suppliers to showcase new products for Spring and Summer. Or be really unique. Why not sponsor a comedy show (always popular with the cannabis set) or host a 420 film festival featuring the five most popular stoner flicks?
If you do decide to host a 420 event, make sure to plan out the music ahead of time. It could be as simple as putting together a playlist. If you need some inspiration, check out this playlist on Spotify: Top 20 Streamed 4:20 Songs. Of course, you can invite local DJs or bands (if you have time).
5 Essential Metrics to Track on 420
Not to be Captain Obvious here, but 420 isn’t a one-time event. It happens every year. Before you start an initiative, you should always establish goals and metrics that you can use to measure your success. For 420, it’s even more important so that you can take what you’ve learned and the insights you’ve gained to create an even more profitable 420 in 2020 (and beyond).
You probably already have a few of your favorite metrics, but here’s a list of five essential metrics that you need to track.
1. What Is Your Average Order Size?
Again, this is a metric you may as well have tattooed on your forehead. You should always know exactly what your average order size so that you can make reasonable assumptions and project revenue. Without knowing your average order size, you’re going to be at a huge loss when it comes to strategic planning. We’re assuming you do know this number. But it often changes on holidays like 420. Again, try to determine if you can spot any trends. Are people spending more or less on 420? How do customers’ average order size on 420 compared to the average order size on other holidays? Not only can you use this data to more accurately project revenue, but you can also brainstorm strategies on how to increase your average order size. Bundles anyone?
2. What’s the Average Length of Each Transaction?
Just because your customers like cannabis doesn’t mean they don’t care about time. Most customers don’t mind taking some time to browse your store, but when it comes to checking out, they want that process to be quick.
Make sure you’re tracking the average time each transaction takes. Do you see a large variance depending on the time or day of the week? Identify the fastest and slowest times of day or week. What is causing slowdowns during certain times? How can you improve wait times? Can you do a better job of promoting online ordering? Do you need to train (or re-train) your team on how to get customers in and out of your dispensary?
Also, look to common problems that can slow down the average transaction time. Common bottlenecks include poor labeling of products, poor store design (the design that’s not user-friendly), too many members of your team who are new, untrained or undertrained. One of the biggest culprits that steal time is a clunky or buggy POS system. If yours isn’t working at peak performance, it may be time to look for a new system. Slow lines can literally cost your thousands of dollars (which could have been used to pay for a more robust and reliable POS).
3. What Are Your Gross Sales?
Gross sales are pretty much a given. But it’s what you do with these numbers that count. Use these numbers to compare to regular days, other holidays, year-over-year differences, etc. Use the data to not only compare to other time periods but to identify trends and plan for other holidays and events.
4. What Strains and Products Sell the Best on 420?
You’re probably monitoring your best-sellers constantly already. But around 420, monitor your data to see if you can spot any trends. This will help you plan for next year and know exactly what to order.
5. When Are Your Busiest Times on 420?
Your foot traffic flow is a critical metric to follow. You know what your peak hours are for most of the year. But what about on 420? Do the patterns hold or do they change? Understanding this metric will help you plan staffing for next year’s 420 events.
420 Essentials: Don’t Forget!
We hope this guide has been useful. You should now have some great ideas to ensure 420 is a smashing success. In closing, here are a few items that you don’t want to forget to do:
- Did you update your Leafly and Weedmaps menus?
- Are you offering customers an incentive to visit your store after 420?
- Did you put together a cheat sheet or calendar of all your promotional activities (from blogging to SMS marketing to in-store promotions)?
- Are you sending out coordinated and cohesive marketing messages and promotions across all your marketing channels including email, SMS, in-store, conventional, etc.?
- Are you staffed up? Did you schedule enough staff for the big day, including budtenders, store managers, shift managers, and security, so that you can handle all the traffic and your team doesn’t get overwhelmed?
- Did you put together any promotions to attract new customers who may not have heard of you or haven’t yet visited your store?
- Is your security ready for the big day? Are they taking any different precautions?
420 is big and what you do for marketing will determine if it’s a big day or a massive day. If you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out to us.
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