With access to a variety of channels by which to reach potential customers— not to mention all the cutting-edge tools and strategies we regularly write about—crafting a marketing plan for a dispensary can quickly get overwhelming. A Google search for “marketing plan” delivers roughly 22 million hits… and don’t even begin to think about how many books have been written on the topic throughout the years.
Fortunately, there’s hope. In the last few years, a philosophy called “integrated marketing” has taken root, and we can attest to its power and efficacy. While it makes use of all the cutting-edge techniques we love—geofencing, Instagram marketing, and many more—the real beauty of integrated marketing lies in its simplicity. At its heart, it’s a strategy built around the values of human communication and collaboration.
Integrated Marketing Strategy for Dispensaries: What It Is
In essence, integrated marketing is all about creating a unified experience for customers to interact with your brand.
Instead of treating all the traditional elements of marketing as separate endeavors, it recognizes the value of speaking with a single voice. You’re already using many of these elements, including direct marketing, public relations, sales promotions, and social media outreach, among others. Now it’s time to make sure they’re truly aligned and supporting a seamless interface between your brand and your customers.
But it’s more than that.
As we’ll explore in a moment, integrated marketing is designed to break down the barriers between departments in an organization so that the team communicates with a clear and unified voice. Even if you’re a small organization—say, a single dispensary location—it’s a powerful approach. Marketing isn’t merely the emails, SMS, or signage you post. It’s the content your managers, budtenders, and even security staff share with customers.
Integrated Marketing Strategy for Dispensaries: How It Works
As you already know, marketing is rarely a one-time interaction. It usually takes customers multiple exposures to your brand to forge a truly meaningful connection, the kind that signals: This is a brand I want to be associated with. So it’s time to utilize all your various channels—email, SMS, content marketing, and others still—and make sure they’re supporting your vision of what exactly your brand and its voice are.
What are the risks of not employing integrated marketing? We humans have an uncanny ability to recognize disorder and disjointedness. If your voice isn’t clear and consistent, you’re sending out subtle signals that your brand is disorganized, even chaotic. In an age when it’s more important than ever that consumers resonate with your brand, missing out on this crucial connection is something you can’t very well afford.
Finally, integrated marketing is about streamlining. If you haven’t noticed, the common theme that comes up again and again with this strategy is simplify and unify. No more creating separate messages for separate channels and platforms. No more reinventing the wheel. Make sure your identity and voice are consistent and then ensure that all the tools you use to reach your customers reflect this simple and elegant approach.
Integrated Marketing Strategy for Dispensaries: Look Outside and In
As we hinted earlier, integrated marketing is about more than just how you interface with customers. Sometimes described as a holistic approach to marketing, it means that how you communicate with your team is just as important as how you address the world outside. Silo mentality—the tendency to compartmentalize functions and roles—is a term typically applied to large organizations, but it can apply to very small ones as well. More than anything else, it’s an acknowledgment that collaboration between team members is more crucial than ever, especially given the rise of workflow helpers and platforms such as Slack, Trello, and Asana.
This approach doesn’t mean abandoning the traditional role of managers and owner-operators. On the contrary, it demands more clarity than ever, and suggests letting go of micro-managing in favor of solid direction and a well-defined voice.
Remember: At the end of the day, your customers are adept at spotting disunities and uncoordinated approaches. If you can lead and inspire your team—no matter their size—to speak in a unified, coherent, and effective voice, it makes the tough work of building your brand that much easier, resonant, and authentic. And at the end of the day, more than anything else, that’s what makes the sale.
You can learn more about the different strategies we use to promote our clients on our webinars page.