Operating a dispensary is hard work. In addition to writing a business plan, bootstrapping your delivery service, and navigating the challenges of a global pandemic, there’s the question of how to enact effective digital marketing. And while everyone agrees that it’s a must—by the end of this year, roughly half of all marketing will take place in the online sphere—for many of us, diving into the world of digital marketing can feel a little like plunging into a dark cave without a headlamp or a map.
The irony, of course, is that digital marketing is by far the most quantifiable, trackable, and tweakable form of advertising that’s ever existed. Using sophisticated tools like AI and employing ever-improving algorithms to improve ad performance and impact, today’s marketers have access to tools that even a decade ago seemed superhuman.
So, how do we bridge the gap between the truly awesome power of these tools and the brain-clouding challenges of leveraging the insights they provide? For the team at Foottraffik, it comes down to one word: Transparency.
Time after time, we find that the efforts we make to provide clear, concise, and actionable insights into how your digital marketing dollars actually work for you is time very well spent. Not only do our customers come away feeling empowered and better educated, they often begin taking on aspects of marketing management themselves, streamlining their efforts by deciding which channels to focus their efforts on.
Transparency isn’t merely a catchphrase: It’s a guiding principle here at Foottraffik. Here’s why.
Value of Transparency in Dispensary Marketing: Prepping for the Long Race
The first value of transparency is to help set realistic expectations. The cutting-edge tools we use—Google Analytics and geo-fencing, for a start—won’t do your work for you, and they can’t replace good old-fashioned planning. That’s why the most effective digital campaigns begin long before the first ads run. That means identifying current customers through data such as your email list, loyalty program, and POS interface, and cultivating your next ones through tracking pixels and other mechanisms. And naturally, you’re recording all these actions and more in your digital marketing planner, right?
When we first begin conversations with new clients, we make sure that these important factors are all laid out clearly. After performing an SEO audit on their current website, we work together to draw up an action plan.
There’s another important word: Together. Because we don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions, it’s essential to understand each client’s situation, resources, and goals before we begin designing their campaign. Then, once the client’s digital marketing efforts are in full swing, there’s a clear and shared understanding of what’s needed to maximize those ad dollars. And to do that, we increasingly rely on the concept of ROAS.
Value of Transparency in Dispensary Marketing: Understanding ROAS
Everyone’s familiar with the concept of ROI: Return On Investment. But here at Foottraffik, we’ve been migrating to what we believe is an equally important—and more readily comprehensible—idea. It’s ROAS, short for “Return On Ad Spend.” And just like those initial expectation-setting conversations with new clients, ROAS is a powerful tool for gaining transparency into the value and impact of your marketing efforts.
In the simplest terms, ROAS is a measure of how much you earn in revenue compared with what you spend on advertising. Because ROAS focuses squarely on individual ad campaigns and excludes other additional marketing costs, it’s the clearest and most intuitive way to determine which of your ad campaigns is working best for you.
At Foottraffik, we lean heavily on Where the Buck Stops: The Value of Transparency in Dispensary Marketing to help us calculate ROAS. In essence, revenue attribution is nothing more than determining which marketing efforts actually led to sales; it’s accomplished by studying the data from your e-commerce and POS software to determine which of your marketing channels—emails, SMS, PPC ads, and others—were most effective.
From our point of view, this is where the fun really begins! Once we’ve established a baseline of performance, it’s time to tweak factors such as wording, design, timing, location, and other variables in your digital ads and other outreach. Over time, these little experiments can add up to big dividends as we work with our clients to identify best practices, potential opportunities, and other areas for improvement.
Value of Transparency in Dispensary Marketing: Educating Yourself
As we hope we’ve made clear, employing digital marketing isn’t a prescription for automatic success. Rather, it’s an opportunity for innovation and collaboration. And it all comes back to transparency: The notion that education and information-sharing aren’t add-ons to a successful partnership; they’re essential ingredients. Because once you have the tools to educate yourself and assess your own marketing efforts, you’ll be empowered to take bolder and more effective steps to improve them yourself. Now that’s real power!