People who work in the cannabis industry or just love the products aren’t against digital experiences that inspire great relationships with cannabis brands. That said, real joy happens with in-person experiences.
Marketing your cannabis brand in person is essential to your success. Starting your in-person marketing effort with pop-up shops and special events is a wise business decision.
The first step in marketing your cannabis brand through events and pop-ups is ensuring your brand is solid. You should know who you are, what you stand for, and what you want to do for your customers. You should also know what separates you from the many cannabis brands out there. Then, with your brand intact, market it through events by doing the following:
Get to know the people you’re marketing to
Pop-up shops are one of the most creative ways to build awareness and recognition for your cannabis brand. Attending and putting on other cannabis-related events also helps you stand out from the competition. But neither of these will work out if you don’t know your customers.
Continuous research on your target audience for your cannabis brand is critical to your event’s success. Their demographic information, buying behaviors, and decision-making are great to know. However, be sure to also research:
- How they interact with other cannabis brands
- If they attend events and pop up shops regularly
- What draws them to cannabis events
- What kind of marketing they resonate with for pop up shops
- What kind of incentives they need or want to attend events
Collecting data on your target audience through analytics tools is terrific. But you should supplement what you gather with your tools with information you learn about your customers from their own mouths.
Be sure that you’re getting to know your customers in person, especially at your events. Have genuine conversations about their relationship with cannabis and your brand. Listen to their challenges with cannabis, event-related frustrations, and suggestions for making things better.
Also, a solid connection with your target audience will ease the planning process.
Plan your events with best practices in mind
Plan every event carefully. Without organization, teamwork, and communication, your planning will suffer. And so will your event.
You want each event to be an experience for your attendees, something they’ll remember forever. Something that keeps them coming back to your brand for their cannabis needs years later. Proper event planning can make this a reality.
Plan each event or pop up shop for your cannabis brand with these best practices in mind:
- Set objectives for each event
- Develop a budget for each event
- Spend ample time marketing each event
- Create a comprehensive plan for how you want your event to go
- Find suitable vendors, brand ambassadors, and other people to partner with
- Take your time choosing the right location, date, and time to put your event on
- Assign responsibilities to your team members, and be sure everyone is on the same page
It’s also crucial you’re mindful of any cannabis laws that may affect your event.
For instance, local or federal regulations may stop you from legally selling cannabis products at a pop-up shop or event, depending on your location. As a result, you may have to limit your inventory to accessories and branded merchandise. Or, you may have to comply with specific packaging and labeling regulations on your products.
Make it a point to address your compliance with cannabis laws in the planning process for every event.
With your event planned, it’s now time to promote and put it on.
It would be a shame to do all this prepping and planning for an event, and no one comes. However, you can guarantee a good turnout if you market your events properly.
Digital marketing is a great starting point for promoting your events. Almost everyone is online these days. Your target audience will likely learn more about your brand and any events you have coming up through your website, social media, or email list. They’ll also use search engines to find what they’re looking for.
So, it’s essential to learn how to leverage a professional website, search engine optimization, social media, and email to reach your target audience and keep them informed on your upcoming events. If you aren’t familiar with digital marketing best practices, take courses that teach them. Or, hire a digital marketing specialist to help you promote your events on your digital marketing channels.
Also, pair your digital marketing with traditional marketing. For example, see if you can get ad spots on local radio stations to promote your events. And create signage to put in your cannabis store promoting your next event.
Great marketing and promotion will lead to a great turnout. On the day of an event, be sure all things are in order. Your team should have their assignments. Ensure everyone knows who to turn to if something goes wrong. Keep an eye on how the event progresses. Most importantly, have fun.
Once an event is over, follow-up and reflection are essential.
Follow up and reflect on your events
The work isn’t over once an event is. The next step is to follow up with attendees about their experience at your event. Hopefully, you’ll gain valuable feedback from them about what worked and what didn’t and can implement their suggestions for your next pop-up shop or event.
There are various ways to follow up with attendees who were kind enough to leave their information with you. For example, if you had a signup list going for your email newsletter, get in contact with those who signed up. Follow up on their experience at your event and ensure they’re receiving your email newsletter.
Another example would be collecting phone numbers for your text message marketing list. Send out a text blast the day after your event concludes, thanking them for attending. Include a link to a survey in the text asking them to share their experience. Attach an incentive to completing the survey, like a discount on their next purchase.
You also want to reflect on any event with your team. Sit down with everyone involved in putting the event on and get their insights on how everything went. If you can get everyone together for a team meeting, even better. Be sure also to include any vendors, brand ambassadors, and other partners you worked with outside your internal team.
Without follow-up and reflection, you’ll make the same mistakes you did in this event in the next one. So, take this part of the process as seriously as you did the actual event.
Marketing your cannabis brand through events and pop-ups is one of the best ways to stand out. Success for your events is on the other side of a strong brand, meaningful interactions with customers, solid event planning and promotion, and reflection.