5 Ways to Optimize Marketing Spend Outside of Weedmaps

Recently Weedmaps chose to increase their fees by as much as 4X, prompting a number of retailers to evaluate how they are spending their marketing budgets.

While this may not be great news for Weedmaps, it’s actually a great practice for retailers to diversify their marketing spend. Currently, the data shows that an extraordinary portion of spend on tech in our industry goes to Weedmaps, according to Delta Emerald Ventures.

So, you may find yourself at this time and place wanting to know where to move some or all of your Weedmaps spend. Luckily, Happy Cabbage has your back.

Here are the 5 best ways to appropriate that budget into more ROI-driven marketing strategies:

1. Native Menus and eCommerce

For retailers, using marketplaces like Weedmaps puts you at a significant disadvantage: your menu lives in the same place as all your competitors’ menus. That means advertising and the nature of marketplace business puts your Weedmaps investment at risk of customer diversion into competitors' stores.

A far more valuable strategy is to host your own menu, not through an iframe, on your website. Native menus and eComm functionality allow you to capture customers with no risk of diversion. They look at only your menu. But perhaps more importantly, your menu will generate SEO results for every product, category, and all the content contained therein.

Look to amazing providers leading this space, like Dispense and Blaze (through their recent acquisition of Tymber).

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

We just touched on one way you can improve your SEO if you’re a retailer. Native menus are going to drive much more SEO juice to your site, whereas an iframe menu from a marketplace like Weedmaps does not benefit your site SEO one bit.

Both brands and retailers can gain a lot of ground with a solid SEO strategy. For less than you’re spending on Weedmaps, you can bring in specialists like Deeproots SEO to audit, patch up, and then proactively drive traffic to your site.

Pro tip for brands: you may not be a retailer, but you should absolutely still have a “menu” of your products on your site with retail partners linked as to where customers can find these.

Pro tip for both sides of the industry: content, content, content. Your menus are a great place to add content.

3. Everyone Wants an App

We get it, you want an app for your store. Luckily, one of our trusted partners, Blaze, has you covered! They launched the Blaze App, a native mobile app solution for dispensaries. Essentially they are white labeling an app for each dispensary that works with them, unlocking a bunch of ways to drive business in the door.

On top of using Happy Marketers for SMS and email, retailers can send unlimited push notifications for marketing and automated order updates through their app provided by Blaze. They also provide users with a simple and convenient way to browse your menu and order cannabis online using native checkout. Check out how Blaze and Happy Cabbage work together seamlessly here.

If you're not on Blaze, and happy with your current POS provider, you can still get a snazzy app developed for your store with our partners at Digital Awesome, a great team of app developers. Check out what they did for Cinder, an award winning dispensary in Spokane, Washington.

4. Speaking of SMS and Email …

Happy Cabbage users see some of the best ROI in SMS and email marketing out of anything else they do. Often, the last store to reach a consumer is the one to win their business. Quick and easy to deploy text and email messaging keeps you communicating often with your customers using highly targeted segmentation, pulled directly from your POS sales data.

While our users see tons of ROI in sales in the 24 hours - 1 week period after sending out a campaign, it’s the customers they recapture that haven’t shopped with them in over 90 days that make the biggest difference to the bottom line. Retain them and win $7k of lifetime value.

5. Improve Sell-Through With Incentives

It can be hard to get budtenders to do things. What makes it easier? Incentives! Grease those palms!

In fact, incentives for training paired with contests for sales among the budtender staff is a proven recipe for success. We partner with an excellent company called SparkPlug that helps us to deliver the best of both worlds.

Brands pay Happy Cabbage to develop training and pay your budtenders to take it. This alone improves the sell-through of the best brands on your shelves. Then, you launch a sales contest with spiffs through our SparkPlug integration, and watch your team go head-to-head to drive up your sales! Budtenders respond very well to this one-two combo and have lots of fun competing.

Finally, round out the incentives with StartEdge (formerly EyeRate), which rewards your frontline employees for positive Google reviews and helps you outrank the competition with higher ratings. For the huge boost in positive reviews they can facilitate (translation: more money in your door), it’s a very affordable offering.

Have any other great ideas for us to share with our community? Hit us up and let us know.