Jessica Jansasoy

Why Last-Touch Attribution is Key for Small Dispensaries

There’s a lot of noise around what marketing channel you should use to gain more customers and ultimately generate more sales.

For retail, especially, it revolves around running multiple marketing channels where your audience is more likely to be.

But, in reality, you have a limited marketing budget. So running multiple channels might not be the best approach. If you’re just starting your cannabis dispensary, investing in one high-converting marketing channel should be your priority.

The question is… how do you identify the best high-converting marketing channel to invest in?

This article will focus on last-touch sales attribution and why it’s ideal for determining which marketing channels to use.

What Is Last-Touch Sales Attribution?

Last-touch attribution is a model that attributes a sale to the last touch or the last piece of marketing content your customer saw before converting.

A good example of last-touch attribution is when a customer finds your brand because of your social media, scrolls through it, and ends up visiting your website.

Then they browse your menu out of curiosity and buy nothing, but opt-in to SMS communications with you. Later on, you send them a text with a discount or promotion that prompts them to buy.

In this process, the customer touch points were your:

The last piece of content your customer sees before buying from you is the text message — the last touch. So, using last-touch attribution, you attribute the sale to the text messages.

Advantages of Using the Last-Touch Attribution Model

Pros of using the last-touch attribution model for your dispensary marketing are:

Drawbacks of Using the Last-Touch Attribution Model

Cons of using the last-touch attribution model for your dispensary marketing are:

Why Should You Use Last-Touch Attribution for Your Cannabis Dispensary?

At the end of the day, if your dispensary is a small business, your priority should be to generate sales. You have to put some money in the bank to ensure you don’t go broke.

The following are some reasons you would do better with last-touch attribution for your cannabis dispensary marketing if you have a short financial runway.

Limited Marketing Budget

At this stage, you don’t have the marketing budget to invest in billboards and newspaper advertisements. Those are strategies for larger and more established companies.

Plus, methods like that are visible but take time to convert.

At your cannabis dispensary, you must focus your marketing efforts on covering immediate high conversion channels.

Last-touch attribution focuses on the channels that get sales (conversions). And its simplicity doesn’t require a full tech stack to identify the different touch points, so it’s a great model if you have a tight budget.

Pro tip:
Early on and after optimizing your main conversion channels, you should invest part of your marketing budget in paid search or programmatic ads.

Paid channels are a great for applying and optimizing last-touch conversions to drive more sales.

A Short Sales Cycle in Cannabis

In retail, the sales cycle is typically short because customers come to your store with an idea of what they’re going to buy already.

A short sales cycle makes it easier for you to implement changes, evaluate results, and make changes accordingly. In addition, the results you get will be easier to understand, as you don’t have many touch points to analyze.  

Pro tip: Focus on the bottom of the funnel and do incremental steps. Once you grow, a last-touch attribution model might not be as effective as in the beginning. This is why you must keep evaluating your revenue reports to fully understand your business health.  

Focus on Conversions

The last-touch attribution model focuses on channels that let you easily evaluate the impact marketing has on revenue.

A good approach to knowing what to improve is by breaking down your revenue into the processes that are generating you the most money to the ones that don’t.

When you have this information, evaluate investing more in the process driving the most revenue, and cut off the ones that hardly make a difference.

For example, if you have a marketing channel driving 20% of your revenue and you only spend 5% of your budget on it. It may be time to invest more in that channel.

And it works the same way for channels that aren’t generating revenue. If you have a channel where you spend 30% of your budget and the output is 10% on revenue, consider cutting it.

How to Track Last-Touch Attribution for Your Cannabis Dispensary?

Here are two ways you can track your last touch in cannabis.

Use Happy Marketers to Track Attribute by Last-Touch Sales via SMS

Happy Marketers is a solution that uses machine learning to automate your audience targeting with SMS. And schedule your text marketing campaigns.

One of its perks — and the one you should be interested in — is that it tells you how much your text marketing campaigns are contributing to your revenue.

Happy Marketers uses an ROI attribution model. It attributes conversions and sales to campaigns with an already high-value targeted audience.

Tracking your last touch with Happy Marketers is as simple as going to your dashboard and checking the ROI of your SMS campaigns.

Use Goals & UTMs in Google Analytics to Track Last-Touch Attribution

You can use UTM codes and Goals in Google Analytics to track social media, influencer, and event campaigns and tie them back to sales.

Here’s a quick guide on how to do it:

Create your UTM code:
You can do that manually or use the Google Analytics URL campaign builder. If you use the latter, it will ask you to enter fields like your website URL, campaign source, and campaign medium.

For example, if you intend to promote your edibles by text messages. You would fill the fields with the URL to your menu for edibles, the campaign source as SMS software, and the campaign medium as SMS

Include the link: Copy and paste this new link, with the UTM code, into your campaign or piece of content. Following the example above, you paste this link into the text message that you intend to send as part of your marketing campaign

Check Google Analytics: Open your Google Analytics account and go to Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns. Once in there, you can start analyzing the last touch of your most recent campaign or piece of content. Every time someone clicks the link on your SMS, your UTM will determine the traffic source as your text messaging campaigns

Set up Goals: You can go a step further by setting up a conversion goal that completes every time a user places an online order for your edibles. To set up a Goal in Google Analytics, you go to Conversions > Goals > Overview > Set up goals

Last-touch attribution in cannabis is a great first stepping stone for small business dispensaries that can’t afford to advertise on billboards and newspaper ads.

It surely will help you drive revenue and understand what works better in the early stages of marketing your dispensary.