According to Fortune Magazine, the legal cannabis industry reached an eye-opening $10.4 billion in 2018. Over 250,000 people are employed by the cannabis industry, and 2019 is expected to close as the biggest year for the fledgling market.
As more states pass legislation to legalize cannabis, a continued exponential growth rate is anticipated into the coming decade. With the money pool growing more each year, companies are attracted to the marijuana magnet. As cannabis production and sales remain a good investment, the advertising hurdles linger.
Federal policy outlaws cannabis consumption for recreational purposes, and due to large advertising mediums such as Google and Facebook adhering to federal regulations, marketing products and services can be difficult, to put it mildly.
However, choosing the right cannabis advertising agency can simplify the process of bringing your business to clients. But, as cannabis companies pop up in handfuls, so do cannabis advertising agencies. So what should you look for?
First Step, a Self Audit
Before you start to look at the overabundance of cannabis marking agencies, you should examine your company and clearly understand what you stand for and what your purpose is. Let’s break him down even further… (self-reflection is great, right?)
What Are Your Business Goals?
This answer should be ironed out prior to signing with a marketing agency. You don’t want your company’s mission or goals to be directed by anyone other than yourself. Now’s the time to organize your priorities, and better understand what your company is striving towards — both in the short and long-term.
So questions to answer might include:
- Are you looking to develop a lead pipeline or raise brand awareness? Both?
- What areas are you trying to target? Is your business geared for local or national scale?
- Do you have a timeline in mind for sales goals?
- What’s the reputation you are looking to cultivate in the industry?
Do You Have Your Voice Selected?
Being successful in any industry requires a captivating, original voice. This is especially true in the freshly jam-packed cannabis industry. Therefore, you need to workshop the right tone you want to strike with your intended audience. If your clientele doesn’t resonate with your company’s voice, then there’s trouble in paradise.
People buy from people, and if your customers don’t like your voice or approach at delivering a message, hitting business goals is going to be stunted.
Defining Your Relationship
The final step is determining what kind of partnership works best for your business. Are you looking for an agency that feels like they are an in-house marketing team? Maybe you want a more distanced agency that takes care of everything under the radar, and you can focus on running your day-to-day operations.
Every cannabis advertising agency is going to differ in the relationship style they deliver based on multiple variables. This is why when searching for your perfect match that you have an idea of what kind of role you are desiring from the agency to play in your company.
Second Step, Interviewing Agencies
Once your company has nailed down what you stand for, and what you need to be successful, you need to investigate what level of value the XYZ agency will add. We’ve identified three key components to use as a grading rubric when weighing your options.
Experience Does Matter
While an agency has to start somewhere, jumping into cannabis marketing is a challenging place to begin. The federal and state laws are confusing, and when you dive into online advertising guidelines for recreational drugs on platforms like Google, Facebook, Instagram, and so on, the water becomes even murkier.
Going with a cannabis advertising agency that has a proven track record of helping other clients within the industry can reduce some errors that might occur with a young marketing group. We want to drive home that years don’t qualify experience, but instead, results do.
Customer Service is Key
“If you are not taking care of your customer, your competitor will.” – Bob Hooey
If you don’t feel like an agency believes this then you should move on to the next. Period. Your business should be a top priority to them, and if you are questioning their ability to be responsive, creative, or detailed, then that agency probably doesn’t deserve your money.
Tools and Services to Fit Your Business
The number of marketing services and methods that exist in today’s age are hardly quantifiable. What type of advertising works for one company may not be the right form of advertising for the next. Therefore, it is important to evaluate a cannabis ad agency for the diversity they can offer you.
Can they help you with these areas?
- Social Media
- Website Design & Building
- Graphic Design
As mentioned, cannabis marketing can be tricky to identify what works for reaching that company’s desired audience. Thus, don’t pigeonhole yourself with an agency that doesn’t offer you the ability to customize the controls to find that sweet spot.
Need Help Advertising Your CBD Products Online?
Elevato Marketing is a full-service digital agency specializing in cannabis advertising. With a team of experienced professionals, we are ready to help connect your products with the right clients. Contact us to see how together we can benefit your business!