There are over 2000 cannabis dispensaries in Los Angeles, California. As an experiment to see just how disconnected the community is to digital marketing and how much of a profound sales impact it can have on a dispensary or supplierís bottom line, our Weedulu digital marketing team came up with a crazy idea. We would visit a hundred dispensaries in the Los Angeles area. After a lot of traffic, almost being shot at and too much fast food, here is what we found out. We like to call it Ė
The 90% Cannabis Digital Marketing Syndrome:
1) 90% of the dispensaries donít even have a website. A website! Seriously! This is the internet back in 2000. How on earth, in this digital age, can you bring in new customers and retain them without a digital presence. A website is about the simplest digital calling card you can do.
2) 90% of the owners at these dispensaries donít even understand SEO. SEO Ė SEARCH ENGINE OPTOMIZATION. Those are 3 powerful words. They all go list on that big weed directory service because itís easy and everyone else is listed on it. They spend 1000s of dollars to position themselves ahead of their competition down the street. Crazy. So when you type in that dispensaryís name in google guess what comes up. The weed directoryís name, not the dispensary. Thatís like using Brad Pittís photos and description as your Tindr listing for dating. Good luck with that.
3) 90% of people in the cannabis industry that say they know SEO donít. Thatís right, the people that convince their bosses to spend money on marketing donít know what they are doing in the digital space. They try to do it themselves because they think they are experts. But guess what? They very quickly realize that itís a lot of hard work. It takes a team to do SEO. You must stay on it daily. Thatís right, daily. What owner is going to pay for a digital marketing team to get their sales up 10% in three months. None.
AND MY FAVORITEÖ
4) 90% of dispensaries donít give a crap about SEO. Well, they should care. Sure, theyíve been living it up with huge profits in the last few years. But I can tell you that they are starting to hurt. They have been feasting at the all-you-can-profit cannabis buffet for so long that theyíve forgotten the big boys are coming into their business. These are the corporations that will crush them with deep data science, market research and anything and everything digital that an established business entity will use to destroy the competition.
The do nothing cannabis party is over folks. Wake up. You canít sell products to your customers unless you sell yourself. And if no one sees you then you donít exist. The smart cannabis business owners will be the ones who recognize that the only way to survive in the new business world is with a huge digital presence. That starts with a strong SEO strategy that beats out everyone else. Boom!
Michael Wright is CO-Founder of Weedulu, a Cannabis focused digital marketing company