Got big goals for the new year? Now’s the time to get ready for rollout. Proper master planning and detail-driven introspection are equally essential when it comes time to revitalize your marketing plan. Whether you’re overhauling your dispensary’s entire marketing plan, entering an emerging market, or launching a new edible, a careful look under the hood now will save you tons of time and trouble down the road.

Tuning up your cannabis marketing plan for 2024

Marketing is like a car. There are a whole lot of moving parts that work together or influence each other in some way. If even one piece is off-kilter or not performing at its best, it can have a domino effect that can be a real drag on your big plans. That’s why each component needs to stay in top shape for best results. Here’s how to comb through your current strategy as you plan for the year ahead.

Maintain your engine: Revisit your marketing plan

Without an engine, you won’t get anywhere, and the same is true if you don’t have a well thought out marketing plan to guide your cannabis business. 

A marketing plan is a detailed roadmap for your cannabis brand that outlines your marketing goals and how you intend to reach them. The plan contains measurable and actionable goals (also called SMART goals) for each aim you set. It should also include key performance indicators (KPIs) or metrics that can help you monitor your progress, see when things are working, and when you need to make a change.

When developing a marketing plan, keep in mind the difference between strategy and tactics. A marketing plan is a strategic document that outlines what you hope to achieve and the key elements to consider throughout the year. Tactics, the concrete steps you’ll take to fulfill your strategic goals, should come next.

Check your brakes: Review your compliance procedures

Before you can burn some serious rubber, you’ll need to make sure your brakes can handle the heat. In cannabis, regulatory compliance is paramount, so make sure your best practices are up to date and in line with your local and state regulations. While it’s helpful to take a look in your own garage, this critical component may need the assistance of an attorney, so don’t be afraid to seek outside legal counsel.

It’s a good time to pay attention to social media regulations too. If you haven’t looked at each platform’s terms of service in a while, it’s time for a refresher. This ensures that the content you’re planning for the new year is less likely to get pulled over via shadowban or suspension.

Adjust the alignment: Leverage data to track progress or change direction

Your engine is built and your brakes are good, but you need to make sure you’re moving in the right direction. Your marketing plan can help guide you here, but as you get rolling it’s important to regularly monitor your progress to ensure longevity and good mileage on your efforts.

Is your target audience active on the channels you expected them to be? Is your content driving engagement? What is performing best and on which channels, and what can use a tuneup? Use these insights along the way to adjust your direction and improve the efficacy of your marketing tactics. 

Build these adjustments into your marketing plan, either on a monthly or quarterly basis  — whichever best suits your team. Although your marketing plan serves as the engine that powers your brand, adjusting the alignment can help you stay on course as conditions on the racetrack change.

Rotate your tires: Give your brain a break

As the race drags on, everyone needs to make a pit stop now and then. Avoid burning out by building in time for team members to rest and recuperate. Your marketing plan and creative calendar should account for this by planning content in advance and scheduling posts to your blog, social media channels, and email marketing lists.

Keeping things moving is essential in cannabis marketing, but a bald tire can’t gain any traction. Make sure your plan is proactive and flexible enough to account for members of your marketing team taking time off. When they come back, they’ll be all the more ready to get back on the road.

Clean your spark plugs: Get fresh ideas in circulation

Rusty spark plugs keep your car from starting, and stale ideas hold back your marketing plan. Host regular brainstorming sessions with your team to tease out fresh ideas and, to really push the metaphor, spark some creativity. Customers like fresh ideas and new types of content, so use these brainstorms as ways to drum up something that folks will be eager to watch or read. As always, make sure your ideas comport with your brand identity, but don’t be afraid to get a little out of the box. After all, race fans love a bit of excitement. 

Change your oil: Refresh your content

Like father always insisted, regular oil changes are critical, and so is maintaining the existing content you’ve already created. Check your blog to see if any old content can be refreshed with new statistics or timely framing. Consider how social media algorithms have changed and whether you can tweak your approach to improve your odds of going viral and driving big engagement. While much of your focus may be on developing new ideas and new content, you can’t forget to show some love to what’s already out there. Your cannabis brand and marketing efforts need to be cohesive, and sometimes that takes a little bit of preventive maintenance as your approach evolves.

Trick out your ride: Find ways to stand out

The best way to stand out from the crowd is to build something truly unique that shows off your personality and style. Cannabis branding is much more than just creating a logo and color scheme; it’s about establishing a vibe that encompasses your entire company. Make sure your marketing plan is tied to a brand identity designed to resonate with your target audience, giving them more than just a product or service to buy but a relationship to build. Strong brands drive customer loyalty and repeat business, so craft yours with this in mind.

Cannabis marketing made easy

If this checklist sounds like a lot, you might consider choosing a cannabis marketing agency to help you out. If so, CannaContent is ready to serve as your pit crew chief. Our team of award-winning journalists, big brand creatives, and dedicated marketing professionals can help you craft a unique and effective approach that will help your cannabis brand cut through the clutter and make a name for itself. Request a quote today to learn more about how CannaContent can help you succeed in the rapidly growing cannabis industry.