6 Marketing Automation Solutions for Cannabis Businesses

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This post is the latest in our “Vertical Challenge” series. It’s our editorial focus for the month of October, including topics like vertical-specific strategies and the pros and cons of zeroing in on local business categories. See the rest of the series here

A thriving cannabis market across the United States has opened the door to an entirely new industry vertical. With legal marijuana sales projected to reach $19 billion by the end of 2020, a virtual smorgasbord of technology firms has stepped in with plans to capture their share of this exploding space.

The cannabis vertical is filled with dispensaries, laboratories, growers, manufacturers, and on-demand delivery services. More broadly speaking, the industry is comprised of plant-touching businesses (growers, processors, dispensaries) and ancillary businesses (delivery apps, payment processors, technology solutions). What businesses in both of these categories rely on is marketing to attract and retain customers, which helps to explain why the number of marketing automation solutions for cannabis businesses is growing so quickly.

Here are six examples of marketing automation platforms aimed at the cannabis industry.

1. Baker
Baker is a well-known company in the cannabis technology space. The CRM and marketing automation platform is used by more than 1,000 dispensaries. Dispensaries can build their customer lists using Baker’s tools, then engage their customers through targeted text message campaigns. Features like loyalty rewards management, online menus, and home deliveries, powered by Blackbird, help to close the customer retention loop. Because Baker was built for the cannabis industry, dispensaries can worry less about staying compliant with industry-specific marketing requirements. Baker integrates with a huge number of other business technology platforms, including popular point–of-sale systems, e-commerce plugins, and sales tools.

2. SpringBig
SpringBig’s dispensary loyalty program has a lot going for it. By integrating marketing automation tools directly into their POS systems, dispensaries can seamlessly work on building customer loyalty using a data-driven approach. Once they’ve added customers into the platform, dispensaries can start sending text messages and MMS messages at pre-determined intervals, such as whenever new products come in. Dispensaries can also setup targeted marketing campaigns to ensure the right information is getting in front of the customers who are most likely to care about it, based on demographics or previous purchase histories. SpringBig’s text message marketing campaigns can be setup with specific goals, such as pushing special offers or boosting foot traffic on certain days of the week.

3. Tymber
Tymber has designed a plug-and-play marketing automation solution, with self-serve promotional campaign templates, specifically for marijuana dispensaries. Pre-built automations are designed to help dispensaries acquire new customers, increase retention rates, and encourage positive online reviews. The system also integrates with Tymber’s online shopping solution, so the transactions and behaviors that customers exhibit while shopping online can be used to design more strategically targeted email marketing campaigns. Users have the option to send personalized campaigns manually or automatically to entire segments of their customer lists, taking advantage of Tymber’s pre-built recipes and email templates for occasions that are relevant to the cannabis industry.

4. SailPlay
A B2C marketing automation platform with ample experience working in the cannabis space, SailPlay boasts features like CRM and loyalty, integration with social networks, analytics, email marketing, multi-channel communication, and gamification. The company’s resource-saving solutions let businesses in the legal marijuana industry focus on serving clients and offload the task of basic marketing campaign management. Triggered email campaigns are developed and setup within the SailPlay platform and linked to customers’ personal data, like birth dates, purchase histories, and abandoned carts (for ecommerce businesses). Cannabis businesses can use the SailPlay platform to communicate with customers through their websites, social media, apps, and in offline stories or dispensaries.

5. Clarity Quest
Clarity Quest is a full-service healthcare technology marketing firm that works with the burgeoning cannabis industry. In addition to working with traditional cannabis businesses, Clarity Quest also helps promote the services of cannabis-adjacent businesses, such as SaaS providers and technology companies that operate in the legal marijuana space. Clarity Quest says it uses technology to help cannabis companies take full advantage of marketing automation systems, as well as inventory systems, POS systems, and data software. Its marketing automation services focus on system selection and integration, setup and configuration, list management, and lead scoring.

6. Autopilot
While Autopilot works with more than just cannabis businesses, the company does have experience in marketing automation for the marijuana industry. For example, the Autopilot marketing automation platform has been used by WoahStork, an online marketplace for the cannabis community. Autopilot’s tools automate the customer journey through visual marketing and automation, so businesses inside and outside the cannabis industry can segment leads and customers and make every customer journey personal. Drag-and-drop templates are helpful for sending personalized marketing emails to customers, as well, with advanced tools like A/B testing to test which subject lines are most likely to lead to opened emails.

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.Rainbow over Montclair

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.