Maximize impact of 4/20 on your marijuana business all year long

Maximize impact of 4/20 on your marijuana business all year long

Jeffrey Harris (Courtesy photo)

As the cannabis industry gears up for 4/20 – the ultimate celebration of marijuana for businesses and consumers – executives should consider how they can retain this high holiday retail rush.

Marijuana sales on 4/20 have consistently jumped year-over-year nationwide: For the 1,000-plus marijuana retailers Springbig works with, 4/20 sales increased more than 11% year-over-year between 2022 and 2023.

Unfortunately for most cannabis businesses, the 4/20 sales surge is fleeting, as consumer excitement and sales subside.

Capitalize on 4/20

Many cannabis business owners likely believe the post-4/20 sales lull is out of their control – that the 4/20 sales spike is a seasonal anomaly and customers come and go.

But cannabis business owners do have control.

As a veteran consumer-retention specialist in marijuana and mainstream retail, I’m confident that implementing basic innovations and marketing practices can help marijuana executives capture the attention and loyalty of 4/20 consumers and turn one-time buyers into devoted brand ambassadors.

After all, 4/20 doesn’t have to be the peak of your year’s performance; it can be the start of a long-term growth journey.

Harness loyalty marketing

To leverage the 4/20 sales spike into sustainable growth, cannabis businesses must prioritize customer retention and brand loyalty.

This is where advanced loyalty marketing comes into play: 4/20 typically leads to a sudden jolt of new customers and an increase in activity among otherwise lower-volume consumers.

While it’s one thing for marijuana businesses to attract new and occasional consumers on 4/20, their ultimate goal should be to nurture existing relationships and transform new and occasional buyers into loyal, returning shoppers.

One of the most effective ways to achieve this is through personalized loyalty programs tailored to the preferences and purchasing behavior of individual customers.

By collecting and analyzing data about past purchases, marijuana retail businesses can offer targeted rewards, discounts and exclusive perks that resonate with each customer’s unique preferences.

This personalized approach not only fosters a sense of appreciation but also encourages repeat purchases and long-term loyalty.

Leverage technology

While deploying technology might seem like a cumbersome, financially burdensome or otherwise daunting task, it can be quite simple.

Customer-facing features such as mobile apps, e-gift cards, subscription programs, digital-messaging campaigns, email marketing and other tools can be easy to implement while having outsized impact on business growth.

In other words, businesses get a good return on their investment.

These innovations make it easier for customers to engage with the brand and track their rewards – and seamless digital experiences enhance customer satisfaction and reinforce the brand’s commitment to personalization and convenience.

Learn from the best

Cannabis businesses can draw inspiration from successful loyalty strategies employed by mainstream retail giants such as Starbucks and Target.

These industry leaders have mastered the art of cultivating loyal customers and leveraging peak shopping seasons to their advantage.

For instance, Starbucks’ renowned loyalty program, Starbucks Rewards, offers personalized incentives based on customer behavior, encouraging frequent visits and increasing average transaction value.

Similarly, the Target Circle program provides members with exclusive deals, personalized recommendations and early access to sales, fostering a sense of belonging and incentivizing continued patronage.

In the same way, cannabis businesses can adapt proven strategies to suit their unique market and customer base.

The key lies in building meaningful connections with customers beyond initial transactional interactions.

Proven customer-connection strategies include tiered loyalty rewards, hosting exclusive events or providing educational content.

Beyond 4/20

While 4/20 presents a prime opportunity for cannabis businesses to boost sales and visibility, the real challenge lies in sustaining momentum throughout the year.

By investing in long-term customer relationships, businesses can thrive beyond the annual spike in April.

Consistent engagement through targeted communications, personalized promotions and community-building initiatives keeps the brand top-of-mind and encourages ongoing patronage.

Furthermore, cultivating brand ambassadors among loyal customers can amplify word-of-mouth marketing and attract new clientele through authentic endorsements.

Cannabis consumers await

This is perhaps the most exciting time to be in the cannabis business.

More than half the country currently has access to regulated marijuana, and that is most certainly going to expand in 2024.

In addition, federal regulations on the industry – mainly the highly anticipated reclassification of marijuana as a Schedule 3 drug – are loosening, and cannabis products have integrated into consumer-friendly categories such as drinks, edibles and more.

I strongly believe that this 4/20 – and every 4/20 after that – will be the biggest when it comes to consumer sales and attention.

It’s time for marijuana operators to modernize their business practices and harness 4/20 to its full potential.

Jeffrey Harris is the CEO of Florida-based Springbig Holdings, a provider of advanced consumer loyalty marketing for the cannabis industry. Before Springbig, Jeffrey founded InteQ, a company that technologically advanced loyalty-marketing tools for some of the country’s largest businesses. He can be reached at

To be considered for publication as a guest columnist, please submit your request here.

Source link