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10 Dispensary Customer Personas to Target Your Audience

What Are Customer Personas?

Cannabis enthusiasts come in several forms from around the world. Dispensary customer personas (also known as dispensary buyer persona) is a semi-imaginary archetype that represents the key characteristics of a large segment of your target audience, based on data you’ve collected. It’s essential that cannabis marketers be strategic when targeting specific dispensary customer demographics. For example “Patients” use cannabis to self medicate, and some of them seek guidance from doctors and cannabis medical consultants to achieve wellness from the plant’s effects. On the other hand “Connoisseurs” 21 and older are allowed to partake in cannabis if it’s legal in their state. Both “the patient” and “the connoisseur” will smoke, use, consume, and spend differently. Marijuana marketers study customers who share the same interest and shopping habits to categorize them in order to understand how to connect with them. We will take a deeper look at what type of shoppers both groups are later.

A cannabis company should have an extensive understanding of who their target audience is. Combining POS data with thorough budtender experiments will give GM and marketers the information necessary to build a buyer’s persona. Brands can also leverage email marketing to collect more data about their customer base. Creating customer personas will allow companies to target specific demographics – then create engaging content that resonates with each subgroup. This practice will increase conversion rates for each customer group. Let’s take a look into 10 different cannabis customers and provide marketing strategies to capture their attention and convert them into a sell. 

The Connoisseur

This group of customers are the booshie weed smokers. They only consume the most premium brands and products. These customers tend to have a strong sense of loyalty for the brands they consider to be “exsotic” or “top-shelf”. Typically Connoisseurs are the guests that pull up to the shop knowing exactly what they are looking for. Don’t count on them buying a variety of different products in one transaction, they are just likely to pick one category of products and buy the highest quality available off the shelves. 

● Merchandising and Planogram 

Focus on top-shelf bundles, because customers love when things are tied together. If you can display the Connoisseur’s favorite brands together, they will be more likely to take the both products. You can also take advantage of keeping a brand collection together in a display. If the connoisseur’s favorite brand has a recent drop of multiple items, then they are likely to buy the entire collection. Cannabis cultivators and processors could benefit from creating limited collectible packaging as well to take advantage of The Connoisseur’s loyalty. Careful if you gas up or recommend a strain to a connoisseur, if the product does not perform, they will never want to take a suggestion from you again. This customer knows what they want, so it’s best to lead them to their favorites. 

● Blog Marketing 

An online content marketing strategy to engage The Connoisseur would be to write a blog post listing the top premium brands and products in a geographical location. Connoisseurs are also likely to travel across state lines to shop for the brands they are loyal to. For the cannabis connoisseur it’s more than just getting blazed.   

“The Experimental or Scientist” 

Customers that are willing to try new strains, products, and methods are considered Experimentals. This group will likely shop with variety in mind, so don’t be shocked when they get a little of everything on their weekly dispensary run. Experimentales are called scientists because they run quality trials for bud tenders. When a new product drops the scientist will use the product and give feedback online or on their next visit. Expernetals often try a product that others are reluctant to buy. These customers are perfect for moving the new, weird, or unwanted inventory. 

● Testimonials and Influencers 

Engaging Experimental customers on social media is a great way to get feedback on different products. These guys and gals are trying everything the market has to offer, so their opinion is valuable. Give them incentives to give reviews on your products. You can also leverage influencers to drive new expermentels into your dispensary. Their audience will be full of Expermentals and “Students of the Nugs” that will be exposed to your brand. 

● Email and SMS Marketing 

Update customers about new products and different methods to consume cannabis with email marketing. You can also leverage text message marketing to drive existing experimental type customers into your venue. 

Students of the Nugs

This group is the “weed nerds” who seek cannabis knowledge in their free time. Students of the game – they really know their stuff. You won’t have to focus on educating this group like you would a newbie. This group will buy off of pure emotion and based on the facts. Their obsession with learning more about the plant is driven by love. Nerds want to engage others in discussions based on the topics dear to their heart. Create excitement when conversing with this customer, and they will likely walk away with more than they intended to buy.

Reviews and Testimonials

The key here is not to know it all. Focus more on listening to the customer, you will learn valuable information about products and brands. Similarly to the Experimentals, the student is likely to give feedback on their experience, but they will most likely give a more technical description of the experience. They will use fancy weed terms that other customers might not be familiar with – like endocannabinoids, cannabinoids, terpenes, and trichomes. These testimonials are great for your business, and you should encourage the people who know what they are talking about to spread the word about your brand. 

Content Marketing 

If you want to capture a Student’s attention it might be wise to produce consistent informative content. You can use video, images, and blog posts to engage customers. How to guide, “subjects explained”, or case studies will hook these research junkies, and before they know it they are viewing your online menu. Use social media to promote your knowledge packed articles to attract more students to your cannabis store.  

The Mainstreamer 

The Mainstreamer is the most common type of cannabis consumer. This is the “I only smoke at the end of the day to relax and wind down” You can also refer to this group as the casual customer – They will likely only buy indica flowers. Don’t try to introduce complicated methods like concentrates, unless it’s a cart, because they are not having it. You can try to get them to try edibles, but make sure you advise them to start low and slow with the dosage. As we know we don’t want to scare customers away from cannabis by getting them too high. 

● Local SEO 

Mainstream customers might not be super picky about where they get their cannabis from. If we are to assume that you have a strong menu and can dazzle guests with customer service then you have the baseline tools to convert this group into a sale. In order to  stand out from all the competitors who also check the basics box, implement strong SEO.  Improving your local SEO will allow you to get more visibility on local search results, thus increasing your website traffic. You need to rank high for search inquiries like “Dispensary near me”. These keywords get a lot of search  volume, don’t miss out on qualified leads from search engines. 

● Social Media + Influencer Marketing + Content creation 

One of the best ways to expand your reach is to utilize social media. You can combine content marketing with influencers marketing to reach audiences that have casual cannabis consumers. Most cannabis users are not stoners, so utilizing influencers who are not cannabis focused, but have similar interests could be beneficial for your brand. An example might be a holistic medicine focused instagram channel might have hundreds of cannabis consumers viewing their content. The influencer mentions, or shares their experience at your dispensary, you can guarantee that some of their followers will be interested. 

The Patient 

Cannabis is the most powerful natural remedy in the world, if we are ignoring certain fungi. Most cannabis users are self medicating even if they don’t know it. Dispensary customers who use cannabis as a medicine daily are referred to as patients. These customers don’t have to be card holders, but they are focused on buying products in order to treat specific elements. A good number of patients won’t even conbust cannabis because of the harm that CO2 can have on the lungs. Understand that every wellness regiment built around cannabis is unique to the user. 

Content marketing

Blogs, videos, infographics, diagrams, and images are great ways to inform your medical patients about the health benefits of cannabis. Utilize a multi channel approach to deliver the content. 

Social Media and Email marketing 

Digital platforms are the best way to get many eyes to view your informative content. Combining email marketing as well you can keep all of your patients updated on cannabis wellness. 

Wave Ridah

Weed is cool and trendy, and it’s only increasing in popularity. Customers that shop based on trends are called Wave Ridahs. They just want the products that are the current big thing. In 2018 gelato was poppin all over the internet. These guys and gals definitely hopped on the bandwagon. Today we see cultivators and processors manipulating the strain names to encourage customers to pick up a product. Runtz is not always fire, so remember to tell your customers that every producer will have a different variation of common strains. 

● Social Media 

When products or strains go viral on social media your dispensary needs to take advantage of the popularity of the item if you carry it. Creating content that is relevant to the trend will drive Wave Ridah customers into the stores to shop for the big item. 

● Influencer Marketing 

Cannabis influencers can cause products and brands to go viral. Your dispensary could collaborate with influencers to expose your brand to large audiences. Find an influencer that fits your dispensary, plan and share content, and then track the results. If the campaign is successful you can bet that customers will flock to ride the wave. 

Budget Stonter 

We all know about value shoppers. All of us at some point will search for the best bang for our buck, but Budget Stoners only shop on the clearance/discounted shelf. Like the wave Ridah who were just mentioned,  these customers are not picky about the form of cannabis they consume. They may shop for dabs, buds, or edibles off of the lower shelf. These customers want 30% THC for 3 dollars a gram. Introduce “smalls” or “Popcorn” to your menu. It is a great way to get potent flower at a discounted price inorder to lower the cost for this group of customers. 

● Email Marketing and SMS 

The best way to get these customers to convert into a sale is to get them on your email list or text message list. If you can remind and promote discounts and bundle deals these groups will likely take advantage of the opportunity to get fire products for the low price. 

● Social Media and your Website 

On social media you only want 20-25 percent of your content to be geared towards promotions. The other 75-80 percent should focus on the customers’ needs. You could incentivise your discount shoppers with a coupon if they follow your accounts or provide you with their email address. This will allow them to save money immediately and bring them back in the future with potential savings. 

The Hustler 

Out of state customers are likely shopping with the goal of reselling to friends and family. States that practice cannabis prohibition and share a border with states that have freed the weed have created silk roads for the underground. The Hustler is the customer looking to flip their purchases, so they will look for discounts on bulk flowers as well as hit the purchase limit, if there is one. Many dispensaries want to try to prevent it, because it could cause harm to the customer and the business if the customer gets caught, but others see opportunity – if so, then remind your out of state guest of the risk that are involved with trafficking cannabis over state lines. 

●Email marketing and text message marketing 

Keeping these adventurers updated on deals and products with email and text marketing will help you secure the out of state sale over your competitors. 

Local SEO

Many traveling customers prefer to use search engines instead of leafly and weedmaps. It is wise for cannabis marketers to have a strong local SEO to ensure that out of state traffic is traveling to their location over competitors. Learn about tips that will help strengthen your local SEO. 

Weedmaps 

Make sure your weedmaps account is optimized and updated often. There are 10 million users on the platform. Menu management on the platform is crucial to customer experience. If a customer drives 3 hours to get a bag, it will suck if the items they want were never there because it sold out 2 days ago. On the other hand if you are not using the platform you’re missing out on hundreds of qualified leads. 

The Stocker 

Don’t confuse these guys with the hustlers. They are only trying to buy a ⅛ to a ¼ pound for personal consumption. This class of customers buy in bulk and take fewer trips to the shop, similarly to the Hustler. The hustler has a higher market cap because they will shop at multiple locations if a state has no way to monitor purchase history in real time. It is likely for the Stocker to hit a spot they are loyal to. The marketing approach is the same, but I want to highlight that SEO can play an important role in saving these customers from competitors. All dispensaries want to cash out when a customer drops five hundred in one shopping round. 

The Cultivator/Grower 

Lastly, let’s give a shout out to the bonus persona, “The Cultivator”. These guys are connoisseurs, but not all connisserus are growers. Growers get it – they have a deeper connection with the plant than normal customers. This deep love and passion is stronger than just having a good nose for quality buds. Growers are the hardest to please because they know the real. Every year more growers get comfortable with sharing their art with the world online. They are building loyal audiences and have the respect of the culture and community. If you can collaborate with influencers with enough clout in the game your brand will lay the foundation to reach insane heights. This group’s feedback is the most valuable because they often understand the subtle nuances that the average consumer does not understand. 

Conclusion This list is a good starting point for developing a target audience strategy. Remember actual data is instrumental in the customer persona process. Conduct customer research through surveys, POS history, customer account information, and behavior experiments. Subscribe to our newsletter to get future articles on dispensary personas. Dagga Digital Marketing can run an email campaign that will collect the data necessary for you to identify and optimize your ideal customer.