7 Things to Look For When Hiring a Cannabis Marketing Agency

So, you’ve finally made the decision to hire a cannabis marketing agency and outsource some or all of your marketing efforts.

In the ever-evolving world of the cannabis industry, effective marketing plays a pivotal role in establishing a brand’s presence, driving growth, and reaching the right audience – and a good marketing strategy is essential to stand out from the competition.

However, if you take to Google, you’ll quickly realize there are several cannabis marketing agencies claiming to be “the best”; it might be hard to determine which one is right for you.

It’s important to remember that while there are a lot of good agencies out there, there is only one right partner for your unique business and its needs. Therefore, deciding who to work with regarding your marketing should not be taken lightly.

From industry knowledge to creative prowess, we’ve rounded up the seven crucial elements that make the perfect marketing partner for your business:

1. Cannabis-Specific Experience

It goes without saying, but cannabis marketing is extremely challenging. With the constantly evolving rules and regulations, it is non-negotiable to work with a marketing agency that has cannabis-specific experience.

More importantly, find a cannabis marketing agency with expertise across different types of cannabis businesses, such as plant-touching vs ancillary. The experience that marketing professionals develop at an agency is enriched when they work with different types of businesses.

If your agency can understand the ins and outs of a grow operation, they’ll have intimate knowledge that can help you market your dispensary or cultivation company.

Moreover, cannabis-specific experience makes for a better resource so your business can stay up to date with marketing trends, compliance updates, and more.

2. Robust Portfolio of Marketing Projects

Of course, having a wide range of experience means nothing if the style or results don’t align with your brand’s vision. Be sure to take a look at any prospective marketing agency’s portfolio of work before sealing the deal.

A professional portfolio serves as a window into the agency’s skills and potential as your marketing partner. Reviewing it can help you make an informed decision and ensure that you partner with a marketing agency that can truly elevate your cannabis brand to new heights.

By examining their past projects, you can gauge whether their approach aligns with your cannabis business’s branding and goals. A diverse portfolio also showcases their versatility in tackling various challenges, revealing their capacity to adapt strategies to different market segments.

Take your time reading through their portfolios, especially projects that may seem similar to yours – and if you can’t find a portfolio on their site, consider it a red flag and walk away!

3. Awards & Industry Recognition

Awards are not the end all be all of a good marketing agency. However, it can help provide concrete evidence of an agency’s expertise, creativity, and ability to deliver results.

Look specifically for agencies that have won both cannabis industry awards as well as general marketing awards. This will ensure that you are picking an agency that has industry recognition as well as overall marketing talent.

For instance, Cannabis Creative has won non-cannabis marketing awards like the 2022 Hermes Creative Gold Award, but we’ve also been recognized by industry-leading publications like MG Magazine as one of the best cannabis marketing agencies.

By choosing an agency with a track record of awards and industry recognition, you can be more confident in the team’s ability to deliver outstanding results, elevating your brand’s visibility and success in the competitive cannabis landscape.

4. Positive Testimonials

One of the best ways to tell if a cannabis marketing agency is the right fit is by figuring out if past clients have had a positive experience. Testimonials are the perfect way to get a peek into that.

A marketing agency with a collection of positive testimonials demonstrates a consistent track record of delivering on its promises and exceeding client expectations. These endorsements showcase their ability to forge strong working relationships, communicate effectively, and produce tangible results.

When you come across glowing testimonials, it indicates that the agency has not only provided excellent marketing solutions but has also earned the trust and loyalty of their clients.

You can look through an agency’s website, portfolio, or even Google reviews to hear from past clients. If you know current or past clients that they’re working with, you can also reach out to them directly to get their take on the experience.

By considering the opinions of others who have been in your position, you can feel more confident in your decision to partner with a cannabis marketing agency that has a proven history of success in the industry.

5. Partner in Growth

If you are looking to be in this business for a long time, you need an agency that can be a partner in your growth, rather than one that is simply meeting you where you are. In other words, hire a full-service cannabis marketing agency.

Full-service agencies offer a wide range of digital and traditional marketing services, such as brand identity and website development to print and packaging design.

Not only does this give you legroom in the future to add on additional services from the same team as you grow your business, but it also ensures that you have a team that can understand the big picture and helps you step towards it.

A growth-oriented agency will guide you toward the highest priority marketing activities while setting you up for future success in other areas, even if you aren’t ready to invest in them yet.

In this way, a full-service agency becomes an extension of your team, forging a collaborative relationship focused on achieving sustainable growth and continuous improvement. By having an in-depth understanding of your business, they can develop tailored marketing strategies that evolve alongside your brand’s needs and the changing cannabis landscape.

Unlike one-time project-based agencies that might offer short-term results, a growth-oriented partner is committed to achieving lasting success, adapting their approaches, and maximizing your return on investment.

Choosing a marketing agency that embraces this partnership mentality and has the capacity to provide it ensures that your cannabis business benefits from a dedicated, strategic, and forward-thinking approach to marketing, leading to long-lasting growth and prosperity.

6. Educational Content

No matter how knowledgeable your team is, the cannabis marketing landscape is constantly changing. While it’s great to hire a team that has expertise in this area, it’s equally important to hire a team that can teach you what they know in this area.

Educational content and thought leadership is crucial coming from a cannabis marketing agency. They can break down rules and regulations for you in a digestible manner, making it easier for you to get up to speed when things are changing.

Although they are not licensed law professionals and cannot give you legal advice, marketers must adhere to certain communication guidelines, particularly in such a regulated industry. As a result, they can help you move with flexibility and speed as needed.

Look for marketing agencies that consistently post educational content on their own marketing channels. This will give you a sense of what kind of value they can provide you on a daily basis. It will also show you whether or not they actually practice what they preach.

7. Aligned Values

Lastly, and perhaps the most underestimated factor when evaluating cannabis marketing agencies to hire, is aligned values.

Many agencies may check off all the previous boxes – cannabis-specific experience, robust portfolio, awards, positive testimonials, full-service offerings, and educational content. However, not every agency will align with your brand values.

It’s easy to just market a business based on best practices, but if you want to stand out from the competition and make an impact with your business, aligned values are key. This is what sets apart your storytelling tactics from your competitors.

For instance, if your business strongly believes in certain social justice causes or industry-related issues, is the agency you’re looking at equally passionate about speaking up in general?

Will your team get along with the agency’s team or might there be some friction in company cultures?

Consider the things that are important to your team and your business and ensure that they are in alignment with the values of the cannabis marketing agency you’re looking to hire.

At Cannabis Creative, we keep this front and center so you can find it on our About page.

Work with our award-winning cannabis marketing agency today

Unlock the full potential of your cannabis business with our award-winning marketing agency. Partner with us and get access to a talented team of professionals that will help steer you to success in the industry.

Whether you are looking to elevate your brand’s visibility, engage your target audience, or drive business growth, our team is here to help. Contact us today to get started.