Many cannabis companies are prohibited by law from using billboard, television, and radio to advertise their businesses. Digital advertising options are limited, as well, because big platforms like Facebook and Google disallow cannabis ads.
Springbig offers an alternative: SMS messaging targeted to specific audiences. “SMS is the most effective marketing vehicle dispensaries have,” said Jeffrey Harris, the company’s chief executive officer.
“Our mission is to help dispensaries get into the smartphone of the customer.” — Springbig CEO Jeffrey Harris
Founded in 2013, Springbig initially focused on mainstream industries, but that experience allowed the company to “get the kinks out” of a new marketing platform.
Harris works with approximately 140 dispensaries to market directly to their customers. He said Springbig’s SMS messages enjoy a 90-percent engagement rate while newsletters engage only about 25 percent of potential readers, on average. Dispensaries that employ an SMS program retain more customers than their non-SMS counterparts, and those customers tend to spend more, according to Harris.
Springbig also provides dispensaries valuable insight into their customers’ behavior. Consumers who have not been in the shop for a while can receive friendly reminders and offers. Specials can be sent to segmented audiences, so the customer who buys only pre-rolls does not receive messages promoting an edibles special. Birthday offers can be sent automatically. Harris said those have the highest redemption rate.
While other companies may offer SMS services, Springbig provides features Harris characterized as unique. “We’re the only company in the United States that gives dispensaries three different rewards programs,” he said. The programs comprise earning points per dollar spent, earning points per visit, or receiving credit on a digital loyalty card similar to those maintained by coffee shops and grocery stores.
Traditional advertising campaigns rely on repetitive exposure to a marketing message. But with SMS messaging, “a dispensary can send a message out today and get business today,” Harris said.