Party Like a Marketer Podcast

Episode 46: Building a Winning Marketing Team from an Agency Pro

Episode Description

Lisa Buffo, Founder, and CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association sat down with Michele Ringelberg, Owner & CEO at ThrivePOP, to discuss Building a Winning Marketing Team from an Agency Pro.

Learn more and connect with the Cannabis Marketing Association:

Read the Transcript

Lisa Buffo  00:12

Hi everyone. Welcome to today’s episode of Party like a marketer, the podcast dedicated to cannabis marketing, public relations and authentic storytelling. I’m your host, Lisa buffo. And wanting to remind you of our upcoming cannabis marketing summit this June 21 through 23rd in Denver, Colorado at the Hilton city center. Over two and a half days we’ll be talking about all things cannabis marketing, best practices, from SEO to retail design. We’re even doing solo sessions and workshops on things like creating a marketing budget quarter by quarter, and tying it to return on adspend and a negotiation workshop. There’s an expo hall, a brand and retail pop up an after party and several offsites for you to enjoy in Colorado in the summer. We’re also launching our CMA sevens awards, our first ever and annual marketing awards focused on awarding 20 Best of categories, featuring effective campaigns that advance the image of cannabis. All summit ticket holders get one free entry to the CMA sevens and the award show will happen on Friday, June 23. At lunch, which is the last day of the cannabis marketing Summit, get your tickets online now at the Cannabis marketing And if you’re interested in exhibiting or sponsoring, you can check out our deck and our opportunities online, or reach out to summit at marketing I’m your host, Lisa buffo, founder and CEO of Cannabis Marketing Association. And today’s guest is Michele Rinelberg, the founder and CEO of Thrivepop. Michele, thank you so much for joining us today on the show.

Michele Ringelberg  01:59

Yeah, thank you for having us. I’m really excited.

Lisa Buffo  02:03

It’s my pleasure. So first, please tell the audience a little bit about yourself and your background. I know you’re located in Muskegon. You’ve been a longtime CMA member and supporter, and you do a lot of great things in the cannabis marketing space. So I want to hear a little bit about Michelle and your career. What brought you to cannabis? And about your founding journey with Thrivepop as well?

Michele Ringelberg  02:27

Yeah, sure. Well, I have been doing marketing since like, 1990 ish. So I’m seeing a lot where everything was very traditional, you know, print and, and actually, like, one of the first online ads was Overture, which was before Google ads. So that kind of tells the story of how old I am. But anyways, I had worked for marketing director at a couple of different places. And the place that I really enjoyed being was at a local hospital. And the reason I loved that was because it was small businesses. So it was the for profit entities of the health care system. So what I really loved is just,

Lisa Buffo  03:24

where was this at the time,

Michele Ringelberg  03:26

This was in, Michigan. And what I liked is like, every company was so different, they had different audiences. So you had to constantly be changing, okay, like, well, this is for weight loss. So we’re going to focus here, and this is pharmacy. So we need to take another direction for you know, because everybody’s going to respond differently. And there was another local hospital, they merged, my job was eliminated. And my husband owns an IT company. So I just decided, well, I’ll just kind of help you until I find a job. Well, that ended up, I ended up being there more than he was and working more than he was and is crazy. But I was managing the web division and then doing all of their marketing. And as I would talk with the web clients, I would say, hey, like, did you think about doing this, we should really should do this. And they really were wanting to hire me for marketing, which didn’t really make sense as an IT company. So my husband and I decided, hey, let’s spin this off. Then you can then still have the variety of like choosing, like whatever client you want. And hey, take the web development team with you. So in 2017, we did that it and we named it thrive path. And when I was thinking about, man, what am I want to, like name this I really like was thinking, what is it that I like to do? And what excites me and gets me like motivated and it really is about helping other companies thrive and making sure their messaging pops, you know. So that’s kind of how we came up with the name Thrive pop. And you know, it wasn’t focused on cannabis initially, it was very, like, basic, generic, you know, any type of company that needed help, we would help. And one of our hosting clients with was, came to us and said, Hey, like, we would like just an email campaign can can you guys help us with this. And so we went in, and we’re a HubSpot partner. And so we were showing them, oh, we can do all this really cool things with marketing automation. And they had a marketing creative director there that was just handling like all of these different companies all by yourself. And they’re like, you really need this team to help you. So and it was PIP hard horticulture which pit mobile is the parent company. And so we kind of started working with them on just on one email. And it really has evolved, and they have really helped get us, you know, into the cannabis space. And I remember going to lunch with them and saying, Hey, like, how can we help you more with cannabis? And they said, it would be great. If you would send somebody from your team to this big trade show that happens. It’s called mjbizcon. And so yeah, so I sent Brittany to mjbizcon. And I said, Okay, here’s the deal. Like, we’re spending money to send you there. They’re giving you the ticket, you need to come back with leads, you need to talk to people, I want business guys. And so she came back all excited and was just like, oh my gosh, there’s such a need for marketing in this space. And at that time, this was before COVID, and all of that. And she’s like, Yeah, what year? Oh, gosh, I don’t I think maybe I don’t remember. Probably four years ago, I think it was the year before COVID. Whenever? Yeah. Yeah. And so she came back and I said, Okay, we’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do it, right. And I want the team to learn and understand all the issues of what’s happening. I mean, we know marketing, but cannabis marketing is a whole nother game, you know, and there’s a lot of rules and regulations. And we don’t want companies of social media shut down and things like that. And so the whole team was really excited. And we just kind of jumped into it. And we fell into Canvas, basically, like, it wasn’t really a plan, or a great strategic idea. It was just, hey, we got this client, and they want us to learn about that. And wow, there’s this huge opportunity, let’s do a really good job and really dive into it. And so when we made that decision, like I said, Okay, I’m gonna, like, join these associations, because I really did that just to learn and like, absorb, like, as much information as I could, because I knew that I didn’t know, you know, but I wanted to like really, like, be around people that had more experience than me in cannabis marketing, to just absorb as much as I could really. Yeah,

Lisa Buffo  09:31

that’s awesome.

Michele Ringelberg  09:32


Lisa Buffo  09:33

So tell me so you do for your HubSpot partner. You have email marketing, how has your What services do you tell me about the services you have? And what do you see cannabis companies utilizing the most but also needing the most?

Michele Ringelberg  09:50

Yeah. Yeah. So we really focus on the strategy piece and really like helping and clients develop that marketing strategy with goals and KPIs, and just keeping us accountable to them as well, because they’re paying us a retainer, and where if, if we’re not producing good results, good marketing results, then they’re not going to stay with us, right. So, really, like, my goal is just to make sure we’ve set up the goals. And then each month, we’re talking to them about those goals. And depending on what the goals are, our will decide on the tactics. So it really, every company is going to be a little bit different based on their budget and what they can do. But, you know, the most important is the strategy. And so like our team, we have created pods. So basically, every new retainer client that we have, has a strategist, which is their go to person. And then they have a graphic designer, social media, a copywriter, a web developer, so they have like the full marketing team. But that strategist is their point person. And the strategist is really the quality control to you know, so we’re talking with the client, we’re like, then disseminating that to the team. And the team is very familiar with that client, because they work on that client every day, all day. So they really are, you know, engaged in that client and are learning about that business, like, what is it that they like? What are they not like, you know, we know this person isn’t going to like this design, because of whatever. So it really, instead of jumping around to different graphic designers, and they have different styles, and that we just really try to mesh the personality of the client to the right team members. And then they all you know, collaborate. And, you know, they’re they’re very used to like, working together as that pod.

Lisa Buffo  12:20

That’s interesting. And I’m glad you mentioned that, because I feel like one of the challenges in marketing in general, definitely in cannabis, but in general is having there can be so much blur between like roles, where if you need, like you said, copywriting designing web developing strategy, like some teams just have one person who’s doing all of that, and that all fund falls under marketing. And it’s hard to be good at all. They’re just completely different skill sets. But then also finding the right team, where all of it goes well together. And the copywriter knows how to talk about the business and how to write about it and how to pitch it. And it goes well with the aesthetic and the design and the brand. And that all the technology is working seamlessly, particularly, you’re talking about HubSpot and marketing automation. That can get hard, it can be difficult. So I like that concept of having a pod that works together. And it’s not just there’s someone behind the scenes working on this and cranking it out. It’s really catered to that client and what works best for them. Because I think that is can be an issue or point of contention between clients and service providers is how do you find that right match? So that’s really cool that you do that? Yeah. One question I had is what are some effective marketing strategies? So you talked about having a strategist for each client? And I know everyone’s a little bit different. But is there any trends you’ve seen as far as effective strategies that work for cannabis businesses? From your perspective?

Michele Ringelberg  13:57

Yeah, you know, that’s always the number one question everybody wants to know, what is the one marketing tactic I can do? That’s going to work? And it’s always it’s always very different, right? And I like to tell people, we have to go where your audience is hanging out. So where is that right. And one thing that we’ve seen super good results with is the publications. So for example, like max yield, they are a publication but they also have, you can do display ads on their website. You can do website takeovers, they have pop ups or a lot of different things. So it becomes digital as well. So if a client say put up print ad going back to the 1990s, which is like very old school, but with since COVID, the reintroduction to QR codes has been super helpful for us marketing people that want to track everything, right. So use a QR code, it goes to the landing page, they fill out the form, then we can track like, from the time that they’re seeing the ad to, okay, what’s happening with this lead? Are they purchasing and tying that back to the cost, and it’s Oh, hey, this campaign for this publication ad generated this many results, it does a few things, it actually helps significantly build your database to write because if they can’t have something until they submit the form, then that goes into HubSpot, then we add them to drip campaigns. So we’re consistently like hitting them and like, talking to them. And it’s like, you know, you can segment to buy personas and like, all kinds of fun stuff. But I would say like, of those, like, that’s what we’ve seen the best results. And instead of doing Google ads, which can do anyways, or social, which is really hard to track the revenue. I mean, this has been like really successful for us. That’s just one, you know, area that we seeing with some of our b2b clients. For b2c, I think, you know, SMS marketing is like, really helpful they have you, they can put them on discount programs, you can also do like segmenting of the lists and things like that. But video is like, the number one thing to, you know, for social and really making sure, like, it’s number one for the fourth year in a row. And I think Instagram has like 2 billion followers. And so just doing more and more video is going to be very, very successful. If you do it, right. You know, and it’s really about connecting with people’s emotions, whether it be like humor, or, you know, whatever that may be just making sure that you’re able to tell that story to connect with, because on the other side of the computer, or phone is a person, right, and so we want to make sure that we’re able to connect with them and that way.

Lisa Buffo  17:42

Yeah, that’s a good point. And I think sometimes, with marketing, it can be very easy to get quite analytical and logical. And like, this is the benefits of my product. And this is what we do. And all of that is good and makes sense. But you don’t want to miss that human component in that human connection. Because there is that is ultimately how the world turns and how business gets done. Yeah, and I would agree with you, I think humor and video is, for me at least one of the most effective ways. But you know, it’s got to be in line with your brand and your messaging, and what’s that tone of voice that you’re using in ad campaigns and to connect, so

Michele Ringelberg  18:23

Yeah, sometimes clients want to be salesy, and just sell, sell, sell. And they think that every email needs to like generate a lead, but we really take the approach of, we want to educate, we want to add value, like, how is this benefiting them from reading this email. And by doing that, then you can then earn trust, and then they start trusting you. And then they’ll maybe they’ll click through or maybe they go to the website, they start learning more. And, you know, they may not call you right now. But after a while, if you are consistent with that, those educational like, tips, then they’re going to eventually reach out to you because, yeah, that company kept giving me those. They’re like really knowledgeable ball because they were teaching me things. So that’s really what we want to focus on. And clients sometimes will just want it to be but there’s not a sale or I’m not, we’re not saying how great we are, you know, we got to talk about the benefits and features. And yeah, there’s a time and place for that. But you don’t want every single email to be like that. Otherwise, people will unsubscribe and not see the value.

Lisa Buffo  19:53

Yeah, it’s kind of one of the core principles of content marketing, too. It’s like Like, particularly with newsletters in your inbox, you get everyone’s overloaded in their inbox. So if it isn’t adding value there, they’re going to notice that right away, they’re not going to be excited to open it, they’re not going to get anything new. And I think sales when done right, really is good education. Because you’re saying, Oh, I, this person knows what they’re talking about. They are an expert in this space, and therefore I can trust them. So it’s also building that trust, which I think comes back to your point about that human component that you’re marketing to a person. So you want to build trust with them. So they know, hey, Michelle knows what she’s talking about. I can trust her. I’m going to be more interested in learning about her company and possibly working with her because I’ve already established this through these communications,

Michele Ringelberg  20:47

Right? Yeah.

Lisa Buffo  20:49

Yeah. And I think that’s really important in cannabis, too, particularly as things get more competitive as products, particularly for licensed companies. There’s so many, and they all essentially do the same thing. And sometimes the variance between them is, is small shades of difference here. So how do you communicate that? And how do you build trust so that you can get loyal customers who come back? Yeah. So that’s great.

Michele Ringelberg  21:20

And it’s just gonna get more competitive as states open. And that was the one thing that I think I noticed about the cannabis industry versus other verticals is that it is very competitive. And people are insanely competitive, you know, online and on social, that it’s, you have to be, you have to really know what you’re talking about. Otherwise, you’re gonna get killed on social, you know, because they will call you out when they’re not afraid to do it.

Lisa Buffo  21:59

Yes, that’s a very good point. And they’ll do it early, they’ll do it with a with any list. I would definitely agree to that. A doubt. I’ve seen it on the b2b side. I know what happens on the b2c side. But I would definitely agree there’s this, when you have a new industry, that’s a, it’s a startup industry. And essentially, everyone in this space is a startup entrepreneur, just given how nascent it is, as a whole. People want that top spot companies want that top spot, and we’re still in a pre federal legalization era. And we know that that’s the one of the next big turning points that’s really going to shape how this industry moves forward. And who continues to stick around and remain profitable as a business. So that’s a that’s a very good point, as far as doing your due diligence, knowing what you’re talking about, and being very mindful and thoughtful of where and how you are positioning those communications.

Michele Ringelberg  22:59

Yeah. Yeah. And it’s just, you know, I like to be vulnerable, and just, like, let people know, like, Hey, I don’t know everything. And so, I know a lot. But there are certain things that maybe I don’t know, which is, like, why I joined the associations, because I knew that, hey, I know marketing, but I don’t know marketing for cannabis. And so it’s been like, what, six years now that we’ve been doing this, and, and there’s still going to be a lot that we still need to learn, you know, it’s just one of those things that you make a mistake, and then you learn and then, okay, next time, we’re not going to do that. And it’s, at the time when something does go wrong. It’s like, it’s very stressful. And you’re like, oh, my gosh, I this happened. But when you look back at those mistakes, you’re like, that was like very pivotal to my career and like my business, and it was a game changer. Like, I remember when I first started, you know, we were majority web development, and like, maybe 20% marketing, and I really did not like dealing with the web development piece of it, because it’s very analytical, like, I don’t, I’m not a coder. I’m not gonna claim to ever be a coder. But, you know, one of the I would always want to get really creative. And of course, you know, developers are like, that can’t be done that can. Yeah, it’s like, yeah, I can, I know it can be done. And so I had this one client that it was this online application system, okay, so it’s like we have like PHP programmers like do In this work and clients on me, I’m on the developer, I’m like, I need to see something I need to, it’s behind the code, you can’t see it yet, blah, blah. And I’m like, this is just taking too long. And I’m not sure if you’re telling me the truth developer. So I go back to the client, and I just said, you know, we’re so over out of scope. I, we can’t continue, you know, my business is going to go under if like, I continue doing this. So it’s, this is very difficult for me, but like, I have to give you your money back. And I will help you find another company that is qualified, but I just can’t do it. And I remember leaving that meeting. So relieved, because I’m like, Ha, why am I doing this to myself, I am doing this stuff that I know I’m not good at, like, I know that. I’m not a online application specialist. I’m a marketing person. And I know we need web because you have to direct traffic and convert and things like that. But I don’t need a Magento website, or Laravel website or you know, like, we just need to focus on basic WordPress sites, HubSpot sites, something that I can understand I can get in there, I can fix things myself. And once that happened, it was like, our company just turned around, because this big relief was off of my shoulders, and I could talk about what I love, you know, and not, Oh, are they gonna ask me some coding question that I don’t know about, right. And but that’s the whole thing, too, is when I have consultants talk to me, it’s like, you know, do what you love. That’s what you you will be successful if you’re doing what you love. And what I love is talking to clients, getting them excited about the possibility to help them grow. And once I started talking with clients about that, then it was just it just came, you know, because I am not like salesy at all, I’m an introvert.

Lisa Buffo  27:24

Same, and it’s very hard to be both of those and a CEO.

Michele Ringelberg  27:27

Yes, and actually, like, the first year, my CPA was like, What are we doing? Because you’re losing money every single month, we got to figure this out. And then it was him that like recommended, like, we just have to say, take your money back. And let’s, we need to readjust here. And he said, Tell me, like, is there a need for your service? And I’m like, Well, yeah, because of blah, blah, you know, and I’m talking like, um, so he just sat back in his seat, and he said, You just told me, you’re a salesperson. I said, I’m not a salesperson. I said, I’m an introvert. And he says, I know, but when you’re in the room, you’re just talking to me, you’re just consulting with me, right? That’s what that’s what you do at sales meetings. And I said, Well, yeah, but I’m not like the car salesman. You know, like, I just, I don’t want to be like, the pesky like, person that’s like calling, calling, calling. That’s just not me. And he says, Well, how about this? What if we hire a telemarketing company, they get you the meeting, you just go into the meeting, see how you can help them? Because what do you think about that? I said, I could probably do that, you know, and that’s really how it started. And we started growing, because I don’t want to call and pester people and bother them. It’s just if they want me, you know, they will come to me is like, of course, that’s not exactly the way it goes. That’s what in my perfect world, that’s how it would be. But, you know, just consulting and like, teaching them different things that they could do, or have you thought about this, it’s really problem solving to like helping that client figure out, what’s the way that my client is going to convert and helping them do that. And so, that’s, you know, and if you’re really talking about stuff that you love, it just comes off and it as like, you’re very genuine and you know, real, you know, and I’m not like a fake person, you know, at all. I’m just very, here it is. Here’s what you get. I’m not gonna sugarcoat it and I’m gonna tell you, I don’t think that’s going to work. We could try it if you really insist. But my recommendation would be this. And that’s just worked out pretty good for us.

Lisa Buffo  30:10

Thank you for sharing that story. I really appreciate that. Because I think one, it’s not easy to talk about our weak weaknesses, I’m saying this in Eriko, for everyone who’s listening, and our failures. But if we learn from them, and we account for them, they can be turned into strengths. And I also just so glad you shared like, being an introvert and not a salesperson, also as a founder and CEO, because this is I’m the, You took the words out of my mouth. Michelle, I articulated his story better if I tried and the struggle with that. And I think for some folks who are considering starting businesses, women in particular, and maybe folks who aren’t used to sort of speaking up or having their voice heard, they can feel like I can’t do this, because I am not this way. How can I lead a business? How can I be a CEO? How can I scale something, if I am a, like a like it even for myself, I’m like, I’m a behind the scenes strategist. I’m an operator, and I love marketing. That’s all a part of it. But I like to build from that way as opposed to always being, you know, salesy and out in front, but you can still do it. And you can still build a business and have a business, but you have to account for that. So I appreciate you sharing that, because I think there’s a lot of lessons in that not just for well, both for marketing and for entrepreneurs and business owners, and also in the cannabis space, because in the cannabis space, you can so much changes so quickly. And the way things are one year and the way things are another year can be very, very different. Particularly if you’re growing and expanding your services, if you’re going into new markets. And so the ability to be able to learn quickly. And pivot is crucial to success in this space, regardless of what type of business you have, or what sector or vertical you’re in. And I think you have to just be really adaptable, and able to respond to those challenges, given the nature of this industry and how difficult it can be. And I think one thing too, with messaging, and marketing, one thing, we’ve just updated the conversation a little bit, but like we’ve seen the consumer change and evolve to so like the marketing messaging and who the cannabis consumer is has grown has matured, has expanded. Which means if you’re a cannabis business, you need to continue to see what is my message? Am I refining it? Do I understand who my consumer is today? Have they changed from last year or the years before? So there’s that constant iteration, even when you find a process, or a strategy or channel that works? Or that sticks? That really is a particular skill set? Whether you have it internally or you work with an agency like yours that’s able to do that and understand that nuance of working in this space as well.

Michele Ringelberg  33:09

Yeah. Yeah. And I know that, like, some people, like when they first started talking to us, like, it was cookie cutter, right, like, well, I know you work with this client. So do that for me. Well, that’s you. That’s not how it works, you know, because you have a different product you have, you know it, everything is different. So we really need to change things up and what works one time might not work the next time. It’s just, you know, if you think you’ve found that golden nugget of okay, like, hey, this worked really good, and I got a 30% like ROI. I’m gonna just keep doing that for 10 years. That’s not how it works. You have to always, I mean, technology’s changing every economy’s like, everything is changing. And so luckily, I love change and I love like, perfecting and fixing and tweaking. So that’s, it’s good for me because it keeps my mind you know, really like, like hungry for the newest and the latest and the greatest and and speaking of that, like AI is like crazy, like AI is yeah, all over the place right now. And there’s good parts and there’s bad parts, but you know, that’s just an ever changing thing that is happening right now too. And the you know, it’s good and that it’s helping entry level people get started right? Like, what kind of headline should I Well, I’m going to use Chet GPT. And I’m gonna say what’s the best headline for this? You know, and it gets them rolling. But the caution there is, well, everybody and their brother is doing this. Yeah. Yeah. Done. Don’t just use what they say as like the easy way out. It’s just, it will help inspire ideas, at least.

Lisa Buffo  35:31

Yes, yeah, that’s we could do a whole episode on AI. I know. It’s come up in every marketing related conversation I’ve had lately, even web development to with our own web team. It’s like the way websites are getting built is changing the way marketing automation and technology is changing. Speaking of HubSpot, we also use HubSpot. And they have their own chat GPT, for HubSpot, that they’re working on building which would allow you to ask, ask your CRM questions and be able to pull data that prior you would need it years of experience or special expertise to be able to find that and pull that out. And it really is going to change the landscape moving forward. So we’ll have to see how it how it all plays out. But it is moving quickly. But I did want to ask back to HubSpot and back to technology you were talking about. I want to talk about like marketing funnels and how to leverage technology because you were saying, Okay, we’re basically talking about Inbound, right? Like you can build this website. And you can put out content, whether it’s a newsletter or a blog, you get folks names, emails, you get it into your CRM, and then you can retarget them through different technology. But for the sake of this conversation, HubSpot has like a marketing automation tool you can use that puts different like funnels and workflows that says, Okay, if Michelle opened this email, and then she clicked on this link, she’s going to receive this next piece of content or someone on the team is going to get a notification to reach out to her, Ken. So I want to put this in context to what cannabis companies can do. Because I think a lot of folks, I’m get the same as you are. The number one question I get asked is like, what is the thing to put is the marketing thing to do to my business? And I’m always like, that’s not the right question. The real question is, who is your customer? And where are they and then we’ll, we’ll go from there. But assuming clients and businesses get this model of putting out content, getting inbound leads having a database that they can work with of current customers, or leads that they’re generating, you can use marketing, automation, and technology. And you can use these tools to nurture them down the funnel that aren’t Google ads that aren’t, you know, the things that we can complain about, that we don’t have access to, but we actually do still have access to a lot of tools, but it’s often about really understanding how to use them. So I want to get your take on that, and what cannabis companies can do, but what was like, There’s one other thing I was just gonna say about that, oh, that I think companies who do understand this can get smarter, faster. So as you were saying how things change really quickly how these industry is constantly changing how you always need to be on top of things, if you are able to figure out how to market to your current leads and your current database. Without using any of these other easier tools like Google ads, or whatnot, you’re going to get a bit smarter about your customers and what they’re saying and what they’re asking for. And that’s going to help you grow moving forward. So I want to hear your take on how cannabis businesses can leverage tools that they already have, including their own first party data, and any other contexts you want to add about how you use it, or best practices that that you believe are tried and true.

Michele Ringelberg  39:04

Yeah, I think the key is, if you have this database, there’s a lot of stuff you don’t know, right? You don’t know what that person is really interested in. And so with the marketing automation tools, you know, they have this, it’s called Smart content. So, like, if somebody clicks on this thing, you know, hey, they’re interested in marketing automation. Let’s now add them to a list that is marketing automation. And so the next time we go like as a marketing company to say, hey, we’re gonna send out this email about marketing automation. Well, send it to your list marketing, because we know people are interested in that. And we want to make sure the content is relevant. And so you can start learning your audience by doing those types of things. And, for example, like on forms you’ve seen where it’s like, what is your job title, you know, and I was like, Oh, I’m the Marketing Director. Great. Well, what that does on the back end is then that is assigning it to that persona marketing director. And there’s certain things we know about marketing directors, their interest in, you know, creating great campaigns, like, how can I do it better, faster? How can I prove the ROI versus a CEO or a CFO, their concern is gonna be cost, how do I get my cost down, you know, and so you can then segment like a CFO to say, Okay, this is a CFO. So now we’re going to add them to this list. And when we have a campaign, that’s talking about reducing your ad spend, we want them to get that, right, because they’re going to be interested in that they’re not going to be interested in how do I get more budget out of my CFO, because, you know, that’s something the marketing director is going to be interested in. So it’s just really like making sure the content you are sending is relevant to that person. And you can do that with the automation. And one thing that we haven’t done a lot with, but I was just talking with one of my team members today about, you know, if they’re coming from, say, Europe, you know, changing out, you can make it so that content flips to say, you know, in Europe, blah, blah, blah, you know, so your website content can change based on certain criteria through the marketing automation. So it can know their IP address is from Australia, or wherever, and then you can then change the copy to correlate with that person from Australia. versus, you know, like, if it’s somebody in California, hey, like, get the latest ebook on how you can whatever in California, and so it’s just leveraging those, those are more advanced. But still, I would say, the first recommendation is like segmenting that list down, like, more and more so that you can really fine tune your audience, because you may just have this big, like, list of people from mjbizcon. Right? And it’s like, okay, now there’s people that want to be vendors, or, like partners, and there’s people that, you know, have dispensaries, there’s b2b, you know, so like, how do you then segment those, you know, and like, because you don’t want to just, I call it, pray and spray, you know, just send it out to the masses and hope that they’re gonna grasp it, because they’re gonna unsubscribe, because if they’re a partner, they don’t want to know about, I don’t know, offers that we’re having, you know, they want to have a relationship with us versus, you know, somebody that’s interested in just social media, you know, we want them to be on the social media list and so forth. So they’re, it’s, it’s very fun and exciting doing all of that stuff. But it does take time to like, figure it all out and manage it and set up workflows to make sure that happens.

Lisa Buffo  43:55

Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. For that context. I didn’t know about the IP address, changing the copy based on where you are. Yeah. Which I wonder if that gets funny with people who use VPNs. And say, they’re in Australia when they’re really in New Jersey, what that would be like when they land on the site, but that’s cool. I didn’t know that technology existed.

Michele Ringelberg  44:17

Yeah. Like, another example would be say you have a webinar. And you want to create a landing page for people that came to the webinar and a landing page for people that didn’t, you really don’t need to do two landing pages. You could do one landing page, but set up the criteria that if they didn’t attend the copy flips to say, You didn’t sorry, you didn’t make it blah, blah, blah, you know, so yeah,


Lisa Buffo  44:47

Yeah, that’s fair. Okay, well, before we wrap, is there any last bits of advice like what would be your number one piece of advice for marketers in the cannabis space?

Michele Ringelberg  45:00

I would say just be patient, it will come. And I know that it’s, it’s hard because you just want to see results instantly. And sometimes it it just doesn’t do that. And you have to stay vigilant and consistent with what you’re doing and just give it time. Because sometimes people will try a campaign say, it didn’t work. I’m done. I’m not I don’t believe in marketing. And yeah, trust us, like, marketing works. You know, you just have to work the marketing.

Lisa Buffo  45:41

Yeah, and constantly iterate and improve with what you’re learning. So you can get better.

Michele Ringelberg  45:46

Yes, yeah. Yeah. Awesome. There’s a lot to it. But it’s, it’s fun, but you do have you do have to have patience. I’m not very patient person, but

Lisa Buffo  45:59

neither am I.

Michele Ringelberg  46:02

It must be an introvert try the trade or something.

Lisa Buffo  46:06

Like I’ve processed this all it makes sense. So I’m ready to move forward. I get it. Yeah. Awesome. Well, Michelle, is there any contact information? You want to share websites, social media, how can folks find you if they’re interested in learning more about Thrivepop and connecting with you?

Michele Ringelberg  46:25

Yeah, um, our website, just, and we’re on all the socials were on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, tic tac, we’re not really active on Twitter. But you can find us by just searching us, you know, on any of those platforms and reach out to us and we’d be happy to chat and, you know, do a free consultation. We like to hear like struggles people are having and see how we can help.

Lisa Buffo  47:00

Awesome. Well, Michelle, I appreciate you taking the time to join us on the show.

Michele Ringelberg  47:05

Yeah, thank you know. Thanks for having me.

Lisa Buffo  47:07

Thank you all for listening to today’s episode. We’ll see you next week. And we’ll see you in June at the Cannabis Marketing Summit. Get your tickets now at the Cannabis marketing To get your free entry to the CMA Sevens marketing awards.

Meet Your Host

LISA BUFFO, Founder and CEO of Cannabis Marketing Association

Lisa Buffo is an award-winning entrepreneur and marketer with a passion for launching companies with experience in both the cannabis and technology industries. Lisa is the Founder & CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association, a membership based organization focused on education and best practices for industry marketers with the vision of rebranding cannabis at the national level. She was named one of 2019’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in Cannabis by Marijuana Venture Magazine in 2019 and named “The Marketing Guru” by Women & Weed magazine and is a featured speaker and media source in publications like Forbes, The Guardian, and VICE. You can find her on Instagram @libuff and Twitter @libuff21.

Become a CMA Member Today!

Join the fun as we host exciting educational and networking events in your community. Engage with your marketing peers and collaborate to solve the cannabis industry's toughest marketing and public relations challenges, all while building community and having a great time!