Oct, 2021 by Cannabiz Wholesaler

Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said, “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” True – but only if you market it effectively. Cannabis is that mousetrap

“For companies looking to break into the cannabis market, particularly B2B companies that sell farming technology, lighting, fertilizer, and other growing and processing equipment, now is the optimal time to market your services — but make sure you do it right,” noted “It’s a Goldrush out there, but it’s a gold rush laden with conflict, government restrictions, guidelines, and penalties to get tripped up on.”

According to author Nathan Harris, a necessary step is to assess your web site. “Does the design reflect who your brand is today? More than that, is it usable across all devices? Optimized for search engines? You want to ensure that people find your web site when they’re searching for the solutions you offer — but your web site must capture their attention once they’ve found you. Capture leads. Bringing visitors to your site is one thing, but what happens next? If you don’t capture their contact information, they may leave without you ever knowing they were there in the first place.”

But there is still more to do. “Add relevant, impactful call-to-action statements throughout your site,” he added. “These should encourage visitors to take the next step in their buying journey. You might provide high-value content that they will be willing to trade their contact information for. Or encourage them to book a meeting with a business specialist.”

The Wine Model

Terry Wheatley, President of Vintage Wine Estates and board chair for cannabis producer CannaCraft in Santa Rosa, CA, told The North Bay Business Journal that Vintage is “exploring innovative beverage projects that put the worlds of wine and cannabis together.”

Where she thinks she can really make a difference in her role in the cannabis industry is in the areas of marketing, sales and distribution. “I would love to see cannabis be marketed, merchandised and sold using a wine model, and I believe there will be opportunity for both industries to collaborate in the future.”

Wheatley added, “Wine was vigorously promoted in Napa and Sonoma as among the finest in the world due to its unique sense of place as to where it is grown. I think cannabis can follow suit.

“Cannabis marketing activities across the nation are closely regulated and monitored. For instance, The Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) in Worcester, MA, permits marijuana establishments the right to “engage in reasonable advertising practices that are not otherwise prohibited... that do not jeopardize the public health, welfare or safety of the general public, or promote the diversion of marijuana or marijuana use in individuals younger than 21 years old, or otherwise promote practices inconsistent with the state’s cannabis laws.”

The stakes are high. As of September 1 of this year, adult-use marijuana establishments in Massachusetts surpassed $2 billion in gross sales, according to information reported in the state’s mandatory seed-to-sale tracking system.

The Berkshire Eagle reported that “For nearly all forms of advertising — television, radio, podcast, internet, mobile app, social media, billboard and print ads — the CCC requires that the company placing the ad can prove with audience composition data that adults 21 or older make up at least 85% of the audience, a standard that works to limit advertising opportunities and forces companies to reach customers in new ways.”

Digital Marketing

The Cannabis Marketing Association, whose stated mission is to bring a positive perception to, and authentic understanding of, cannabis and its consumers around the world, is helping cannabis companies improve their digital marketing.

In a piece by Klarn DePalma, Executive Vice President of MNI Target Media Inc., firms are advised that “To differentiate your cannabis company, strengthen customer relationships, and build a business that endures, you must learn to convey how your products provide value. That’s what successful brands do, and that’s what leaders in the cannabis industry are doing, too. But here’s the thing — it is easier said than done in the cannabis arena. The rules are different in this space, and they change regularly.”

Among the association’s recommendations is the need to avoid what it terms “black box” marketing. Companies “should be wary of ad exchanges that lack transparency about where ad inventory is running. Brand safety matters. While many premier publishers still do not accept cannabis content, some do. Educate yourself or look for brand-agnostic digital partners who can help find these outlets.” Another recommendation is to measure everything. “Be sure you can tie back targeted advertising campaigns to sales. Attribution can be challenging in the cannabis industry, so more and more transparency is the name of the game. Cannabis brands should expect data visualization tools to track and optimize vital insights on consumer activities, including site conversions, cart checkouts, instore sales (and) app installs.

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