The rules outlined by the Cannabis License Act, 2018 (Cannabis Act) can make it tricky for cannabis brands to market themselves in the Canadian marketplace. With conventional marketing tactics being prohibited, it can be challenging to get the word out about your brand to potential consumers in a compliant and creative way.
But there are still ways to be within the scope of regulations and communicate your brand with your target audience. Compliant public relations tactics, for example, are one of the most essential tools leveraged by cannabis brands to demonstrate their brand value and connect with consumers. We asked 10 global cannabis marketing and media experts at our Womxn, Wellness and Cannabis Conference for tips on how cannabis businesses can promote their brand effectively. Here’s some of what they had to say.
Be where your audience is. Get your stories in front of them by understanding their consumption behaviour and be strategic with your story placement. It doesn’t matter how relevant your message is if your target audience doesn’t see it.
Understand what makes a good story. Humanize your brand story and make sure it provides value for your target audience. Whether you’re introducing a new product, idea or service, the communication should be informative, engaging and offer the reader a new idea or perspective.
Separate B2B and B2C. If you’re a cannabis company offering products and services for both businesses and consumers, be sure to separate your B2B and B2C marketing strategy. Alter the communication so you speak to these market segments differently. You may even want to modify the brand altogether as you begin understanding the different opportunities for B2B and B2C including product sales and cementing long-term relationships.
Be flexible. It’s sometimes difficult to interpret when certain regulations do and don’t apply, especially if your marketing tactic falls in a grey area. If you’re executing a new marketing approach, keep a close eye on your advertisements and social media campaigns. Sometimes they may be successful, other times they may be removed by the platform. If you’re having trouble, be prepared to pivot and try focusing more on your SEO, keywords, and stay away from too much imagery.
Engage with your customers. Build a dialogue with your consenting current and potential customers through e-blasts and other communication channels to share new product information and relevant content they’d be interested in. This is also an effective compliant opportunity to better understand and engage with your consumer segment through surveys, thank you notes, and newsletters.
Ask the right questions. Especially if you’re a new company, it’s important to ask questions in order to establish your brand. What is needed most? What provides the most ROI? What needs to happen first? 99% of the time, it’s usually your buyer persona. Do not rush too far ahead in engaging your audience before your brand is built; if you start putting out mixed messaging you’ll confuse your consumer which will be detrimental to your brand.
If you want to hear more from our #WWCConference industry experts about marketing and media in the cannabis landscape, be sure to check out the full videos. For more tips on how you can market your cannabis brand effectively during uncertain times, catch up on our latest blog.
Are you a cannabis brand looking to execute an effective media or marketing campaign? Marigold PR works with B2B and B2C cannabis companies to build their brand profile and achieve results. Contact us today.