Marketing as a cannabis brand can be challenging, particularly given legal restrictions on where and how to reach consumers. For any company, it’s important to understand where boundaries exist when it comes to marketing. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing is a potent tool for businesses to build awareness of their brands in a burgeoning industry where consumers are only just beginning to develop a sense of what products are out there. However, knowing the rules can prevent your company’s marketing team from squandering hours and budget from a promotional campaign that gets immediately flagged by social media.
Online marketing is more or less the only game in town when it comes to cannabis. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there. While restrictions make DTC marketing in a digital space challenging, better metrics also empower savvy organizations to gain further insight into their leads. When launching a campaign online, make sure your company has tracking measures in place and that your efforts are optimized based on results. Expanding your efforts over multiple channels, such as the growing popularity of SMS marketing, offers more points of engagement for potential consumers.
Much like marketing in more “traditional” industries, cannabis marketing is often at its best when it offers something to consumers beyond simple awareness of a product or service. Successful cannabis brands can become influencers in their own right, creating helpful content for those that follow them. In the long-term, establishing tone or values for a brand through digital marketing can improve recognition.
All of this contributes to authenticity for your company. That’s not to say that these efforts should be insincere—quite the opposite, in fact. Aligning your marketing with your values, possibly by adopting a CSR plan, can build customer loyalty and increase promotion through word of mouth. For some companies, a partnership with another with similar values is a great way to work in tandem toward similar goals. Joint promotions and updates on philanthropic projects dovetail nicely into DTC marketing that should already center around telling a story and providing value to your audience through content.
And sometimes, a personal touch is one of the most important tools in a marketer’s arsenal. Including things like sample products and extra incentives in orders can add a unique twist on a purchase and keep customers coming back. Though digital marketing reigns supreme, don’t forget to remind your consumers of the human side of your company.
Whatever your exact approach to DTC marketing, it represents an opportunity for your brand to connect to consumers in a space that is very much evolving. Tailor your marketing accordingly and don’t be afraid to make changes as trends and developments dictate.