The cannabis industry comes with challenges in a lot of areas but one big challenge is marketing. Though it varies depending on location, the roadblocks to traditional marketing options are numerous.
Commonly implemented restrictions include:
- Advertising marijuana products within a specific distance of a school or area where children often spend time.
- Television, radio, or print ads.
- Advertising on public or private vehicles.
- Marketing to children, including using toys, inflatables, cartoon characters, etc.
- Mascots (human, animal, or mechanical such as inflatable tubes, people in costumes, or sign spinners).
- Billboard advertising (some states make an exception for marijuana retailers).
- Indoor advertisements unless minors are not permitted in the facility.
- Advertising in arenas, stadiums, state fairs, shopping malls, arcades, and farmers markets.
- Packaging and labeling information, colors and branding information.
In addition, ads must likely include text that says marijuana products can only be purchased by people who are 21 years of age or older as well as other required warnings. With all these restrictions, the prospect of cannabis marketing can seem dismal.
Fortunately, with some creativity, there are solutions.
- Website – You probably already have one, but if not, then this is your most important piece of the marketing puzzle. It’s how customers find you and your products.
- SEO (Search engine optimization) – Make sure that your website is optimized as this will drive traffic directly to your website. Get as many eyes on your content as possible.
- Social Media – Although there are many rules to follow, this is another great way to get your name and content circulating.
- Digital advertising on marijuana friendly websites – Some websites specialize in helping customers find cannabis retailers. Make sure your name comes up when they search! Examples of this are Leafly.com and iHeart Jane.
- Old fashioned word of mouth – With good customer service and products, word will spread and bring in new customers.
- Text messaging – There are many platforms available that allow you to send text message marketing to your existing customers. This allows you to notify them about specials and new products.
- Email – Much like text messaging, there are many possible ways to manage email marketing campaigns to your customers.
- Local community service, advocacy, educational seminars, and sponsorships – This is a great way to not only get your company name out there but also to establish your company as a contributing part of the community.