Marketing is a challenge for any business, but in an emerging sector that difficulty is amplified tenfold. Those in the legal Cannabis industry know these challenges all too well, as these businesses have a tough road to navigate in terms of regulations and advertising rules. These uncharted territories put off most agencies, leaving only the most pioneering firms to represent the deluge of cannabis startups.
Look no further than the results of cannabis SaaS company düber Technologies Inc. for how to successfully navigate these waters. The top-notch executives of düber, along with team Emerging Insider’s media mastery, combined for a potent lesson in high-level exposure in a tough to navigate industry.
Ask yourself…if your Cannabis PR rep isn’t getting you into NBC, CBS, and Entrepreneur, it may be time to start looking around. We may know of a great agency.
Click here to download the case study: EI and düber Technologies Inc. Case Study
The team at Emerging Insider recently conducted research on 600 highly affluent current cannabis users to understand their wants, behaviors, spending and sentiments on the quickly developing industry.
The luxury cannabis products and services market is about to get an influx of activity as the landscape continues its massive growth across new U.S. states and countries and begins targeting high net worth audiences with novel brands, products, and accessories. As products begin to undergo more traditional differentiation across unique categories, the sentiments of different audiences will begin to form complete market research for luxury cannabis startups as well as larger brands moving into the space.
Key findings on cannabis users with over $150K HHI?
-74% of respondents would be willing to spend over $300 for new cannabis products or accessories while 31% of the total respondents claimed they would spend between $500-$1000
-Cannabis strains that were considered to be either rare or were from a well-known brand were of highest interest to the affluent respondents with 41% willing to spend more on brand-name strains and 36% more open to spending on a rare strain
-Privacy is important to affluent cannabis users. 78% would only smoke at home rather than outdoors or in any potential designated businesses in legalized states.
Want more? Check out our infographic: EI Affluent Cannabis Infographic
We’re biased of course, as the team at Emerging Insider has our fair share of experience in absolutely rocking, rolling and expanding business for funds of all manners via public relations and marketing, but we are a) picky with who we represent and b) certainly not the right choice for all.
Hedge fund PR is a separate beast from any other type of public relations project as the regulations tend to be more intense and the goals incredibly performance-driven. Many folks claim to be able to perform well here only to begin a campaign and realize they are in way over their heads. What are the top traits you should look for when screening a new firm?
Regulatory Savvy: The benefit of a younger agency is their drive and knowledge of the newest forms of tech and media to help your initiatives flourish. The downfall is that they have yet to first-hand experience exactly what can happen in the finance world with even one small regulatory error in a marketing campaign. While one doesn’t need to show their scars, a great marketing agency should be able to wear the stripes they have earned and tell you how to avoid these pitfalls.
Thought Leadership Pros: Few things add to the credibility of a hedge fund than exceptional thought leadership in the form of written bylines for external publications. While media hits and expertise placements are powerful, thought leadership is often both more practical for a fund, while also being less thought-out by most agencies. In other words, engaging a firm that is able to consult, execute and perform the heavy lifting on thought leadership campaigns can be priceless. It all comes down to asking for examples, case studies and even examining their own third-party content in the market.
Industry experts: Funds are unique in that the marketing pros that deal with them must be well versed not only in the ins and outs of financial marketing, but also often the sector or industries in which the funds invest. If a fund is primarily playing with telecommunications, you best make sure your firm has experience, connections and know-how specifically in telecommunications.
Short and long term planners: Many campaigns orchestrated by business or consumer brands may be capable of only maintaining a short term promotion to garner mindshare or direct actions for their clientele. Goals change and are variable. Funds however, require that a marketing firm put in both short term executions as well as long term strategy given the unique nature of the performance driven market. Every element must be in place, functioning and driving impact at all times, which is not the easiest of challenges.
The legal cannabis industry is filled with all manner of trials and tribulations for marketers and their agencies. Even with immense growth and potential in many traditional marketers, 57% of marketers won’t even take on clients in the space as learned via a research study done by our team. For those that do, the challenges can be mitigated, but require in-depth knowledge of nuances that can occur. We will provide a series of in-depth posts based on the below topics.
1) Work the Lexicon: Cannabis has a plethora of terms used to denote it: marijuana, weed, pot, ganja and countless others. Interestingly, differing terms are used in differing ways via search engines, for social sharing, and for the media. While Cannabis may the most common way the media in Canada refers to the plant, this is not the case for the U.S. And within the states, the south is different than the southwest. The term weed is most shared on facebook on Thursdays, while marijuana is Wednesday’s choice and people prefer varying content lengths depending on the term.
Bottom line, the top PR tip for the cannabis industry is to dive deep into Google trends, social analytics and content analytics before planning any marketing. (Stay tuned for our Cannabis Marketing White Paper on this very topic!)
2) Be wary of regulations: Across states and countries, messaging and format types, regulations vary for marketing cannabis products. While one social platform may ban an organization even for organic social posts, another may be open to all manner of advertising without limit. On the legal front, what may be legal advertising formats in one state may be illegal and open to repercussion in another. This is key to keep in mind when it comes to targeting and mass market advertising platforms. Any marketer engaging in advertising, including native/content driven formats, must be diligent in their research, targeting, copy and creative. (Stay tuned for our upcoming articles on targeting secrets!)
3) Embrace specialists, but beware of opportunists: When a new industry begins to hit scale, many agencies and service providers will dedicate specialist groups to focus on them. These should always be embraced as they can provide a higher level of expertise. The double-edged sword here is that for every legitimate and skilled service provider that establishes a new core focus, an opportunist exists capitalizing off of an increasingly “cash-grab-able” buzzword.
These opportunists will usually appear flashy, have only one core focus (in this instance cannabis) and make more noise about their industry focus than real-world examples of their capabilities. A good service provider should have years of expertise and often showcase this ability across a few primary focus areas. If your cannabis PR agency has never had a client in another industry, they may be missing out on crucial media relationships. If your cannabis marketing firm has never run ad campaigns on certain social platforms, they may be missing key data and intel. Bottom line, be wary. (Watch this space for our guide to identifying buzzword opportunists!)
4) Comparables provide context: The press deeply wants to cover the cannabis industry, but many are still traditionalists and do not understand the impact, potential, and trends of the landscape. The key to achieving positive media and press attention from not just the small group of cannabis-focused journalists, but across the mainstream consumer and business media is providing contextual comparisons. It is often not enough to present a compelling story: you have to provide examples, comparables, and data from other industries to show the larger picture. While mainstream media may understand these items in traditional industries, it is up to startups, or a cannabis marketing agency, to spoon-feed in these nascent days. (Our latest cannabis case study will be out soon!)