July 1, 2019

Marketing in the Cannabis Industry

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Cannabis products are becoming more popular and more widely available across the United States. But what does marketing look like in this booming yet untraditional industry?

Within the last year, Green Growth Brands (GGB) has launched national CBD brand Seventh Sense, as well as CAMP, whose THC products are sold in GGB’s dispensary, The Source. But marketing within the cannabis industry comes with a unique set of challenges, both legally and creatively. Here’s how Green Growth Brands is overcoming those obstacles and reaching cannabis consumers across the United States.

Marketing for CBD vs. THC

The cannabis industry is filled with complex legal challenges that vary from region to region. CBD is federally legal, but it’s not legal in every state. On the contrary, THC products are not federally legal, but they are legal in some states.

Currently, CAMP’s products are only sold in The Source, which has allowed Green Growth Brands to take a local approach to marketing the brand’s products. By focusing The Source and CAMP’s advertising in local news outlets, events and publications, Green Growth Brands has created a community atmosphere to both brands, which makes customers more comfortable throughout the entire retail experience.

On the other hand, despite being federally legal, restrictions still apply to how companies can market CBD products. In the beauty, skin care and personal care industries, customers want to know how products will make them feel better or look better; however, making claims regarding the therapeutic benefits of CBD is illegal.

That’s why Green Growth Brands has focused on including high-quality botanicals in its Seventh Sense CBD products. Instead of relying on the impact of CBD, Seventh Sense promotes the benefits of its products’ other ingredients, letting customers decide for themselves how the CBD will affect their health or appearance. Seventh Sense is even cautious about customers’ reviews; Green Growth Brands approves every review on the Seventh Sense website to ensure that no overreaching claims are included. This careful approach has gained the trust of mall owners and developers across the country and given Seventh Sense the ability to open shops within those retail locations. Within the next year, Seventh Sense will have over 200 shops in the United States, a first for a CBD brand.

The digital dilemma

Online advertising and social media have been on the rise for years; more and more people are discovering brands online, and social media provides even more opportunities to engage with consumers. But for the cannabis industry, these digital spaces come with advertising challenges.

Facebook has been cracking down on companies that advertise or mention CBD in their posts. Sometimes, companies’ accounts are even banned, which could result in an extensive loss of followers and brand awareness. Most cannabis companies even have hidden back-up accounts to prepare for such a loss. Additionally, Google will not allow any advertising of cannabis products on its platform. Even if a company sells other products besides CBD, if CBD is on the website, Google will not allow advertising that leads to that website.

Green Growth Brands Digital Director Nikki Means says cannabis companies must be clever, creative and think outside the box when it comes to their brands’ marketing efforts. Maintaining a digital footprint online lets customers know that brands are legitimate and trustworthy, but digital marketing must go hand-in-hand with other advertising and public relations efforts if companies want to gain and keep consumers’ attention.

Gaining consumers’ trust

Building credibility with customers goes beyond the messages they see; Green Growth Brands is also taking a personalized approach within their stores. At The Source, employees are called “patient advisors” and get to know customers and treat them like family; their role is to guide and educate consumers throughout their retail experience. This one-on-one interaction reinforces The Source and CAMP’s localized marketing efforts.

For Green Growth Brands, credibility also means being visible and present across multiple channels. Within the cannabis industry, numerous niche markets exist online to discuss trends, products and other news. But Green Growth Brands recognizes that these markets may not help them reach the millions of new cannabis consumers across the United States. If consumers and investors are seeing messages consistently, especially on the national news platforms they trust, they will be more likely to place their trust in Green Growth Brands.

That’s why Seventh Sense’s PR efforts are focused on the larger outlets that consumers already trust. By having a place in these conversations, Green Growth Brands can reach more consumers, educate them about CBD and build their confidence in GGB’s brands. This blend of marketing and public relations efforts allows Green Growth Brands to take a multiple-prong approach to creating and sharing brands’ content.

As both CBD and THC products become more widely used, cannabis companies like Green Growth Brands are noticing that they legitimize each other. If a customer enjoys CBD, they may be more open-minded towards THC products (and vice versa). Through careful and creative marketing efforts, GGB seeks to reach and create new cannabis consumers across the country and provide them with quality products and an unmatched retail experience.

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"Opinion: The future of cannabis retail is simple, integrated, and welcoming"

CBC Business

“Unlike big names in production at centre of cannabis frenzy, company plans to focus on retail side of things”

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"Former Victoria Secret executive raises $85 million for cannabis startup…"

The Growthop

"Green Growth Brands completes upsized raise of $85 million to satisfy investor demand."

Benzinga

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