Marketing In The Cannabis Industry
Marketing in the cannabis industry is a volatile business where marketers often find themselves walking on eggshells. What remains unchangeable is the warming of the general public and state authorities on cannabis’s variety such as hemp and its chemovars: CBD, CBG, CBN, among others.
We’re dishing 20 of the top marketing trends in the cannabis industry we’re seeing in the first quarter of 2022.
1. Minor Cannabinoids Are Taking The Limelight
Marketing won’t be all about CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) for the rest of 2022. Marketing, from past years, has already served its purposes for two of the most dominant cannabinoids isolated from the cannabis plant.
Minor cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, THCV, THC-A, Delta 8 and Delta 10 will claim the spotlight this year and possibly for the next few years.
Marketing will meet the increasing consumer interest for these minor cannabinoids with effect-based marketing, which will immensely help personalize products.
2. New Psychoactive Compounds Will Rise
Delta-9 THC has always been the dominant psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant, literally too.
Back in 2021, there was a growing interest in THC isomers and other hemp derivatives in an attempt to find alternatives for THC. Some of these are Delta-8 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO-A, and HHC. They deliver mild psychoactive effects but are devoid of the heavy protocols imposed on Delta-9 THC.
While none of these alternatives provides the same psychoactive potency as that of Delta-9 THC, at least in their natural state, it’ll be exciting to see how marketing will promote them.
3. We Are Seeing A Focus On Improving Extraction Technologies
Cannabinoid-focused companies will be big on improving their cannabis extraction technologies this year. And they’ll be glad to highlight that as part of their branding strategy.
Expect companies to increase efforts in using clean-cut, safer, more efficient and sustainable extraction technologies this year.
Extraction techniques like vapor static and solventless will be big as more consumers are starting to get an idea of what a healthy extraction process should look like.
As extraction tech improves, so do storytelling opportunities.
4. Consumption Lounges Will Be Hot
CREDIT: EATER Las Vegas
As protocols on social distancing are getting more relaxed, people are wanting to go out more than ever. The concept of consumption lounges for the cannabis crowd is getting some media attention and inquiry.
Marketing would predictably take advantage of the meeting of “same-interest throng,” building some important connections along the way.
Expect new marketing/advertising ploys to happen within these consumption spaces. Consumption lounges open endless possibilities for experiential marketing.
5. Google Will Find Ways To Be More Accommodating Of Cannabis-Related ADS
Advertising cannabis through Google is currently prohibited but Google grants special Ad programs for selected CBD brands.
Cannabis brands continue to find loopholes in the system still, some getting away with the policy. Google will crackdown on those brands as it tries to maintain its wholesome reputation.
But who are we kidding, stigmatizing cannabis isn’t so cool anymore. After more pressure from different sectors, Google will have to relax its laws on cannabis advertising.
6. Brand Marketing Will Shift Its Focus On More Cannabis-Friendly Social Media Channels
Blatant cannabis advertising continues to be banned on Facebook and Instagram. Like anything risqué, mainstream platforms like Google, Facebook and Instagram won’t go easy on cannabis advertisers.
With that said, at the moment, cannabis brands will have to content themselves with more cannabis-friendly social media channels like Twitter, Reddit, Quora, Twitch, Discord, among others.
7. There Will Be A Comeback of Experiential Marketing and Events
The cannabis industry has been built on conferences, gatherings, and other forms of marketing experiential marketing events.
Without any new sort of pandemic looming soon and world conflicts resolved, we’ll hopefully see a comeback of the “meeting of the minds” events.
8. The Influencer Economy
Marketing in the cannabis industry
According to Market Watch, the influencer marketing industry has doubled its value from $6.5 billion to $12.8 billion. It’s a clear sign of how effective the influencer marketing technique is.
Streaming platforms for video gamers like Discord and Twitch are seen in newer lenses as marketing starts to consider them as new avenues for cannabis promotion.
Discord and Twitch generally allow cannabis-related content but is dependent on where the stream is operating.
Twitch is reported to have around 140 million active users.
According to the Brightfield Group, 54% of gamers are cannabis users.
9. Data-Driven Marketing
Marketing will be more streamlined as the information on consumer demographics, buying habits, and preferences are getting more accessible.
Story-telling will be “in” this year. Consumers aren’t fond of hard sell anymore. They want authentic and exciting narratives, not mainly about cannabis products but maybe of your brand and your other engagements.
YouTube is an unprecedented avenue for marketing in the past few years. Most “youtubers” have amassed millions of subscribers organically without help from paid advertisements. That’s power, right there.
11. AI Marketing
AI (artificial intelligence) marketing is collateral to businesses’ bid to utilize technology.
Laws are relaxing on cannabis which only makes the competition for cannabis entrepreneurs fiercer. Companies would want to save more by employing AI.
Plus, all these restrictions on cannabis advertising would leave marketers banking on target market research more. AI, in terms of collecting data, can help at this point.
12. Cannabis Marketing Will Hyper-Focus On The Mobile Platform
Marketing in the cannabis industry
According to BroadBand Search, as of January 2022, mobile is taking the lead on internet traffic at 55% of the market.
Businesses are in constant search of how to communicate their brand better with their target market. This is why, marketing, as a whole, starts to consider optimizing content more for mobile phones.
13. Marketing Will Strive For The Normalization Of Cannabis Use But The World Will Still Not Be Ready For It
The effort to normalize cannabis seems to be working in North America, Canada, and some parts of Europe. However, there is still a lot of work to be done with the rest of the world.
The normalization of cannabis will be coaxed more by the regularity of conversations about the topic in mainstream media.
Mainstream media will help destigmatize cannabis but there is still a general lack of understanding on the separation between medicinal and the adult-use of cannabis.