The increasing popularity and legalization of cannabis products are helping to make cannabis marketing grow by leaps and bounds. However, with the expansion of this industry the challenge of learning how to market cannabis effectively has risen. At Fort Lauderdale- and Aspen-based public relations and marketing agency Durée & Company, we provide the most effective marketing solutions that drive results custom-tailored to a business’s marketing and advertising objectives.
Below, we have shared some guidelines that can help brands market cannabis properly and keep their messaging safe, professional and engaging.
It’s important to remember that cannabis is still federally illegal, and illegal in many individual states as well. There are also states that are medical-use only, and others that are medical-use and adult-use. Navigating the playing field can be challenging, particularly for multi-state operators (MSOs) that sell across state lines. Brands should check state laws and regulations where their products are sold before starting any marketing campaign. For brands that sell products in multiple states, different campaigns will need to be put in place that address the different target audiences.
Companies will also want to ensure that their brand complies with state and federal regulations. For example, some states may need businesses to have a license before buying or selling cannabis products.
It’s equally important to ensure that content complies with local laws and regulations. This includes keeping ads away from minors, ensuring all content is truthful and accurate, and that it doesn’t encourage the misuse of cannabis products.
Know the Target Audience
When marketing a cannabis business, it’s essential to know the targeted audience. For example, companies trying to market edibles to an adult-use audience (recreational) would utilize a very different approach from a brand trying to reach medical cannabis users (patients) looking to alleviate specific ailments. Each must be addressed in a dedicated campaign that specifically targets their unique needs.
Don’t Try to Circumvent Ad Restrictions
When it comes to cannabis advertising, there are a few rules that brands need to follow. Advertising to minors is not permitted, so keep the audience in mind when creating content. Social media ads, including those on Facebook and Instagram, are not allowed, so don’t try to circumvent the rules by using their advertising platforms. It’s not worth the risk and the consequences can be detrimental to a brand. And finally, brands cannot make any health claims about products or use them in any way that could be construed as a health claim. This sounds simple enough, but violations still take place and can shut down a company.
The good news is that brands can still successfully get their message out there without running afoul of these restrictions by researching and ensuring that all content is reviewed for legality, completely accurate and truthful, and designed with a specific audience in mind.
Don’t Use Images and Messaging That Is Offensive, Cliché, Or Exclusive
While it’s true that cannabis is an adult product, brands still need to be careful about how they present products to their audience. Falling back on industry stereotypes or clichés and hoping for the best does not do a company any favors or represent a brand’s values. Instead, think about the target audience and what they’d like to see when they visit a company’s site. Like any other industry, cannabis reaches audiences far and wide who select products and establish brand loyalty based on their unique needs. Being sensitive and inclusive to these needs can result in a deeper connection with a growing customer base.
With cannabis legality that varies from state to state, it can be difficult for any marketer to know what’s legal, what crosses the line, and what will land a brand in trouble. The best thing brands can do is formulate a strategy and focus on research and education before launching any marketing campaigns. There may be some unexpected scenarios to navigate, but with some preliminary research, a brand can better identify where the risks are and avoid them if possible.
To leverage the best cannabis marketing strategies, visit our Durée & Company dedicated cannabis website. We help companies establish themselves as an authority in their niche and attract loyal customers for years to come. Don’t be caught on the wrong side of the law. Contact us today for cannabis marketing strategies that comply with all applicable laws and create a positive brand image.
About Durée & Company
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm founded in 1999. The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Aspen, Colorado. Durée & Company serves the corporate, agency and nonprofit practice areas for local, national and international clients. Services include public relations, social media, marketing, content development, advertising, special events, branding, radio promotions and more. Durée & Company clients include well-known names in business, fashion, hospitality, travel, health and wellness, cannabis and hemp, psychedelics, technology and cryptocurrency, marine and yacht, art and culture, nonprofit organizations, legal and professional services and real estate. Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), an international network of boutique PR firms. To learn more, call 954-723-9350; go to dureeandcompany.com; cannabismarketingpr.com; or psychedelicpr.com. Join the social conversation and follow Durée & Company on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn at @DureeCoPR.