Cannabis makes everything better, including marketing

Cannabis makes everything better, including marketing

If you partake, you likely know this already: cannabis (including both THC and CBD) makes everything better.

It can relieve stress in your life, settle an upset stomach, and soothe a skin rash. You sleep better. You wake up energized and ready to take on the day. It can both restore and curb your appetite. Science hasn’t entirely caught up with all the claims on the product label—cannabis is an incredibly complex plant, and rigorous double-blind clinical studies are few and far between—but the anecdotal evidence is compelling.

And people are responding. According to MJBizDaily, cannabis sales in the US grew 30% in 2021, even before accounting for new consumers in states where cannabis was recently legalized. Today, it’s possible to find it in flower form, pre-rolls and vapor pens, of course, but also in sublingual tinctures, skincare, tea, soda, gumdrops, even pizza.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that cannabis makes marketing better too. Not because marketers who consume cannabis turn out to be more psychoactive and creative thinkers. That’s a given. But because cannabis consumers, according to the latest National Cannabis Study from research firm MRI-Simmons, are 25% more likely than the general population to try new products and services across all industries: from shampoo to mustard; wine to food delivery; phone plans to retirement plans.

Which means that they’re the ideal audience for marketers looking to challenge the status quo. And on top of being first movers, today’s mainstream cannabis and CBD consumers are also less price-sensitive than the rest of the population, and they’re more passionate advocates for all the brands in their lives. Eager to try, willing to pay more, and ready to tell the world? Call it a win-win-win.

Today, more than half of all US adults have tried cannabis, according to a recent YouGov poll, and 30+ million consume it weekly. They cut across all age groups and lifestyles. They’re more active. And they have more disposable income too. It’s time for marketers to see beyond the stereotypes, and start activating premium ‘cannabis-infused’ target audiences across all industries and product categories.

Thanks in large part to the work that we’ve done over the years to quantify return on ad spend (ROAS), and prove that incremental sales lifts can be tied to people’s purchase history (for the brand as well as the product category), more than two-thirds of CPG marketers today have embraced purchase-based targeting. And it turns out that cannabis and CBD consumers are telling us a lot based on their purchases. 

The scenarios for mainstream brands looking to reach this new consumer group are endless. 

For brands who want to grow market share by launching a new product or via competitive conquesting, progressive cannabis consumers are an attractive audience due to an openness to trying new things. These consumers are also a great fit for other targeting use cases such as quickly translating unique reach into conversions, becoming more sticky with existing customers, or even understanding how well a promotional offer will drive website traffic. (P.S. More than 80% of the time, free shipping does it!) Bottom line: for brands who need to reach consumers with a progressive mindset, cannabis buyers lead the way. 

Let’s face it: Marketing is getting more complex every day, and competitive pressure is as intense as it’s ever been. There are many consumer channels to keep an eye on, stringent (and uneven) privacy regulations to adapt to, and you’d be forgiven for taking the current fluctuations in Consumer Confidence Index for a crypto chart. The good news is that marketing budgets are on the rise, but only when and where the team can deliver - and cannabis buyers can help you do that. 

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