2020 was the year cannabis came of age. It was also a pivotal year for endemic market maturity. An analysis of Fyllo campaign data exposes the trends redefining cannabis marketing in 2021. 

Cannabis consumer profiles are shifting rapidly across new markets

Newly legalized cannabis markets have experienced dynamic shifts in consumer profiles, demographics, and behaviors as “new” consumers enter their markets daily. Take Michigan as an example. According to Brightfield, in Q1 2020, the state’s market was made up of 52% males. However, by Q2, it was dominated by females (67%). In addition, the past year saw an 11% increase in vape cartridge consumption and a 28% increase in before-bed consumption. Similar fluctuations across other new markets present an opportunity for cannabis brands to run broad awareness campaigns not just to reach these rapidly evolving audiences but to better understand from results and define who their target market should be. 

Seasonal and promotional messaging increases consumer engagement

2020 saw a growing number of cannabis brands expand their promotional sales strategies. Fyllo campaign insights show that promotion-focused messaging and creativity, particularly around seasonal moments, significantly outperformed generalized messaging. One Single State Operator (SSO) who introduced “Daily Deals” and “Flash Sale” promotional messaging saw eight times above average engagement compared to general messaging and a 160% lift in website visitation. 

Consumers are replacing alcohol with cannabis

Substitution trends have been on the rise since the onset of the pandemic and continue to hold strong. For example, a recent Harris Poll study found that 42% of consumers first tried or increased their cannabis consumption during the pandemic, and 67% of respondents plan to increase their cannabis and CBD consumption (instead of alcohol) throughout 2021. Replacement trends are most significant among declared parents. And Fyllo campaign insights show that parents of toddlers or pre-teens have been producing a 29% above average engagement rate – presenting an opportunity for cannabis brands to speak directly to consumers who are part of “replacement” user groups with specific messaging as these trends continue and increase in acceleration through 2021. 

Pandemic dynamics are creating a surge in CTV supply

Streaming content on OTT devices rose from 44 million households per month to over 300 million per month during the pandemic, and consumption has remained at this elevated degree ever since. As a result, growth in demand has created an overall increase in supply while traditional advertiser demand is still waning. The confluence of supply increases and demand decreases creates an opportunity for cannabis brands to reach consumers on the large screen at scale and more efficiently. 

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