For marijuana businesses. How to market your cannabis brand?

Everyone knows the news about marijuana for recreational use, that has been recently legalized in 8 states + DC in the US. And even when marijuana for medical use has already traveled a long journey since it’s healing abilities were discovered in ancient China, there’s still the stoner stigma. That prejudice implies that if someone uses marijuana, then he or she is a stoner, or a junky. Most of us are already beyond that stereotype, but lots of people aren’t.

In a now easier-to-navigate environment, overturning those stereotypes shouldn’t be that hard for marketers. In fact, every brand in the USA is thinking of the advantages they could get from the new regulations. Marijuana has been legalized for recreational use in California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada, and we believe that if you’re selling to people in those states, whether you are a marijuana business or not, you should be wondering what to do, how to make the most of this.

Take Constellation Brands (Corona beer and Svedka vodka) and what they are doing as the perfect example. They are thinking of including cannabis in their alcohol beverages, trying to jump in an industry that’s about to explode.

So let’s see some tips so you too can make the most of all the buzz:

  • Make negative associations to marijuana go away. Don’t you ever use marijuana slang. Words like “weed” and “pot”, or phrases like “getting stoned” or “getting high” are not suggested. If you’re marketing cannabis products for recreational use, build your message around a certain type of lifestyle, not about slang.
  • It’s not necessary to show a leaf. Perhaps you’d be more likely to share an image that reminds of the experience that you could get consuming your marijuana product. There’s no need to show the old image we are all used to. A more sophisticated approach can go a long way.
  • Participating in conferences and expos in the field. You’ll learn a lot and you’ll be able to exchange practices with other businesses like yours.

Of course, you should be careful when it comes to marketing cannabis. As we said before, marijuana has been legalized in most states, but not at a federal level. We’ve come a long way, but up to date only 59.3% of people in the US lives in a state where cannabis has been legalized, according to MJBizDaily. So certain laws and regulations against marijuana selling and advertising still apply.

Here are our suggestions:

  • Focus your communication on adults. Segment your target for 21+.
  • Don’t target people out of the states that are pro marijuana.
  • Be aware of Google, Facebook, and Instagram regulations.

Whether you are a marijuana grower, dispensary, distributor, or if you are part of the bigger ecosystem created by marijuana, (that involves lighting, fertilizers, hydroponic, etc), we are sure you have to make the most of the new regulations, and begin right away ramping up your efforts in marketing. So start your engines, and go!


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When you know you are targeting Millennials, and you don’t know anything about them.

Everyone talks about the Millennials, but they hardly know anything about them. “Millenials” is a marketing category that usually covers young people from a certain age (20 to 35), who use the internet a lot, and that’s it, that’s all the knowledge we have. There are myths, there are assumptions, but really, who are they? Perhaps we should dig a little deeper to understand what hides behind this blurry term. First, let’s look into what most of us already know, and then we’ll dive a little more in their minds.

What we already knew:


They are all in in the digital world. They see more movies through the internet or Netflix than on TV. They are addicted to their phones and apps. Most of them can’t live without their cell phone for a whole day, and if they do, they’d for sure feel very weird.

Multi-device / Multi-tasking

The center of attention for them is not just one. They can follow up and be updated about lots of things, and this trait reflects on to every other aspects of their lives. They can multi task at everything, including work.


Of course social life is important. Have you seen the first episode of Black Mirror? Ney Ney? That for sure sums this item up.

Diving a little more

All of the above is what usually said about the Millenials. But those traits are so generic that can be applied to practically anyone today (I mean, who can live without smartphone?)  That’s why we need to dive in a Millennial’s mind where we’ll probably find a lot more.

These people have seen their parents struggling to get a good job, to earn an acceptable salary, to keep their job for a long time, and finally to retire and start their real life (and at that point most of them didn’t know what to do, or what they wanted anymore, or they didn’t had the strength). So they don’t want to be 9 to 5 in a cubicle, feeling they are spending their lives in that way. For them, now it’s all about experimenting, sharing, living, it’s all about the “now”.

  • They want to live where they want
  • They want to work from where they want
  • They want to be free to go wherever and whenever they want
  • They want to be free
  • They are positive about success. They’ve seen lots of people who succeed working from home or doing what they really love.
  • They are always opened to better suggestions, new products and services. That is a key factor if you are considering launching something new. Also something to keep in mind if you haven’t launched anything new in a long time (someone else will).
  • Critic and demanding. Results oriented. They want to get results, not promises  because they live today, not tomorrow. They are always willing to provide feedback or reviews, so you should ask them to talk.
  • They demand customization. They want to be able to have options, and to choose.

If you want to connect with Millennials, as with any other segment, you should dive in their minds as we did. That’s the only way in which you may have success. You should apply this methodology to baby boomers, generation x and z. It’s always a matter of embracing their thoughts and feelings.


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Snapchat is not for everyone

Gone are the days when Snapchat was the go-to platform for teen running away from prying eyes. Now, more and more people are interested in the platform’s marketing capabilities – and its developers are working to make it easy for those people to get in. Last month, the company has changed its name to Snap.Inc, and launched their first physical product to the market: a pair of sunglasses with a camera that allows to capture video for 10 minutes, in order to publish it later on Snapchat.

The app now has almost 60 million of active users in US and Canada each day, and that amount is expected to grow by 27% this year. That quantity places it on top of Twitter, with a projected revenue for 2018 of $1.76 billion, according to a forecast from eMarketer.

Yet, even with such an increasing popularity, Snapchat can be tricky and confusing, even for its own users. And although Snapchat has been in the market since 2011, it’s still hard to crack by marketers. They see this social media network as a gold mine, because of it’s large millennial and Gen Z users database, but also as a very tough one, due to its interface and logic. In fact brand stories that only last 24 hours are a challenge for marketers.

So, Snapchat is trying to make it easier for marketers like us to use the platform for our marketing efforts. But how? The platform was not offering lots of advertising and measurement options as other social media networks do. This has all changed now:

  • They’ve opened and shared their API for programmatic buying, which includes targeting via email matching, performance analytics tools and A/B testing for ads, among other features.
  • They’ve launched three ad targeting tools: Snap Audience Match, Snapchat Lifestyle Categories, and Lookalike Audiences.
  • Although at first Snapchat was over protecting users from “creepy ads”, they are now about to cross the fine line, by introducing behavioral targeting, based on user’s activity on the app.

We want to join forces, and so we leave here a piece of advice and some clues for you to solve the puzzle:

  • Focus on filters. As tags on twitter, Snapchat users are crazy about filters. Special dates in the year and events could be a hint.
  • Engage users with polls or contests. Just try the traditional A/B screen that we’ve been using for Facebook and you’ll be fine.
  • Drive traffic into your profile. This could be done by adding your Snapchat account to your Instagram, or by email marketing with a QR code (that’s just an example, you can figure out your own way).
  • Get users to create your content. Of course user generated content is always better, on every social media network.

No one has really figured Snapchat out, and so leading brands are trying to market on the platform, because as always, the first ones will be the ones to get more revenues. And that’s what this article is about. It’s a matter of deciding if you’re between the leading ones, or if you’ll just wait for them to crack this. What will it be?


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