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How to Market A Publicly-Traded Or Privately-Held Cannabis Company

by: Celeste Miranda

It’s too often that investors in the cannabis space write a check for the “next big thing” in this emerging industry and then walk away. Investors figure that the extended hand of a success hungry entrepreneur is security enough that the job will get done. Although, we have entrepreneurs with amazing experience in the cannabis industry, a thumb should be kept on the pulse of what is one of the most important facets of a cannabis company: MARKETING

As a CEO, CMO or IRO, you need to know how to market your cannabis company to businesses, consumers and investors. If you neglect your marketing, any success you may have will be short lived. Today’s technology has made it easier than ever to promote your business. You don’t need to be an advertising expert to be a marketing success. Here are a few marketing basics that every cannabis company should excel in:
Know your budget

Marketing doesn’t have to break the bank. Sure, there are things you can do that are costly, but you can wait on those until after your business takes o . If you are just starting out, you are most likely watching every dollar. As much as you may like to roll out a direct mailing campaign, they often need a good chunk of money upfront. Whatever the type of marketing you wish to do, you need to know your budget. One of the worst things you can do is start marketing one way and not have enough money to finish. It is always better to market to fewer people, but do it more often. Your budget will usually dictate what type of marketing you get involved in. Be as realistic and honest with your budget as possible. It is OK to start small and focus on a fewer number of people in the beginning. Before you do anything else, you need to know your marketing budget.
Branding

Depending on what market you are in, there are most likely plenty of competitors. To separate yourself from the pack, you need to have a brand. Your brand doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it should tell something about how you run your business. Seemingly little things like your business name, logo, color scheme, domain name and business card all contribute to your brand. The people around you will form an opinion of you before you ever meet them. The brand that you portray plays a big part in this industry. Business branding usually evolves over time. It is important that you are flexible and adjust to whatever area of the business that interests you. A good brand is the first impression that most people have of you. This could make all the difference. This industry can be a hard judge.
Know your audience

Most marketing in the cannabis industry usually fails because the company does not know their audience. Even if they are aware of the audience, they don’t market to it. Every type of marketing you do should be for a purpose. If you market to dispensaries, your goal is for them to buy your product. If you market to growers, you want the opportunity to have them purchase or use your services. The approach each requires is completely different. This requires you to have different emails, letters and approaches in place. If you don’t know your audience, you will end up wasting time and money. Any marketing your company does needs to start with your goal in mind. Once you have a goal, you need to ask yourself who your target audience is.