The best marketers are adaptable problem solvers — and there is no shortage of problems to solve in a nascent industry like cannabis.
While marketing cannabis-related products and services can seem daunting, entrepreneurs are learning to analyze and solve problems — just like in any other industry — by utilizing data.
Not an analytics person? Here’s what you’re missing.
Related: A Closer Look at the Cannabis Market
Real-time insights into customer behavior
With legalization sweeping through the U.S., cannabis has finally emerged out of the darkness, providing more insight that ever into the typical cannabis consumer.
Marketers can now use data to find out exactly who is shopping at dispensaries, what they’re interested in, and how to target them. This information enables manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and ancillary companies to better understand the landscape and see the evolution of the consumer base.
In this new space, one of the easiest ways to fail is to misread the market. This could mean creating the wrong type of product or missing the mark on your ideal customer and their needs. Cannabis entrepreneurs want to make smart decisions, and the big data industry is expanding to satisfy this demand, helping shed light on what’s happening — often in real time.
When coming up with new cannabis campaigns, we often look to the successes of the technology and healthcare industries for inspiration. These two sectors thrive on innovation, and companies in these spaces market their products and services using creative data presentations.
For example, they use data to solve marketing riddles such as: Who is this product or service for? Were our initial assumptions accurate? Which latent demographics are growing?
Analyzing data can also inform a cannabis company which states have the fastest growing medical or recreational cannabis markets. After all, the industry is hyper-regional, and regulations can be drastically different from one state to the next. Data trends help these companies know where to explore expansion, and which markets might be more challenging — or a complete waste of time.
Playing to the media’s appetite for data trends is also a great way to earn coverage for a cannabis-related company. This could mean ranking the most popular product types by overall sales, stacking up tax rates in major U.S. cities, or even comparing certain aspects of the cannabis industry’s rapid growth to the technology boom of the early 2000s.
It’s true that some cannabis brands get lucky without relying on data at all. However, with social networks shutting down cannabis brands and silencing influencers without an apology, it’s wiser to rely on concrete facts than unpredictable miracles. Tomorrow’s household names are grown up — studying, adapting, and evaluating data.