Five Tips to Create a Winning Cannabis Marketing Strategy | Episode 001
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Five Tips to Create a Winning Cannabis Marketing Strategy | Episode 001

– Hello and welcome. I am so excited that you guys are here. Welcome to Cannabis Marketing Live. All puff, no fluff. I am here. I have been wanting to do this for months and I am so excited to be
here with you guys today. My name is Kendra Losee and I am the host of this all new
awesome Facebook Live show where we will be bringing
you the brightest, boldest and wait for it, most badass people, ideas
and technologies in marketing for the cannabis industry. I like I said, I’m really excited. I may or may not have had a lot of caffeine today so bare with me. Welcome to episode one. If you’re watching the replay, please make sure to enter comments below. Any questions that you have and
I’ll be responding to those. I want to make sure that I
see the replay people as well and then you guys get the answers to the questions you have. Now, one of the things that I wanted to talk to you guys about is, one, give me your likes,
give me your comments, give me your hearts,
give me your questions. I want the feedback. Secondly, today we are going to be talking about three things. First one is the challenges of the cannabis industry
and marketing cannabis. And the second we are
going to be talking about are five things that you need to have in order to create a
winning marketing strategy. And who doesn’t want to win, right? And third is how to start
finding a why for your business. So it’s something that is really important in order to differentiate yourself and really make sure that you are really standing out. So, and standing out authentically. So, we are going to be
covering those three things. If you just arrived, welcome. As I just mentioned if
you’re watching the replay, welcome to the replay and be sure and put in the comments about the state that you’re coming from because I really want to make sure that as we’re going forward
and as I’m developing this that since all the states are different that we’re addressing all of you guys and not just California
’cause that’s where I am and it’s home even though I love Denver as well and Colorado. Okay. So there’s three things that
we’re going to cover today. Now, the first one, I
tried to get fancy here so let’s see if how it works. The first one, did it work? Is it there? Let’s see here. Boom. Challenges in the cannabis,
in marketing cannabis. Now, it’s hitting in the head. Hmm, oh well. So, one of the things as we start looking at marketing cannabis is that there’s, cannabis regulation over all
feels like it changes daily. Right? Retailers in California are looking at a deadline for July 1 that’s looming over people. Or people feel like
it’s looming over them. And from the marketing side in March, the National Cannabis Association proposed some advertising standards to create consistency and to
help us start self regulating the industry in terms of what
we’re doing for advertising. Hopefully that will help in the long run, but in the mean time those
regulations are there and it is, it’s a starting point. Everyone needs a starting
point when it comes to advertising and marketing and that will be better
than what we have right now. Because right now every
state is different. We’re all aware of that. You’ve had the local requirements, you have your state laws and
then there’s the federal laws. And so for example in California, the law states that any
advertising or marketing place in broadcast, cable,
radio, television, hi Alex. Welcome (laughs). Thanks for being here. I was just talking about the rules and the laws for regulations for cannabis. So for example any advertising or marketing place in broadcast, doesn’t matter if it’s online or offline, traditional or not, 71.6% of the people of the
audience who can see the ad have to be over the age of 21. Now I don’t know about you but I’ve never been able to figure out if 71%, .6% of the audience
driving my billboard is over the age of 21 or not. I don’t know how you would measure that. That’s a very data law, or
regulation how it’s formatted, from the past. So in terms of like Nielson ratings and it gets into this whole thing we’re not gonna go over right now but it’s a crazy law because 71.6% of anything is hard to get to, let alone when you’re
talking about idols on an ad. So the thing is that the states
aren’t related consistently amongst themselves for anyway but especially the
advertising and marketing. And then there’s the
federal regulations right? The federal regulations, so the federal regulations
are that, are different, are imposing as well right? Unless you’re in Canada or Uruguay, the two countries now, go Canada, that cannabis is legal, we have very strict
regulations around advertising since cannabis is illegal,
is an illegal drug. Thanks Alex. I actually made my lower third
in my graphics using Canva. So, I’m using Blive to broadcast, Canva for the lower third and
all my graphics that I did. So, I’m excited you’re here. Thank you for being here and supporting. I appreciate that. I love seeing people. Okay. So, when we look at the state by state and we look at the federal regulations part of the problem as
many of you guys know if you try to do any ads,
emails, Google searches, or Google paid ads we are limited because as an illegal drug, drug it’s not allowed. So what can people use if you’re limited on your digital marketing? So we can’t use Google ads, we can’t use regular display networks. We cannot do Facebook ads. We’re not supposed to
do any of those YouTube, social media ads. Where do you go and how do you market? And so that’s what we’re
gonna be talking about today. When you talk to digital agencies and having worked in a digital agency, a lot of the marketing and how we think about advertising and
overall what happens online, is in three areas right? It falls into paid,
earned and owned media. So paid is something you pay for, earned is like SEO, Search
Engine Optimizations, something that brings in
leads or brings in people. And you earn that. So PR, Public Relations,
Search Engine Optimization, all of that. And then owned are the
channels that you own. So you’re website. Social media fits across
all of those in a weird way. So we’ll talk about social media separate, but what happens when
you’re trying to market and you can’t use one
of those main pillars? That means that you’re relying on the other two pillars even more to be able to bring people in. And so that’s what we’re going to be talking about as we go forward. Alright? So not just today. As much as I would love to
tell you all of that today we’ll be, I’ll be breaking it up and interviewing people who are experts in each of those areas. So, when we look at, let me change this. See I was trying to get tricky here. I’m gonna go here to here. We’re talking about number two. We’re talking about five things that you need to create a
winning marketing strategy. How do we address those challenges? That’s the goal. How do we reach our target audience? That’s the goal. Alright? So that’s what we’re here to talk about. That’s what we’re going to be
talking about going forward. So five things that you need, whoops. It’s over here, to create a
winning marketing strategy. Yes for your cannabis business. Whether you are serving, whether you’re an ancillary service serving cannabis companies or whether you are a cannabis business grower, brand, producer, distributor, retailer. Whatever that looks like, let’s talk about your marketing strategy. Because we want you to
grow and be successful. Alright? So, we’re gonna break
down these five things and I like I said I tried to get a little fancy here since it’s just me. And I know that not
everyone are audio learners so I wanna get some visuals in here too. So, the very first thing you need to have a winning marketing strategy is to know where you’re going. Now I have spent a good part of my life in water sports and I don’t mean swimming, which although if I’m swimming
I still know where I’m going. But I mean rowing or most recently upriver canoe paddling. Think of the Hawaiian canoes
like Hawaii 5.0 right? Now, there is no way I would
get in a canoe to paddle for two to six hours
depending on the race, without knowing where we’re going. Because no one wants
to put all of that work and all of that effort
and that literal blood, sweat and tears into something if you don’t know what path you’re on. If you don’t know what
waters you need to navigate. So, that’s a very long
way for me to say that I will be using a lot of
water and teamwork analogies because that’s what I do. So the first thing is to
know where you’re going. So that means creating
your business goals. And it sounds simple, but you want to make sure that
you have smart business goals that are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely. You need to know where you’re going because that is going to direct
the rest of your marketing. There have been so many times
throughout my life really, throughout my career that
people have found out that I’m, that small business owners have found out that I’m in marketing, and the most frequently
asked question I get is what marketing should I do? What social media platform should I be on? My dad used to hand me
crazy farming magazines and ask me which one he
should put his ads in, for his business. Like you can’t answer that unless you know what your goals are. What are you trying to
accomplish and achieve and that will direct
where you put your time, your money, and your focus. Because otherwise you’re
just spinning wheels and that’s not something
anybody wants to do. Because oh my God if you had put me in a canoe and told me to just go without telling me
where we’re going (laughs), or how long our practice is
or how long this race is, you just can’t keep it up mentally, emotionally and physically. It’s just too hard. So, let’s avoid that and make sure that you know where you’re going alright? So, let’s switch over to the second one. And I love this one. I could talk about this
for a really long time. You need to know your audience. And your audience, who
you’re trying to reach, you need to know what they care about and how you can help them. You need to know what motivates you. Hey Liz welcome. I’m so excited. I see people and friends
and people supporting. It’s great. Feel free to jump in if you have any marketing cannabis questions. I know you asked me about CBD in the past so I’m working on getting someone who has a great CBD brand here to talk about their marketing and their products. So, I thought about you actually. So when you start looking
at your target audience, you need to know who they are. You wanna know where they’re hanging out. You want to know what they care about. You want to know where they’re
getting their information. Are they using Facebook? Are they using a newspaper? Is your target audience the baby boomers who are aging and need some
of that medical cannabis to help them with their
aches, pains, ailments, illnesses what have you? Or are you looking at
the younger millennials and starting to get into generation Z and looking at what they
want, what they need? So it’s really really important to understand who your target audience is because otherwise you
might end up adverting on social media when you
really should be looking at, for lack of a better way, NPR. (coughs) Excuse me. So, (coughs) sorry. So it’s something that is really important and more information you can get about their motivations,
their hopes, their dreams, what they need, what they
can use to really help them, the better you’re going
to be to reach them and start building that tribe because you want to be able to get them to know you and like you and
trust you and not just once. You want them over time
to build that loyalty and that’s an entirely different strategy but it’s also something
that’s really important. It goes back to your goals of what are you trying to accomplish and how that breaks down into your business and your marketing. So after you look at, and
honestly target audience can be its own episode
’cause there’s whole things like avatars and personas that marketers will build for you. And both of those are where you do this deep research and
often surveys into customers or conversations and interviews
with customers to really, or clients or patients to
understand what is effecting them, and what they need the most help with. How can you help them transform their life from being in pain to being pain free? From wanting to have fun? From whatever it is that your goals are and what you’re trying to accomplish, that is how you can help them. So, it’s really really important to know those ins and
outs for your customer. And a avatar or a persona
if you’re not aware, is basically where someone will do that deep dive into
research and to your customers and create that idea customer for you and the avatar is just online
of what that looks like. Often times people will name it. So Natalie might be a soccer
mom in norther California who uses cannabis instead of a glass of wine to relax at night, right? Like it’s understanding
what their needs are, what their wants are,
what their day looks like to understand how you
can best influence them and how you want to make them feel when it comes to your company,
your brand and your products. So the next part. The third thing is to know your why. Whoops. Let me change that sorry. We don’t wanna sit there
talking about customers anymore. You need to know your why. Why are you doing this? What’s your purpose? What’s your authentic self? Oh gosh I hate when people say that. What is your reason for
wanting to start your business? Why should people care
about what you’re doing? What is you’re trying to accomplish? So, this is actually something
that’s really interesting. I will put a link in the show notes to a TEDTalk by Simon Senic. If you haven’t seen it
yet I highly recommend it. It is beneficial for you if
you have your own company. It’s beneficial for you if you’re working for another company. It’s beneficial for
you if you are thinking about how to frame what it is that you’re trying to
do for your customers. And it really comes down to understanding the benefits and the transportation, transformation that your trying
to make for your audience and how you want them to feel. So, I mentioned this earlier. This is something that
Apple does really well. This is something that Harley Davidson is constantly held up as an example for a company that really understands that they’re not selling motorcycles, they’re selling a lifestyle. They’re selling an image. They’re selling access to a community that Harley Davidson owners
often want to be a part of. And what does that mean and
how are they represented to other people and how do people see them when they see that you’re a Harley owner? Or if they seen that
you’re an Apple owner? Or a, I used to have a Volkswagen Beetle. People always made assumptions about me based on the fact that I owned a Beetle. It was actually really funny. I bought it for the head
room ’cause I’m really tall and I got tired of my
head hitting the roof but that’s probably not something that Volkswagen put in their why, right? Like that was just a
weird thing that I did. But it’s a super fun car to drive. If you get a chance to drive
a Turbo Beetle, have fun. But anyway, know your why. It’s really important. Like I said I’ll put the link
to the Simon Senic TEDTalk on here ’cause it is worth the 12 minutes I think it is to watch. Alright? So let’s keep going. We’ve got number four is
to be different, right? Cloning is great for plants but it’s not something that
you wanna do for your business. So if you are sounding like all the other, (sighs) edible companies or if
you’re sounding like the other strains like how do you beat, how are you different from everyone else? And embrace that. There is a quote from a
woman named Sally Hogshead who has whole website on how to fascinate. And her whole thing is, how do you, what, sorry, is, being different is
better than being better. So it is much much better to embrace those quirks that you have,
the quirks in your brand, those things of your products or services that stand out that might be different from somebody else and embrace those and blow those up right? Rather than hide them because if you’re hiding those things
that make you different you’re going to be the
same as everyone else. So you can work to be perfect and you can focus and you can try and be perfect and make
everything best you can, but there’s elements where
after a certain point that’s actually not gonna matter. What’s gonna matter more is how you stand out from your competition. Especially when you start looking at, oh some of the animal edible companies or the bakes ones or whatever it is. Whatever those products are. How do you stand out and how do you embrace those differences and really stand out on those differences? And there are some brands that do this really really well
in the cannabis space. So, and we’ll talk about those and hopefully we will talk
to the people who run them. So, when we start looking
at being different there are a lot of campaigns and companies and you can see how this ties together with the knowing your why. So, one of my favorite
campaigns to talk about when I’m teaching advertising, I teach periodically at a local university social media, advertising and marketing. So when I’m teaching, one of the examples that I
use in the advertising class is the REI opt outside? The story in terms of how
that campaign came about and how they did just an amazing job of embracing their mission and vision and understanding what their why is. So, they, side story. So REI went to a bunch of agencies and said we want to stand out from the competition during the holiday season. How do we do that? We’re an, or if you’re
not familiar with REI they’re an outdoor recreational equipment. So camping gear and it’s a co-op. So they’re all based on, it’s very much based on community and the love for outdoors. So they went to this agency and they said we want to stand out
during the holiday season. And they got pitched
from a lot of agencies and they heard from a lot of people but the one that stood out for them was they were working
closer with an agency who basically came back and said, what if you close on Black Friday, close all your stores, give that day back to your employees so that they can spend it
with their friends and family which goes back to the
heart of the mission and then they created a hashtag for this campaign called opt outside. And they have a funny story about how they filmed this ad on top of a mountain and the CEO is in it. He wanted to go hiking. So they kept losing him while
they were trying to film it. If you listen to the Podcast of the story it’s actually pretty funny. But, more importantly is that
they closed all their stores. They used the hashtag and put a bunch of advertising in place starting I think a month and a half ahead of time, a month ahead of time they released it. And this, and it was such a great example of embracing their
difference as a retailer as well as their why. Hey Stephanie, what’s up? Welcome. I’m so excited to see you here. I am just going over the five things that you need to know to create a winning marketing strategy. Right? We’re on number four. (laughs) And I was playing with things to see how complicated I could make this. So I got crazy with the overlays. It’s very fun. Whoops wrong way. I got crazy with the overlays right? (laughs) Yeah earlier we were talking,
no worries Stephanie, earlier we were talking about some of the challenges for cannabis marketing. Especially when I was talking
about the paid, earned, owned and how it’s easy to
categorize most things except for social media
into those categories and what happens when
you’re marketing a company and you can’t use that last pillar. You can’t use paid right? So do you try and get to your audience if you’re only focused on earned and owned for the most part? So those are come really
interesting challenges that we’re going to be
talking about over time as I bring in some of the experts. But welcome Stephanie. I’m so excited you’re here. Stephanie’s the one who
helped make all this possible so hopefully you guys love it
and can give her a shot at it. Hey Stephanie on Facebook or
Lights Camera Live on Facebook. I dunno. right Steph? So okay. So we are going to number five. Right. Exactly. There’s some specialized ad networks that we’re gonna be talking about. I wanna get a couple people who do that to be interviewed but you
can’t use paid social media unless you are a ninja (laughs), and can hide the fact
that you’re doing paid, and you can’t do paid Google ads. In fact it’s so bad that Googled pulled all the cannabis key words
out of their ad tool. So their key work finder, no cannabis ad words
anymore as of the fall. They might be starting to
come back but it’s crazy. So SEO becomes, Search Engine Optimization becomes really really important and luckily there’s a couple experts that we’re gonna be talking about who specialize in cannabis marketing for, who specialize in search
engine for Facebook. I mean for sorry, Search Engine Optimization
for cannabis companies. Right? Exactly. No paid media on Facebook,
Google, Instagram, YouTube. Zero. So you have to rely on everything else which takes me to the number five way to create your
winning marketing strategy is market like you’re going
back to the future right? If you are limited to lack of, if you’re limited on the
number of ads that you, on not being able to run paid media and the things we can do online, and even some email vendors don’t know about cannabis companies. I know because I checked
in and emailed and chatted with over 20 of them in the fall that you have to start
looking at marketing like it’s 1985 with some traditional marketing, events, and those things. So it’s fascinating in
terms of what you want to do and you want to
blend those two together. Stephanie was just asking about placements on sites like Weed Maps. Yes. So there are some various
specialized cannabis marketing, cannabis platforms that people have created in order
to, I missed your last. So there are some very
specialized cannabis friendly platforms that you can use. They’re not very highly, most of what I could tell
when I was doing my research, they don’t have a lot of
traction but they’re starting. That’s the place to go
especially for people where it’s even illegal in your state. Stephanie is asking about if you can do paid advertising
for things like topicals. So there’s not a lot of understanding and that’s a great question
and I wanna bring a CBD brand here to talk to because it’s great to hear from them specifically. But if you are a CBD company
that’s selling topicals or what have you and there’s no THC at all and it’s made from Hemp,
what are your limitations? And you still for the most part are limited quite a bit because of, because the government
doesn’t know the difference. So, CBD is still treated
the same in many many ways. Not all but in many ways. So it does create more challenges. Yup. Yeah there was a bill
that was going through to change it and separate
it more and it did not pass. So, (laughs) Stephanie’s saying whack. Yes it’s true. It’s totally whack. Yeah. So that’s where people with directories, my friend Simone has, shout
out to her site Calagia ’cause she’s created a LinkedIn type site for cannabis professionals as well as there’s quite a few other Cannabis Network Association I think and there’s a lot of others
that are popping up too. Exactly. Stephanie’s saying that you
can drive traffic to your site for just helpful articles and then build an email list that way. Exactly. And there’s things you can do right? Like you can use social media
as long as you’re careful and really follow the guidelines. Which is what we’re gonna
talk about next week. And there’s a lot of like
Search Engine Optimization becomes extremely critical. And so there’s a lot of things you can do. The cannabis industry is
still very very focused on networking and building that trust in seeing new faces with older, with face, I don’t wanna say older faces but the people who’ve been
in the industry for awhile and really making sure
that you’re connected. So networking events
are very very important. Stephanie’s saying that a
friend got her account deleted and that she had over 13,000
followers on Instagram. Total bummer. Absolutely true and that’s
something we’re gonna talk about because I actually don’t know if Facebook’s gonna allow this. Right? It’s not technically legal. Even though there is nothing
to do with plant right now other than talking to businesses
who are using the pant or selling something on the plant. I actually heard of a recent account that was deleted on
Instagram for, they had over, I wanna say 50,000
followers and it was deleted and they weren’t doing anything wrong except for posting images of, they did floral arrangements
with cannabis in them for like weddings and
events and stuff like that and their account got deleted and they think it was actually because sometimes competition
will report the pages. And so that’s fun too. Yay yay. Stephanie’s asking if I am hosting networking events for cannabis network. Not right now. I have a lot of friends who are. We will be working on that. Hi Holly. Welcome. It’s great to see you guys here. Very excited that everyone’s here. So welcome. We’re getting close to the end. I don’t wanna keep everyone ’cause I’m sure everyone’s so excited to hear my voice just
go on and on for hours. So we’re gonna be going
a little bit longer but I was just talking about number five of the five things you need to know, and if you’re coming in late
the replay will be available both on the Facebook page
on the Mota Marketing page as well as on my website. But I wanna talk a little bit more about marketing like you’re
going back to the future. Right? So, what I mean by that is take a look a traditional marketing. Offline options, events, networking, people have done meet ups here. Current, if you can radio. I still haven’t heard
if it’s legal if you, like I’m in San Diego and
there’s radio stations that broadcast out of Mexico. That’s a question I keep
meaning to pose to a lawyer because if you run the
ad in Mexico technically and can be overheard in the
U.S. how does that work? But there’s questions along those lines. But here in California as I
mentioned in the beginning, 71.6% of your audience who
sees your ad or hears your ad has to be over the age of 21. And that is virtually impossible to gage unless it’s television. Or if you’re just putting out magazines or available in bars or what have you. So, or dispensaries. So it’s really really tricky, but there are a ton of events and there are cannabis specific options. So there are in dispensary
like television networks right? I’ve talked to a couple people who either run them or work at them. There’s an ad that works for digital that are being created just for cannabis. And so there’s a few of
those that are available to get trained your ads out to websites that are cannabis friendly. They don’t have a problem
with you advertising there. So, take a look at what you’re options are when you start looking at the old school more traditional offline options but then also come back to the future. Right? You don’t wanna stay there. You wanna create that balance and be somewhere your audience is. So look at your digital
options that make sense. If it’s a digital network great. Absolutely 100% you wanna be using Search Engine Optimization. You want to have a website, you want to be able to
collect email addresses and use email which we’ll be talking about email friendly
platforms you can use. Don’t use MailChimp. That’s my two cents. I’ll go into details later but MailChimp wanted to see every single
email that was going out when I was talking to them
which was just not realistic if you’re trying to run
your business and emails to send them to their legal
department fist for approval to make sure your cannabis
friendly email is just okay. But there’s challenges with email which I’ll talk about but you wanna try. You want those email addresses. You wanna have that direct connection because as Stephanie mentioned early she had a friend who had 13,000 followers on Instagram and the
Instagram page got shut down. You lose all of those. So, we’ll be talking about how to drive back that traffic to your website to capture those email addresses and start building those
relationships directly with people. So there are options. That’s the good news and so
that’s what we wanna focus on and that’s what we’re gonna
be talking about going forward is focusing on what we can do. ‘Cause while we can’t do
things that get in the way, let’s focus on what we can do and finding those solutions and seeing what’s working for great brands like the Kiva’s of the world. How to get your name out there. Like the dose that’s
formed really humble right? How do you get your name out there? How do you get your brand out there and keep those people and
your customers coming back? Right? Whether you’re a dispensary, brand. Like I said an ancillary service. Somewhere in that supply chain work from growing to the dispensary and retail. How do you get your customers
to come in the door, to purchase what you were selling, your services or your products and then how do you keep them loyal and what are your options there? There’s so many different
things to talk about and I’m really really excited
that you guys are here and I’m excited to be
able to have this time and be able to talk about it ’cause there’s a lot going on. It changes everyday. So, as we go forward
one of the things that I wanna make sure that I
offer to you guys is that, I mentioned it earlier. Clones are great for cannabis plants and for growing but not for your business. So, do you wanna be like everybody else or do you want your business to stand out? You wanna stand out right? That’s what we want. That’s what we all want. We don’t wanna be the
same as everyone else or even anyone else right? We’re all unique. So let’s communicate that
and share it with everybody. So, in this case if you want to talk a little bit more and keep
this conversation going in between this week and next week, feel free to shoot me and email
at [email protected] It’s down there. Right there. Yay. And let’s work some time to talk about the right marketing
for your business okay? And I’ll see you next week. Next week we’re talking social media. It’s my favorite. Social media it’ll be, social media day is on Friday. We’ll talk social media on Thursday. That way you can just keep it running through the rest of the day. 48 hours of social media. It’ll be fantastic. Alright you guys and I
will talk to you then. Until then have a great week and I’ll see you here next week. Thanks for being here. Bye you guys.

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