It’s an age old problem applied to the burgeoning cannabis marketplace: you have a product, service or idea and you want people to know about it. We are in a digital age where consumers are making decisions on who to engage with through active conversations. We hear about 4 strategies for promoting a cannabis business; marketing, advertising, public relations, and branding. They all mean the same thing right? Wrong. Let’s break these communication strategies down to their root elements so we can learn how to use them effectively.
This is the overarching concept of giving consumers something to consider. Marketing consists of determining what you want to sell and how it fits into the marketplace. The name of your product, the packaging it comes in, the price point you’ve decided to sell it at, all of this is marketing. Cannabis businesses have complete control over this part of the conversation, it is up to them to craft it all. Basically, you as the cannabis business are standing on a stage and unveiling a complete solution to a crowd of potential consumers. Apple’s iPhone unveiling is a great example of this.
The product you have crafted is complete and ready for consumers to purchase. Advertising is a traditional form of telling them to do so. Advertising is creating a specific message, or elevator pitch, about what you are offering and why they should buy it. Again, the control of the message comes from the cannabis business and is projected onto the consumer. Before digital communication and social media, repetition is how you got the job done. Consumers would be bombarded by the same message over and over.
Cannabis Public Relations
This is where the conversation really begins to diverge from a cannabis business projecting onto the masses to a bit more of a conversational tone. Public relations is at its core, the nurturing of a relationship between said cannabis business and its potential consumers. Using third party sources, the cannabis business gets other people to talk about them within the crowd instead of to the crowd. The message is still crafted by the cannabis business, but it has taken on a more conversational approach, with consumers hearing about the cannabis business through multiple third party channels instead of directly from the business itself.
In marketing and advertising the cannabis business is broadcasting what they have to offer. In public relations the message begins to spread from within the crowd. Taken one step further we have branding. Branding is where the cannabis business shares not only what they do, but who they are as a business. This component is crucial to today’s consumer in digital media age. This puts the power of the relationship in the hands of the consumer. Those who identify with your business will choose to engage with it. A great example would be the story of Toms. Why does this matter? Because this relationship is one with the highest quality return. These engaged consumers will not only buy more, but do so more often along with becoming your greatest advocates and spreading your message through the crowd. Consumers rallied behind Toms because of who they are as a business, not strictly for what they made.
Spreading the word about your cannabis business is a multi layers approach, but these four key strategies are a great jumping off point. Need help promoting your cannabis business? Contact Social Media Unicorn and let us take your cannabis business to the masses.