Right now is a good time to be in the business of cannabis.
While many businesses have been hit hard by the current pandemic, cannabis businesses – and CBD-based businesses especially – are experiencing an upsurge in demand for their services.
Good news, right? Absolutely. But this also means that there’s a serious need for responsible cannabis marketing during COVID-19.
What Does Responsible Cannabis Marketing During COVID-19 Look Like?
As consumers stock up on cannabis products, the industry is experiencing a boom similar to that of six years ago when cannabis first became legal in some places.
A few opportunistic outlier companies, however, have taken advantage of the fear and stress caused by the pandemic to mislead and deceive customers. Oh, the humanity.
There’s simply no need for this. And in the long-run, such tactics could easily end up doing more damage than good. Especially when it comes to establishing trust, which is job number one for cannabis – and really ALL – brands.
Here are a few valuable tips for responsible marketing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Emphasize Cannabis Benefits
Given that the United States has the highest rate of COVID-19 right now and everything in the country seems to be turned upside-down, many Americans are experiencing unprecedented stress and anxiety.
As a de-stressor, cannabis speaks for itself. It’s capable of contributing to emotional stability without the negative side effects such as aggression, domestic violence, and hangovers that are common with alcohol or other seeming de-stressors.
Responsible cannabis marketing emphasizes these benefits during this difficult time while maintaining a degree of sensitivity to the situation. It also stresses the importance of honesty. Which brings us to…
At one point, a Portland-based CBD store was forced by the Oregon Attorney General to pull down signs claiming that CBD could help boost immunity against COVID-19. Even if it is true, there isn’t any research-based evidence to say as much.
Despite the fact that Americans live in a country where political figureheads and so-called leaders feel at liberty to spew non-facts as gospel truth, cannabis companies need to stick to the facts.
The pandemic has already emphasized the value of cannabis. Even reluctant leaders are starting to recognize it as a viable health resource upon which tens of thousands of Americans depend. And since medical cannabis patients are among the most vulnerable demographic, leaders have grown to accept cannabis as an essential business during this pandemic.
Simply put, the plant does so many amazing things, there’s no need to lay false claims or stretch the truth.
One way COVID-19 has changed the face of the industry is in tech development that wasn’t rendered necessary before it. Consumers still want to secure the product, but must do so with social distancing in mind.
Of course, curbside and home delivery have been tremendously advantageous in states like Michigan, Illinois, and Maryland. But not every state has gotten on board.
App technology addresses the need for social distancing, while making it possible for businesses to remain sensitive to customers’ needs and demands. Such tech can gather and analyze feedback from the customers of dispensaries, delivery services, and brands in an effort to improve marketing.
In fact, the newer technology is also a great way to get reviews for a brand and for businesses to acquire valuable data to further improve. It’s likely that much of this technology will still be in place long after the pandemic.
Practice Social Responsibility
The reality is, the cannabis industry already has a strong history of giving back to the communities in which they operate. And now, it’s more important than ever.
Marketers understand that the demographic to whom they’re marketing cannabis right now are anxious and nervous. Many of them are earning less pay – if any at all.
Several businesses are providing their services for free to alleviate the strain of this pandemic. This isn’t to say, of course, that cannabis companies need to start giving away product willy-nilly.
Discounts on products could take away some of the sting though. Or even offering free hand sanitizers or toilet paper rolls. The size of the gesture isn’t as crucial as the gesture itself. Whatever a company is uniquely positioned to offer its customer base will make a difference.
The point is, brands that practice social responsibility now will endear themselves to their customers and their gestures will not go unforgotten. Even after the pandemic has passed.
Are Your Marketing Efforts Making a Difference?
If you own a marijuana business, it’s essential that your marketing efforts abide by all the changes in regulations and restrictions during this time.
Contact us today to find out if you’re getting the most out of your marketing. We’re here to help you incorporate responsible cannabis marketing during COVID-19… and beyond.