Women Undervalued in Cannabis Marketing

In recent years, social media has seen a rapid rise in popularity as Americans continue to shift their conversations and outreach to digital platforms. While other industries creatively tell their story on social media, it seems that the cannabis industry has fallen short. A quick look around will cause a marketer to think a topless model is the only way to market medical cannabis or related products. Is it?

This is probably one of the most “artistic” examples in recent memory posted by Kylie Jenner on Instagram, but many aren’t worth a mention. You can only undress so much and then what?

According to a recent study by Headset, 30% of cannabis consumers are women. However, that number continues to rise. In 2016, 25% of people using Eaze were female or 1 in 4. By the end of 2016, women accounted for 33% of users, raising the total to 1 in 3. That’s a 32% annual increase. Let’s get more specific, what about the “Marijuana Mom”? A title given to some moms by Olivia Fleming in Elle article “The Unexpected Rise of the Marijuana Mom”. Who is reaching that audience?

Let’s take a quick step back and look at the social landscape. The statistics speak for themselves — Facebook has 1.9 billion monthly active users, 65% of which use the network daily, the majority of users now find dates through various social media, while Snapchat and Instagram counts more than 100 million monthly active users.

However, marketing medical cannabis and other marijuana-related products are more difficult than most fields, due mostly to its illegality in many states in the United States. Medical cannabis companies have been increasingly under attack by Instagram and Facebook. Medical cannabis can be used in treating varying degrees of illness. This makes cannabis an essential commodity in the medicine world. So why devalue your message by being unoriginal and blending in with everyone else?

Many businesses that don’t have an internal team dedicated to marketing strategies, consciously or subconsciously, mimic what others are doing and therefore are not as effective in informing and placing the product in the target market. For your business, you should choose an effective digital marketing agency or one that specializes in social media consulting that has portrayed successes in other industries and markets.

Only a few companies have blazed this trail and stepped away from male-only targeting. One of those is Buds and Roses based in Los Angeles.  They recognized the segment growth and have a fashionable line of women’s wear.  Speaking with their Director of Design, Erica Justis, “When designing Buds and Roses I wanted to create a vibe that was comfortable for both men and women. A good friend of mine was always accessorizing her wardrobe with Jacquie Aiche’s sweet leaf collection and I knew it would be a great addition to buds and roses. We also carry a wide array of cannabis products that help women deal with the side effects of pms and menopause as well as a vast assortment of vape pens because women like the discreetness and low dosage of the pens. Women are an integral part of our patient base and Jacquie’s accessories paired with our product assortment creates an enjoyable, even luxurious shopping experience.”

The best bet for cannabis advertisers is social media. Word-of-mouth is still one of the most powerful social media tools, and social storytelling allows you to connect directly to people interested in medical cannabis or accessories. Encourage your customers to follow you on social media, and combine it with strong content they’ll want to share with their friends. Mix up your content! Some ‘memes’ are fine, if your customer base enjoys them, but include advocacy and informative materials as well. Look to build a well-rounded image that acknowledges all facets of your brand and product.

For more information, visit: www.brandfluenced.com

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