NXTeck, New Frontier Data’s AdTech division, partnered with the Cannabis Marketing Association to conduct an open online survey targeting industry marketers to better understand and benchmark the current state of cannabis industry marketing practices with a focus on digital. Several themes emerged:
- More than 80% reported difficulty getting the right message to the right audience.
- Cannabis marketers currently focus a lot of their limited resources on social media and other top-of-funnel brand awareness campaigns.
- Most cannabis marketers work with shoestring budgets; nearly half of all respondents reported having annual budgets of less than $50,000.
- Cannabis marketers are misusing or underusing channels that perform well, presenting strategic opportunities to improve results from bottom-of-funnel efforts like email marketing and programmatic advertising campaigns.
Despite the limited budgets and small teams at their disposal, most cannabis marketers have ambitious goals. Many have national campaigns underway and market to both businesses and consumers, stretching resources even thinner. Getting the right messages to the right audiences will only become more difficult for marketers as the number and diversity of U.S. cannabis consumers continues to grow rapidly.
Yet, marketers have reason to feel optimistic – they have the power to overcome these challenges. Despite how often we hear about federal prohibition, regulations, and lack of access to some of the most premium advertising inventory, only 40% cited regulatory limitations as one of their top three digital marketing challenges in 2021. Budget constraints (63%) and staffing constraints (46%) topped the list of challenges, and leadership teams can solve these problems for their businesses. Other opportunities related to owned and paid media emerged from the findings as marketers told us how they spend their limited resources and the tasks they prioritize, and marketers themselves can solve many of these challenges by putting greater emphasis on the most effective tactics.
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