Budget and staffing constraints are hampering cannabis marketing efforts, forcing companies to develop innovative ways to reach consumers, according to a recent report.
New Frontier Data’s AdTech division, NXTeck, partnered with the Cannabis Marketing Association to present survey results in a new report titled 2022 Cannabis Digital Marketing Survey: How Cannabis Marketers Are Chasing Their Share of a $32 Billion Market.
The survey targeted industry marketers to better understand the current state of cannabis marketing, with a focus on digital marketing.
Asked for the top three digital marketing challenges in 2021, budget constraints (63 per cent) and staffing constraints (46 per cent) topped the list, while 40 per cent cited regulatory limitations.
The survey also found that most cannabis marketers work with shoestring budgets. Nearly half (47 per cent) of all respondents reported having annual budgets less than $50,000, while more than 80 per cent reported difficulty delivering their message to the right audience.
“This survey confirmed a lot of what we hear anecdotally: marketers have ambitious goals but work with limited resources when it comes to budgets and staff. Thankfully, lessons learned in mature industries have fast-tracked the arrival of technologies and data that can quickly solve for these challenges and shift the focus to revenue growth,” New Frontier Data CEO Gary Allen said in a statement.
According to the report, the majority of marketing campaigns focus limited resources on social media and other top-of-funnel brand awareness campaigns.
Meanwhile, cannabis marketers are misusing channels that perform well, presenting opportunities to improve results from bottom-of-funnel efforts like e-mail marketing and programmatic advertising campaigns.
“Many cannabis marketers have years of proven experience in other industries, but encounter challenges in cannabis marketing that they’ve never seen before in their careers. Operating in a gray legal space with little budget, small teams, and a stigmatized, but changing, public perception of cannabis is a big task,” said Cannabis Marketing Association CEO Lisa Buffo.
New Frontier Data projects the U.S. cannabis market to reach $32 billion in legal sales in 2022.
With a combined 148 million Americans living across 19 adult-use states, and 248 million living across the 39 medical-use states, 44 per cent of American adults have access to legal adult-use cannabis, and 74 per cent of the country has access to legal medical cannabis in some form.
As cannabis marketers learn how to embrace the different strengths of various ad channels and put them to work in unison, results are expected to increase.
“Cannabis brands of all kinds should work to better coordinate their media buys to raise brand awareness (top-of-funnel) and convert prospects to sales (bottom-of-funnel). Those that evolve their media buying habits quickly will have the competitive advantage,” the report stated.