There probably won’t come a day where we don’t need great marketing insight, especially when dealing with the cannabis industry. With cannabis regulations and processes evolving so often, proactive learning has become an even more indispensable skill. Being in-the-know proves useful especially for newcomers because there’s just so much room for growth in this industry.
Since we’re on the topic of consistent growth and learning, I think you’re going to find my featured guest’s insight to be timely! Joining me on the show is Lisa Buffo, CEO & Founder of The Cannabis Marketing Association. Lisa is an indomitable force who is passionate about marketing, building, and engaging communities, as well as creating resources for other cannabis marketers. Watch below to hear Lisa’s best tips for marketing cannabis successfully!
In this episode, you will learn:
- Why telling a story is crucial for branding
- Understanding your differentiators
- The importance of being proactive about learning about this industry
Welcome to Cannabis Marketing Live — All Puff. No Fluff!
I think it’s no secret just how marketing can be a constant challenge for those of us doing marketing for cannabis-related businesses. I mean, there’s so much you need to consider and, honestly, it does get pretty overwhelming sometimes. But don’t worry, friends, there’s always going to be someone ready to share their wisdom — and lucky for us, today I’m talking with Lisa Buffo!
Getting to know our featured guest
Lisa Buffo is a marketer and entrepreneur with a passion for launching companies with experience in both the cannabis and technology industries.
Prior to her work in the industry, Lisa worked for Bizdom and LaunchHouse, technology business accelerators in Cleveland, Ohio, helping bring over two dozen software startups to market.
She is the Founder & CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association, a membership-based organization focused on education and best practices for industry marketers with the vision of re-branding cannabis at the national level. She was named one of 2019’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in Cannabis by Marijuana Venture Magazine in 2019.
Lisa has worked in the cannabis industry since 2014. She started working in commercial cultivation where she grasped the important role compliance plays for cannabis companies. She has helped launch 10 cannabis startups for CanopyBoulder, the industry’s first business accelerator in 2015. Lisa is also the Founder & Co-Chair of the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Marketing & Advertising Committee, where she has co-authored the Public Relations Crisis Manual along with the Short Guide to Colorado’s Marketing & Advertising Regulations.
Lisa Buffo is an active speaker, who has spoken at countless industry conferences domestically and abroad. She currently sits on the Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Equity Committee of the California Cannabis Industry Association, and as an Advisory Board Member of Cannabis Doing Good.
Pro Tips to Cannabis Marketing Success
These cannabis marketing tips won’t come easy, but they’re going to be crucial to your organizations’ scalability if you pull it off!
1. Tell an authentic story that people can connect with.
Your audience needs to know the purpose behind your actions. With the height of digital information, customers are becoming more and more picky with brands they want to rally behind. That’s because people like to buy from brands that they can relate to in one way or another. After all, it’s human nature to want to connect and nurture a sense of belonging — this is exactly the power your story holds.
Authentic stories have the ability to nudge potential customers to a preferred action – whether it’s a sale, a referral, etc. Sure, you won’t be able to connect with ALL of them, but if you do your best to consistently share your story, treat others (e.g. customers, team members, business partners, etc.) fairly and empathetically, your brand will be more memorable!
Here are good ways to make others more receptive to your story:
- using your voice in a positive way by supporting a cause that aligns with your brand’s vision and mission.
- genuinely caring about your customers, your team, and community.
“The basis of marketing is understanding what’s YOUR story and what makes YOU different.”– Lisa Buffo
2. Identify and understand what your differentiators are.
You know what they say, “You can’t give what you don’t have.” The same principles apply to your brand. You won’t be able to fully deliver if you’re not aware of what sets you apart from everybody else, by understanding your differentiators you become more attuned to how you can contribute to the well-being of your customers and community.
Here are something you need to analyze to gain a better grasp of your differentiators:
- list a few things that you do better than everybody else
- what’s something that gets you really excited
- are you solving any problems
- what are you willing to commit to doing better than everybody else
Answer these and find the overlap, those are your differentiators.
“Those who are clear about their differentiators are going to have the best shot at connecting with consumers in a way that is authentic. it also gives consumers a way to measure the brand against other brands.”– Lisa Buffo
3. Learn proactively (learn as fast as you can and as much as you can).
The sooner you can get acquainted with the industry, and reaaaaally understand the regulations and the processes, the better it would be for you because things in the cannabis industry tend to change and evolve a lot. It’s a budding category and we anticipate it to grow bigger and faster as the years go by, so take our word for it — learn as much as you can and as fast as you can. It’s always easier to update what you know than to start from scratch.
Consumers are learning more and more about the industry, the products, and how things work… so we have to take the lead in giving them the most reliable information they need in order to make the best choices. The person who holds the most (accurate) information gets to stay on top of the competition!
“If customers are being industry savvy, then you’ll need to have already passed that level and ramp up what you know.”– Lisa Buffo
FOLLOW LISA BUFFO ONLINE:
CANNABIS MARKETING ASSOCIATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
KENDRA LOSEE ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
“Your brand story is what helps your audience and customers connect with you — it’s what makes you less intimidating. People who feel safe with you tend to relate to you better.”– Kendra Losee
“Personally, when I’m introducing people to a new product or when they ask me about it, I always start with the brand story. ‘Hey, this is a great brand… this is how they started, what they do, and this is why I love them.’ You don’t just say, ‘Oh! This product is going to solve your problem.'”– Kendra Losee
“Whatever we can do from a marketing standpoint to make that as less intimidating to a new user, the more appreciative they’re going to be and the more they’re going to recommend your products — which is ultimately the goal: be recognized, remembered, and recommended in order to grow forward.”– Kendra Losee
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