Cannabis Marketing Agencies
Agencies are an incredibly important part of the cannabis marketing ecosystem. These creative and consulting companies help licensed producers navigate the confusing regulatory framework to create real connections with cannabis consumers.
Agencies and marketing experts are especially valuable in Canada, where the Cannabis Act prohibits most forms of traditional advertising. These regulations force companies to get creative. The best agencies are able to execute compliant marketing within the rules. One of the top agencies in the space is Abacus.
Abacus entered the category before it was even really a category in Canada. They began working with cannabis companies in the early pre-recreational legalization stages in 2015 and in the post-legalization stages now, consistently applying their award-winning creative and media performance thinking to excel in a restricted market. Now, Abacus services the global cannabis market.
Based in Toronto, Abacus was started by agency veteran Peter Reitano and client-side veteran Jeff Goldenberg. The advisory board includes Round13 Capital founder and former “Dragon” Bruce Croxon and the company has funding from Vitality Capital.
Abacus offers consulting, brand strategy, fluid identity design, social content production, go-to-market strategy, and execution, paid media and distribution, data collection, advertising creative, packaging design, and legal compliance for the cannabis industry.
Abacus is a certified marketing partner with both Facebook and TikTok. Outside of cannabis, the agency has worked with a number of high profile clients including The Body Shop, the Toronto Raptors, SkipTheDishes, Interac, and Campbell’s.
Along with winning Agency Of The Year at the 2019 ADCANN Awards, they have also taken home honours from the Hermes Creative Awards and the Applied Arts Awards.
The Founders of Abacus Agency
Jeff Goldenberg is a partner and Chief Strategy Officer at Abacus. Before launching Abacus, Jeff was the Head of Growth at Borrowell, a top Canadian online marketplace lender. Jeff has been leading B2C startups for over 15 years.
He co-authored The Growth Hacker’s Guide to the Galaxy (along with Rocketshp CEO Mark Hayes) – a book that details 100 proven tips for the modern digital marketer. He is a highly sought-after expert and keynote speaker in and outside of the cannabis industry.
Peter Reitano is a renowned marketer, keynote speaker, and entrepreneur and is the co-founder and CEO at Abacus. Over the last decade, he’s worked with some of the world’s largest brands and agencies including Porsche, Ritz Carlton, CIBC, Star Wars, Nickelodeon, Body Shop, TIFF, and Porter Airlines.
Peter also worked with several tech startups including Stack, Jobber, Rumble, and Intercom.io. After his former company (Spark) was acquired, he founded Abacus with Jeff.
Abacus Cannabis Client Work Examples
Blissed by TREC Brands
Blissed is a female-focused brand from TREC Brands, a socially-conscious cannabis brand house. Blissed is targeted towards women in search of happier, healthier, more authentic lives and promises to provide them an authentic cannabis experience. They accomplish this through educational content, community building activations, and purposefully-designed products.
Abacus truly helped build this entire brand, assisting with all aspects of its creation including brand strategy, fluid identity design, go-to-market strategy, social content production, and packaging design.
Abacus Agency and COVID-19
During the COVID-19 era, Abacus Agency has been keeping the marketing community informed with a series of virtual panels on various topics. These webinars included Building a Brand with Kingsway Cannabis, Fluid Identity Design, TikTok Brand Building, and DTC marketing.
Featuring a variety of guests, these free classes are an amazing way for aspiring and experienced marketers alike to stay engaged during this work-from-home period.
The Future of Cannabis Marketing Agencies
Cannabis marketing will only become increasingly important as the industry largely shifts towards a CPG-based model. Creative, compliant branding and advertising will be essential for companies to stand out from the competition. Agencies like Abacus will continue to be in high demand, as marketers at Licensed Producers and Extractors need help with regulatory compliance, content creation, strategy, age-gated ad buys, and more.
You can learn more about Abacus Agency and contact them at their website: https://abacus.agency/