This week’s Trailblazer is Lavall Chichester, founder of GrowthSkills.co and Flavor Fix – a cannabis, CBD, food and alcohol guide for connoisseurs.

Questions with a Cannabis Industry Trailblazer

When did you first become involved in the cannabis industry and why?

In 2019 GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) launched a CBD brand and came to us at GrowthSkills.co to help them promote the brand by running Google and Facebook ads. It was nearly impossible to spend the money to reach their target audience because of advertising regulations on the platforms. We then decided to build FlavorFix.com to help solve this problem. We created Flavor Fix to help CBD, Cannabis and alcohol brands reach their target audience to promote their products.

Flavor fix

What has been the biggest marketing challenge you have faced when working with cannabis companies/brands?

Legalization and the advertising regulations are the biggest challenges. Now that more States are becoming legal that challenge is going away. The regulation on the advertising platforms is what it is. I took it as an opportunity to build the first media publishing platform to cater to CBD, Cannabis and alcohol. Alcohol has similar regulations so brands have to do advertising buys with publishing sites to reach this audience. It’s the same thing with CBD and cannabis. For our CBD and Cannabis clients we use Flavor Fix to connect them with their target audience. We then work with them to build and execute a Growth Marketing strategy that uses SEO, Social Media & Content marketing to build awareness, email leads, sales and site traffic. We then help them use Email Marketing to grow the life time value of their new customers. This is currently the most effective way to grow a Cannabis and CBD brand. Plus, when Google, Facebook and Instagram ads remove the restrictions, our clients are in the best position to turn those ads on and convert the traffic efficiently.

If you could change one of the current Canadian or American marketing restrictions on cannabis, which would it be?

People like and want cannabis. I’d want Facebook, IG and Google Ads to remove their restrictions. Apple just lifted some restrictions and now allow cannabis delivery apps to live on their app store. That’s great news and will help push the other platforms to make similar changes. The big thing to watch for is the United Nations push to stop all cannabis advertising in the way tobacco is regulated. That would suck. I don’t think it will happen though. There is to much tax revenue to be made especially now that the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt so many economies.

Flavor fix 2

In your observation, what marketing techniques or channels have been most effective for cannabis companies looking to connect with consumers?

There is a two pronged formula that we use to drive growth for our cannabis and CBD clients. Buying ads and doing campaigns on media platforms like FlavorFix.com and others. Plus, integrating Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Content Marketing, Social Media and Email Marketing as mentioned above. We research and use data to see what people are searching for. We then create articles and other content to show up first on Google for those things. Then share them on social channels to drive engagement and additional traffic and sales. We use SEO to make sure the traffic we get turns into a sale or a lead. Then we use Email Marketing to turn the lead into a purchasing customer. Finally, we use email marketing to increase the amount the customers purchases and how often they purchase. This works for all of our CBD and cannabis clients and is how we grow our own brand Flavor Fix as well. Also the currently the competition in SEO is very low. Now is the time to use SEO to get traffic and sales for search engines like Google.

SEO is great for getting CBD and THC customers but also great for accessibility and ADA Compliance. There has been a 300% increase in ADA Compliance lawsuits since 2018. l predict that there will be a massive increase in ADA lawsuits targeting cannabis and CBD brands. Now is the time to learn how to use SEO to help improve this. I wrote the best free guide on the internet on how to use SEO for ADA Compliance.

Are there any other Trailblazers in the cannabis industry that you follow?

1. Master P, he is best know for founding No Limit Records and rapping. However, he is an amazing business man and has a cannabis company called the Ice Cream Shop. He is also leading the 520 Cannabis Freedom Day movement to push prison reform for people unfairly incarcerated for cannabis.
2. Sean Stiefel CEO at Navy Capital. He is a really smart guy and I watched all of his interviews to get the lay of the land and learn about cannabis and CBD infused adult beverages.
3. Berner, he is best known for rapping but he founded and runs the Cookies brand. I think he is one of the best in terms of brand building and launching world class cannabis products that get a cult following and help define the culture.
4. Mike Tyson, I think Hot Boxin with Mike Tyson is doing a good job at removing the stigma of cannabis. He also has Tyson Farms which I think is amazing.

What is one tip or piece of advice you would give to people looking to enter the cannabis industry?

The cannabis industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that will continue to grow. If you are really good at your marketing craft, then focus on building a scalable tool, platform or way to help cannabis and cbd brands reach their audiences. Don’t just work for the brands or have them as clients. Build something of value that you own that helps these brands grow. Get in now. Tomorrow you’ll be to late and this will be another missed opportunity that you could have and should have gotten into.

CBD Calculator

Check out Flavor Fix’s CBD dosage calculator.

Cannabis Marketing Trailblazers

A big thank you to Lavall for participating as this week’s Trailblazer! Stay tuned for another interview with a cannabis marketing Trailblazer next Thursday in the ADCANN blog.

Interested in working with one of these talented cannabis marketers? Check out our Agency Directory for a list of all the agencies that specialize in working with cannabis companies.

Spencer Tropea

Spencer Tropea

Certified cannabis sommelier and coffee expert; Spencer is working towards his Bachelor of Public Relations to help elevate the culture of his favourite products and educated others.