This week’s Trailblazer is Michael Bou Doumit, Director of Marketing at Aspire Infusions, a leading and trusted cannabis producer hyper-focused on quality and customers.
Questions with a Cannabis Industry Trailblazer
When did you first become involved in the cannabis industry and why?
As a young adult, I was always drawn to the various applications of cannabis and it’s variants. When it was legalized, I knew at that moment I wanted to get involved in some capacity. Over the last 2-3 years I’ve developed a relationship with a great brand called Aspire Infusions. Earlier in 2023, the founders formally asked me to join the company as their marketing executive, and that’s where my journey started.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced when working with cannabis companies/brands?
As we all know, marketing within the cannabis industry is a challenge, considering the policies and regulations established by Health Canada are quite stringent. One of the biggest challenges is that direct to consumer marketing through traditional or digital channels is highly restricted. Meaning, trying to directly advertise to your target audience is incredibly difficult. However, this sets a precedence in the market to push brands to construct and deliver creative marketing strategies.
If you could change one of the current Canadian or American marketing restrictions on cannabis, which would it be?
I believe they should remove certain restrictions on marketing channels in particular digital. Age gated advertising already exists and can easily be leveraged. The cannabis industry policies and regulations should emulate closely to the alcohol and gambling policies.
In your observation, what marketing techniques or channels have been most effective for cannabis companies looking to connect with consumers?
The best form of direct to consumer marketing is through community marketing. However first, you need to build the community. First party data is becoming an increasingly important element in strategy and provides the necessary information to drive marketing initiatives. One first party data is customer emails. If you can provide value to your customers, they will want to subscribe to receive information from you. That is one of the most direct access points to customers and may be one of the most underused/properly used communication channels.
What is one tip or piece of advice you would give to marketers looking to enter the cannabis industry?
Branding is like a compass that steers trust and navigates consumers to unforgettable experiences. Invest in it.