This week’s Trailblazer is Robyn Ham, Marketing Lead at BudSense, a provider of both in-store and online menus for cannabis retail stores.
Questions with a Cannabis Industry Trailblazer
When did you first become involved in the cannabis industry and why?
I entered the cannabis industry in February 2021 working as the Marketing Lead at Farmer Jane Cannabis Co., a cannabis retail company. What attracted me to the cannabis industry was the constant growth and adaption that was needed in order to operate in the industry. Since the cannabis industry is still in its infancy, there are so many unknowns and challenges. The combination of its stage of development and the infinite amount of regulations make work super exciting and entertaining. Though at times these regulations may be frustrating, I believe they grant the opportunity to challenge yourself to get creative and think outside the box.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced when working with cannabis companies/brands?
The biggest challenge in marketing I experienced was the inconsistency in regulations. It can be difficult to wrap one’s head around why the regulation is prohibiting you from launching your marketing initiatives when an identical process was allowed previously.
I experienced this when trying to run an advertisement on Snapchat.
If you could change one of the current Canadian or American marketing restrictions on cannabis, which would it be?
The first regulation I would change would be allowing consumables in restaurants and lounges.
In your observation, what marketing techniques or channels have been most effective for cannabis companies looking to connect with consumers?
A marketing technique I find very effective is what I like to call “Network Leaching”. Network Leaching is utilizing those in your network to help share your messages. Due to the limitations and regulations that are needed to be followed on one’s platform, Network Leaching allows for the ability to reach a wider audience with more relaxed regulations.
Another effective marketing technique I found most helpful was marketing the cannabis lifestyle rather than products. This technique is similar to the energy drink brand Red Bull which leans heavily on advertising the “Red Bull lifestyle”. Rarely do we see RedBull visually sharing their carbonated drinks and talking about the product. When we think of Red Bull we think of the lifestyle associated with the brand (adventurous, bold, adrenaline junkie etc.)
Are there any other Trailblazers in the cannabis industry that you follow?
What is one tip or piece of advice you would give to marketers looking to enter the cannabis industry?
Think outside of the box and don’t be afraid to take risks.
A big thank you to Robyn from BudSense for participating as this week’s Trailblazer! Stay tuned for another interview with a cannabis marketing Trailblazer next Thursday in the ADCANN blog.