Media Archives - Green Market Report

StaffStaffNovember 25, 2020
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8min1660

The holiday shopping season is the holy grail for consumer brands, particularly for those looking to recapture markets lost during the pandemic. However, this season is also the most competitive when it comes to marketing, and it can be a challenge to break through the chatter without breaking the bank. 

For CBD brands, the added difficulty is to resonate with target audiences while staying squarely within regulations. However, with the right digital strategy, it is possible to optimize budgets and achieve meaningful results.

Holiday marketing in a pandemic

Already a growing trend, eCommerce has become the new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most Americans are stuck at home and spending more time on devices, and nearly two-thirds are expecting to change their buying habits by the end of the pandemic. 

To capture these audiences and convert those who are open to new brand preferences, it’s important to keep campaigns running and maintain a full sales funnel, with messaging, marketing tactics, and a customer experience that is sensitive and tailored to the pandemic and to the holiday season. 

Meanwhile, brands should not lose focus on their loyal base. Remind customers what makes your brand special with regular communication and messaging that conveys a solid grasp on current events and emphasizes gratitude for their continued patronage. Building a positive, emotional relationship with customers is one of the strongest moves that businesses can make during this difficult time.

Businesses should also keep in mind that Q1 has become an important shopping season in itself, and extending campaigns into the beginning of 2021 can bring significant returns. Most platforms allow for 180 days of audience data storage, providing a perfect opportunity to retarget and remarket when costs per impression are much lower. 

CBD marketing 101

Given the added hurdles of marketing CBD products, success during the holidays will depend on a clear understanding of where you can advertise, where you can’t, and where it may not be worth it in the first place. 

Most importantly, CBD brands will run into problems advertising on Facebook and Google. While it was reported that Facebook lifted their ban on CBD ads, in practice compliance with their rules can be very difficult, with the rules themselves changing quickly. And though Google does seem to be trending in the right direction, neither platform is worth the risk at this time. 

CBD marketers can also make mistakes when it comes to targeting. While there is overlap with THC audiences, keep in mind that consumers use the two products for very different reasons. Rather than promoting CBD to the same audiences that use recreational THC, fine tune targeting to focus on fitness and health management audiences. 

Despite these pitfalls, marketers can find more fertile ground with programmatic, social, and search marketing. 

  1. Programmatic 

When it comes to CBD marketing, programmatic benefits from much easier compliance and limited regulation compared to other forms of digital advertising. With a multichannel approach, programmatic empowers marketers to find nearly anyone across platforms. Focus on leveraging multiple ad types, including display, native, programmatic audio, preroll, and connected TV, to capture the full benefits of programmatic campaigns. 

       2. Search

While CBD brands are not able to use paid search, organic search will be a cornerstone of effective digital marketing and lead-generation. Consider content marketing at each stage of the funnel, and when structuring campaigns consider three rules: Who do you want to reach? What do you want to say? And what do you want audiences to do?

When creating content, high-quality educational material is the gold standard. Focus on differentiators such as price or quality, and remember that great content itself can be a differentiator.

        3. Social

Social compliance can be incredibly challenging – however, Snapchat may be one worth pursuing. Though it’s technically complicated to market CBD on the platform, when done correctly these ads can have an impressive impact, with as much as fifteen to seventeen dollar return on ad spend. Snapchat also has a number of new tools for advertisers, such as AR/VR, brand profiles, dynamic ads, and the Snapchat audience network.

No effective marketing campaign is complete without a strategy to meaningfully track success. Keep a close eye on the actual dollars and cents being spent on advertising — and how they translate into ROAs — as well as metrics such as attribution and spend from each channel. 

Meanwhile, keep in mind that CBD customers can be much more loyal than most other CPG categories. Metrics such as predictive lifetime value, cost of new email sign-ups, and net new people are efficient means to gather and retain a loyal base. 

Holiday marketing is about working smarter, not harder. This is doubly true for CBD brands, who can tie themselves into knots solving compliance problems and never get a solid foot out the door. Use this as a guide to help simplify holiday marketing during COVID-19, and spend ad budgets with confidence. 

Scott Waldman is a Senior Account Executive at digital marketing agency Adtaxi. A native Californian, he graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to joining Adtaxi, Scott has dedicated himself to numerous industries focused on sales & marketing pursuits for various verticals over the last 18 years including e-commerce, CBD, Consumer Electronics, Education, Health & Beauty, Automotive, Tech, Brick & Mortar retail, and numerous others. Scott enjoys travel and cooking in his spare time and believes that helping other people is the key to accomplishing your goals.


StaffStaffSeptember 22, 2020
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5min4560

El Planteo, a Spanish-language media outlet dedicated to delivering news on cannabis, hemp, CBD, psychedelics, gender issues, ecology, investing, local culture, trends, and more, announced its official launch in partnership with Benzinga, a dynamic and innovative financial media outlet that empowers investors with high-quality, unique content, coveted by Wall Street’s top traders.

“We noticed a lack of good financial content related to emerging industries and progressive topics in the Spanish-speaking world. Being from Argentina, I felt like we had to be pioneers in this space, providing a young readership in Latin America and Spain with information on business, finance, and culture,” said Javier Hasse, CEO, and Co-Founder of El Planteo. “We want to engage our readers with interesting, diverse content, while also empowering them to build their own businesses and invest in others.”

With a potential adult-use market of over 500 million people, a patient population close to 5 million, and low production costs, Latin America is quickly becoming one of the most significant cannabis markets in the world. According to a 2018 study by Prohibition Partners, the combined adult-use and medical cannabis market in Latin America is expected to reach $12.7 billion by 2028. El Planteo is headquartered in Argentina, with offices in Detroit and Los Angeles. The outlet is bridging the gap in knowledge and technology between first-world countries and developing nations in regards to sustainability and green alternatives.

Recognizing the importance of this rapidly developing market, Benzinga teamed up with cannabis journalist and best-selling book author Javier Hasse, who currently serves as Managing Director of Benzinga Cannabis, to create a platform where Latin American readers and entrepreneurs can stay up to date about industry news and trends, culture, investing tips, and much more more.

“When we brought up the idea of expanding into the Spanish-language market, Javier mentioned he had a project of his own that needed funding. After analyzing the idea, market potential and necessary budget, we decided this would be a great course of action to supplement our larger Spanish offering through Benzinga España, with a more locally-focused media outlet, El Planteo,” added Benzinga CEO Jason Raznick.

Initially released as a beta test, El Planteo has proven to be extremely successful, with very strong traffic (doubling consistently month over month over the last six months) and a large amount of content, both original and translated from a long list of media partners around the world.

El Planteo’s content has been republished on Benzinga, High Times, Forbes Argentina, Investing.com, Ámbito Financiero, Flipboard, Yahoo, and others. Content partners include Benzinga, DoubleBlind Magazine, Confident Cannabis, Goldleaf, Pick Up The Fork, Flowertown, Green Market Report, Aunt Zelda’s, The Medical Cannabis Community, Weedmaps, The Cannigma, Hoban Law Group, Cannabis & Tech Today, and others.

Green Market Report provides some content to El Planteo.


Cynthia SalarizadehCynthia SalarizadehSeptember 18, 2020
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4min3800

Haus of Jane announces Women in Plant Medicine Virtual Summit! to be held on September 30, 2020. The online event brings together women working in the stigmatized plant medicine industry to build community, network for business and inspire political activism. Tickets are on sale now: http://hausofjane.com

“By bringing women together on a global level we have the opportunity to make our voices heard politically, find the support we need in growing our businesses and strengthen the women’s movement at home,” Kyra Reed, Co Founder, Haus of Jane. ‘The event will be packed with opportunities to network, make friends and build community.”

What: Haus of Jane is hosting women in a virtual environment that facilitates networking, education and engagement on a dynamic platform.
When: September 30, 2020 –10 am PT to 6 pm PT
Where: Online, sign up now: http://hausofjane.com

Guests will find a DJ on the Main Stage, Salons type group networking and over 30 presentations to learn about how women in plant medicine are advancing the industries in which they work.

“Whether you are new to plant medicine as a career and you’ve been leading the charge against prohibition for decades, you’ll find inspiration, new information and a community of like minded women to explore how plant medicine can heal the world,” added Reed.

Haus of Jane Co-Founder, Lisa Snyder, adds, “It is imperative as women that we take this opportunity to strategize and unify with an intentional desire to connect with like minded individuals who support global health and the well-being of all humans on this planet.”

Many well-respected industry leaders are showing resounding support for the Haus of Jane community including White Buffalo SpiritMCS Accounting ServicesCannasitePotencyACS LaboratoryNternal / XternalClark Howell & Barbari.

“The Women In Plant Medicine Summit is produced and curated by women working in cannabis with the goal of creating a virtual conference that fosters conversation, establishes unity among women in the industry and informs with real, raw presentations on science, policy and what it means to be a woman working in stigmatized plant medicines,” explained Snyder. “Whether you’re new to plant medicine as a career or you’ve been leading the charge against prohibition for decades, you’ll find inspiration, new information and a community of like minded women to explore how plant medicine can heal the world.”

Haus of Jane is an events series focused on creating networking experiences for women in cannabis. Founded as a collaboration between Women Empowered in Cannabis and Tokeativity.


StaffStaffSeptember 15, 2020
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3min2950

Cannabis is one of the fastest growing markets in the United States, employing thousands of workers and generating billions of dollars in sales revenue. Nevertheless, federal law still considers the industry an illicit market, making it difficult for even the most successful of cannabis brands to raise money. One of the ways the cannabis industry has adapted to this frustrating reality is through Shark Tank-style pitch events where companies pitch their brand to interested investors.

One such event is Retail Alchemy. Hosted by the cannabis-focused brokerage firm Cannabis10x, the event offers to open their “inner sanctum of investors” to a host of cannabis brands hoping to secure critical funding and win the ever-coveted Cannabis Crown. 

The pitch contest will take place in two stage. The first event, scheduled to take place on September 16,2020, will feature 40 cannabis brands, selected by Cannbis10x founders Jason Tropf and Holly A. Ford, who will have two minutes to make their pitch to judges. From there, the Top 15 brands selected by the judges will go on to the finals, scheduled to take place on September 26, 2020.

In addition to high net-worth investors and hungry cannabis brands, Retail Alchemy will feature cannabis legend Cheechr Marin, who will deliver the keynote address along with Tropf and Ford. While any event featuring Marin promises to include his signature style of comedy, Tropf says that events will deliver more than just laughs. 

“Pitch events like Retail Alchemy are always a lot of fun, but there’s more to it than that,” says Tropf. “The cannabis industry has an unprecedented opportunity to empower the public and raise our collective consciousness, and that’s something we take seriously.”

Tropf goes on to say he expects Retail Alchemy to carry on the success that previous events organized by Cannabis10X has enjoyed. Earlier this summer, Cannabis10x hosted another pitch event which attracted a collection of investors worth a collective trillion dollars and an international audience spanning 14 countries. 

 


StaffStaffSeptember 12, 2020
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3min6680

New Jersey: Ballot Advocacy Using Banner Planes

  • New Jersey votes on cannabis legalization in less than two months and entrepreneurs are getting creative to get-out-the-vote.
  • Educational events company Accelerate Cannabis is flying planes over the Jersey Shore to redirect public attention to advocacy groups and legalization messaging.
  • The State only has a handful of fully-vertical MSO’s currently and legalization will open the market to the industry at-large.

In less than two months, New Jersey voters might start a chain reaction on the East Coast to legalize cannabis and create a fertile market sandwiched between New York and Philadelphia – that is, if nothing goes wrong for advocates clinging to a close polling margin.

“It’s so easy to get trapped just talking to people on our side,” said Ellie Siegel, producer of Accelerate Cannabis events and lead sponsor for the Aerial Advocacy Campaign, “we needed a way to reach millions in the State with clear reasons why they should ‘Vote Yes’ and to tell everyone they know to make it down-ballot to the referendum.”

With social distancing in effect, Siegel sees this campaign as a way for businesses to reach both everyday voters and industry actors, “webinars and virtual conferences don’t tend to attract newcomers in the same way and as New Jersey becomes one of the hottest markets in the world, our mission has been to educate and create a sophisticated network of service providers and advocates who are ready for expansion.”

From 500 ft in the air, six feet of separation seemed to matter less as visitors flocked to the Jersey Shore over Labor Day Weekend. Accelerate Cannabis is flying a banner again this Saturday to keep the momentum going and hopes to continue mass market advocacy as the season changes.

Supporters of the Aerial Advocacy Campaign include Longview Strategic, an industry consulting firm focused on licensing and expanding emerging markets, as well as Women Grow, a female-led cannabis networking community, and Trichome Analytical, a local testing lab in the State. “We are all coming together to draw attention to the advocacy efforts of #NJCAN2020,” Siegel continued, “this coalition has been formed by people who have dedicated their careers to trying to get legalization right and we want the public to turn to them for information and resources about the ballot question.”

The campaign also links to Headcount’s Cannabis Voter Project, a multi-tiered effort through the entertainment industry to get-out-the-vote. With fewer venues, concerts, and live events offering spaces for mass market advocacy, people are finding new ways to support the legalization message and remain socially distant.


StaffStaffJuly 10, 2020
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5min8701

Four former senior staffers at High Times Magazine have partnered with Northwest Leaf Magazine to launch Northeast Leaf, a free monthly print magazine focused on the growing Cannabis communities and businesses in the eight states of the region. Making the move from High Times are Former Senior Cultivation Editor Dan Vinkovetsky (previously known as Danny Danko), Editor-In-Chief Michael Gianakos, Director of Technology Pete Thompson, and Advertising Executive Michael Czerhoniak.

Distribution is planned for September 2020, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine will be represented. Northwest Leaf is a ten-year media brand that is currently publishing in five markets covering California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Maryland.

Leaf Nation Founder & Publisher Wes Abney says, “With targeted media showing no signs of losing relevance, we’re elated for this opportunity to bring such an amazing stable of proven veterans into the Leaf family. The world needs honest Cannabis education and entertainment and it is our promise to stay true to the plant and the people as we grow the Leaf Nation into the global leader for Cannabis journalism.”

Dream Team

The team that Northeast leaf has assembled comes with a stellar pedigree. Gianakos was the former Editor-in-Chief of High Times from 2006-2020. He is the co-host and producer of Grow Bud Yourself! podcast. Danny “Danko” Vinkovetsky has written about cannabis for over 18 years at High Times and was most recently the Senior Cultivation Editor. He is the author of The Official High Times Field Guide to Marijuana Strains and Cannabis: A Beginners Guide to Growing Marijuana.

Vinkovetsky said, “With several popular magazines all having gone out of print, it makes perfect sense for us to continue our passion for the written word with such a respected, proven brand as The Leaf. And I love that it’s free to the public!”

Co-owner of The leaf and former syndicated radio personality, Mike Ricker, also shared in the merriment. “I’m elated to bring my 20 years of corporate broadcast experience to the next level as we expand our magazines, multimedia platforms, podcasts, and world-class events while building the most revered brand in the blooming Cannabis industry and beyond!” Ricker received the Billboard Award for Rock radio Personality of the Year in Seattle in 2008.

Rounding out the team, Thompson was the digital director at High Times from 2013-2014 and Black was a 21-year veteran of High Times. Black is the host of the podcast Blazin’ With Bobby Black and the Co-founder of High Way Travel. Czerhoniak was the advertising director at High Times for 15 years and is currently the Registration & Event Director for CHAMPS Trade shows.


StaffStaffJune 30, 2020
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4min15520

HBO Max has become the latest production company to use cannabis products as a marketing tool. The company is partnering with Sunderstorm’s Kanha Cannabis Infused Gummies and online cannabis marketplace Eaze to launch a collection of character-inspired CLOSE ENOUGH edibles.

“Close Enough, is a surreal animated comedy about a married couple, their five-year-old daughter, and their two divorced best friends/roommates all living together on the east side of Los Angeles. The series is from the creator  JG Quintel, creator of the Emmy Award-winning “Regular Show” and begins streaming on July 9.

“Kanha’s partnership with HBO Max is an exciting opportunity to showcase our delicious, award-winning gummies to a brand new audience,” says Cameron Clarke, CEO of Sunderstorm the parent company of Kanha. “We can’t think of a more playful, fun collaboration to announce to our fiercely loyal fans. We’re thrilled to partner with one of entertainment’s biggest media giants to help bring the adult characters in their new show to life through our gummy flavors and profiles.”

The Close Enough collection is inspired by each of the adult characters in the series. The products are marketed in for moods like relax based on the character Josh, get things done like Emily, get lost in thought like Alex, or be a social butterfly like Bridgette.

“It has been so thrilling for my team and I to create a campaign that feels so authentic to Close Enough,” said Peter Sherman, SVP of Program Marketing at HBO Max. “When crafting any campaign, our aim is always to create an experience for the audience that feels genuine and exciting, and this partnership with Kanha hits the nail on the head. We’re so excited about this one and we can’t wait to see how fans react.”

Starting on June 29 and through the end of July, while supplies last, Close Enough Cannabis-Infused Gummies are available at over 20 select, licensed retailers in California. They will also be available for purchase and delivery via Eaze in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego throughout the month of July, while supplies last.


Kaitlin DomangueKaitlin DomangueJune 11, 2020
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6min9030
Several cannabis companies aspire to be luxury brands but without the proper creative talent, the marketing can fall flat. In the traditional consumer packaged goods market, the look and feel of a luxury brand are remarkably different from a middle-market brand and that can often be attributed to the hiring of a marketing agency that specializes in luxury brands.
The cannabis industry now has its own creative agency that was launched to specifically market luxury cannabis brands. The new ETHEREAL understands the specific DNA of luxury packaging and marketing. The founders are four creatives with an extensive background in the luxury and lifestyle categories – Creative Director/Designer John Mamus, Photographer/Videographer Pablo Aguilar, Creative Director/Writer Tod Brilliant, and Managing Director Masako DiDio.
“The cannabis industry is growing at lightspeed, but it has yet to firmly establish itself in the luxury marketplace,” says John Mamus. “The opportunity is massive, and we have the passion and experience to help the most forward-thinking brands take full advantage. ETHEREAL is nimble and purpose-built for creative excellence, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.”
Mamus founded the boutique high-end creative agency MAMUS (mamuscreative.com) in 2007. With a focus on Luxury (automotive, private jets, textiles) and now cannabis, Deep Technology (low-earth-orbit satellites, augmented reality, sovereign identity, the blockchain, and digital assets) and Retail (high-end food, cosmetics). Pablo Aguilar is an award-winning photographer/videographer. Pablo and his team have created iconic images for brands such as Adidas, Fila, Vibe, Complex Mag, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, Snoop, and many more.
Tod Brilliant is a deeply experienced writer and creative director. Over the years, he has developed projects for larger brands like Amazon, Samsung, MTV, Converse, Microsoft, and L’Oreal. Masako Didio has an extensive brand and leadership experience with brands such as Maison Dior and Burberry. She has intellectual property and management experience through her work with MAMUS CREATIVE. No stranger to the cannabis industry, Didio has also worked with Asha, TSO Sonoma, Major, and Seven Vices.
The group will be applying the techniques gained from working with some of the most recognized and successful premium brands in the consumer world. They have worked with Mercedes-Benz, BMW Motorrad, Burberry, Fortune, Adidas, FILA, Dior, Whole Foods Market, Starwood Resorts and Hotels Worldwide, ICON 4×4, Flont, and Richemont.
Luxury branding and marketing aren’t just expensive looking pictures with skinny models. It’s about creating a feeling that emotionally touches the consumer. If successful, the consumer in turn feels like they deserve such a luxury whether their income supports the purchase or not.
Beyond the image work, Ethereal is a thoroughly modern outfit that combines emerging technologies and strategic intelligence with all the usual tools of branding like visuals, brand strategy, and public relations. Beyond the image, cannabis companies are also subjected to onerous restrictions when it comes to presenting themselves to the public. Ethereal brings to its client’s compliance and regulatory insight through their work with global pharmaceutical brands such as Pfizer, Novartis, Innocoll, and Astra Zeneca.
The company’s style is already setting luxury cannabis brands apart from its peers. Some of the agency’s cannabis industry clients include House of Saka, Van Doran, Major Flower, TSO Sonoma, D’Fleur, Seven Vices, Asha and Klaus.
“Ethereal represents the opportunity to augment one-stop solutions to the often vexing cannabis language in a crisp and forthright manner. While launching Klaus Apothecaire, John Mamus is the ringmaster, conceptualizing and solving the most challenging of conundrums in real time. I couldn’t have done it without him and his team,” explained Warren Bobrow, co-founder of Klaus Apothecaire and known globally as the Cocktail Whisperer.

Video StaffVideo StaffMay 20, 2020
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3min7090

AxisWire, the first newswire distribution service and digital PR tech-suite dedicated solely to the cannabis industry, and Green Market Report (GMR), the cannabis industry’s source for credible in-depth financial reporting, have announced The State of Cannabis Media 2020 virtual conference.

The following people participated:

Jeremy Berke (Business Insider) Will discuss how brands can pitch directly to media if they can’t afford PR on a temporary basis
Terry Stanley (AdWeek) Will discuss the state of advertising and how ad budgets have been cut
Heather Cabot (Forbes & author of The New Chardonnay) Story focus and what readers are looking for during the pandemic
Warren Bobrow (Forbes) Story focus during the pandemic
Javier Hasse (Benzinga & El Planteo) Story focus during the pandemic and pitching writers directly
John Schroyer (MJ Biz Daily) Talking about pitching cannabis media
Rosie Mattio (Mattio Communications) Crisis communications and staying active in the media as other companies go quiet
Gia Moron (GVM Communications) Retaining clients in a challenging atmosphere
Lewis Goldberg (KCSA) The state of public relations among cannabis companies

“Events were the main source of exposure for cannabis brands as advertising remains largely off-limits to our industry,” explained AxisWire & Green Market Report co-founder Cynthia Salarizadeh. “When this pandemic took over, it left our industry and most cannabis brands who do not have the support of a public relations firm without many options. We felt the best way for us to provide some guidance was to create a free virtual event where brands can hear directly from journalists and PR professionals about how to navigate during these times.”

“Online screen time has increased as many of us are in various states of lockdown, which has increased the demand for content. Unfortunately, media companies have been forced to scale back as a result of the pandemic creating huge disruption in the supply and demand for news,” said Green Market Report CEO and Co-founder Debra Borchardt. “We believed that an event like this was needed as we all pivot and adapt to a new normal in the cannabis industry. We are stronger together.”


Kyra ReedKyra ReedMay 14, 2020
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12min12320

Welcome to the New Video Age

In early-March Google and Apple issued some of the first work from home orders in corporate America. This was soon followed by announcements that the biggest conferences and festivals of the year, SXSW, Coachella, E3, were canceling or indefinitely postponing dates. The business world found itself, suddenly and unexpectedly, faced with figuring out two major issues: how to keep employees motivated and focused from home and how to reach consumers, vendors and other essential relationships necessary to survive. 

For marketers, it signaled a dynamic shift into a space they’ve been advocating for years – Video. Video conferencing, live streaming, and on demand are powerful tools to reach an endless audience, around the world, 24/7.  Marketing professionals have been preparing for this explosion of use for years. 

Video platforms like Zoom and Skype have been tools for marketers for nearly a decade but failed to replace the in person experiences for most companies. From in house meetings to conferences and networking events, companies have relied heavily on these interactions to conduct their business. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic they’re now forced to pivot and find ways to integrate video into all human contact required touchpoints of the business. 

How The Cannabis Industry is Using Video 

The plant-touching part of the cannabis industry requires 100% person to person contact to survive. The products cannot be digitized. Fortunately it has been determined to be an essential business for most legal states enabling farmers, manufacturers, testing and retailers to continue conducting business. 

However, precautionary measures will need to be taken for an indefinite period of time in all aspects of the business. Cannabis will need to pivot to using video tools and platforms for training staff, connecting with suppliers, networking and consumer education. For an industry reluctant to invest too heavily in technology or reaching an audience that extends beyond city or state lines, the transition to video will be a challenge to execute but promises, for those who do it right, to catapult their brand recognition and reach.

Times of great change require nimble and creative thinking and the cannabis industry is proving to be innovators in the multiple ways to employ video to stay connected and solve new business problems that are arising with social distancing and limits on gathering size. 

California Central Valley Cannabis sales rep Amanda Soens realized she needed to find a way to stay in front of customers to keep her brands top of mind so she conceived the idea of  a “Virtual Demo.” A laptop sits on the demo table streaming Amanda from her living room. Products are laid out near the computer for customers to examine and discuss with her, on the spot. She can answer technical questions, educate on the benefits of the products and hold the customers hand through the selection process. The customers have found it to be a fun way to engage and the dispensaries willing to give it a try are thrilled with the results so far.

Hemp seed company Kayagene found themselves at a critical point when the COVID shutdown happened. It was time to put seed in the ground and potential customers weren’t returning calls. The Head of Product Portfolio, George Workman, took everything the company learned in the field last year and turned it into webinars to educate farmers interested in growing hemp. He was blown away by the number of attendees, their questions and their interest in learning more about how to grow a high yield hemp crop.

The State of Cannabis Conference, a mainstay California conference for policy updates, idea exchange and networking, has created two virtual experiences to keep their audience engaged. Susan Sores, CEO and Founder of The State of Cannabis describes the  event as a Full Spectrum Conference Experience. She was quick to transition not only the conference online, which had over 700 attendees, but she’s also launched a weekly  happy hour/sesh  via Zoom. Susan believes online experiences will ultimately provide better ROI for sponsors and content for attendees. 

A popular networking event for women, Haus of Jane, had several parties planned at conferences around the country. When it was clear the events would be canceled they had to rethink their entire strategy. Co Founder Samantha Montanaro discovered that there was a real need for women to connect with one another and keep the business contacts flowing. They found a technology that allows them to host a range of dynamic events and have been able to  expand their reach around the world. Haus of Jane has built a series of speed networking events for women and is planning an International Women’s summit for July of 2020. Their first two events brought over 250 women and they have expect to double that with their next event. 

How to Produce a Successful Cannabis Virtual Event

Video has the potential to revolutionize the way we do business but it must be executed on the appropriate platform (venue) with a professional approach. Lisa Caperello-Snyder, a digital event producer and Co Founder of Tokeativity,  provided insight on how to choose where to host an online event. “Finding the right digital venue is as important online as it is in the real world. It’s ridiculous to host a fancy 200 person wedding in a dive bar. The same is true when it comes to choosing a platform for your virtual experience.” She provided this list to keep at hand to help sort through all the options:

  • Is the event Free or Paid?
  • Is it for the public or invite only?
  • How many tickets/attendees?
  • Will guests be on screen, if so how many?
  • Is group interaction part of the event? (Will people talk one on one or many listening to one or more?)
  • Is a chat function for questions required?
  • Will there be VIPs?

[Curious what event tool might work best for you? Take the quiz at howtohostavirtualevent.com]

The rules of professional engagement are different with video and require more attention to detail than an in person exchange. Kendra Losee, CEO of Mota Marketing,  recommends being very strategic in how you approach video. “The content needs to be well thought out with a clear message and outcome for the audience. It’s easy for a video conference to turn into a free for all without the proper guidelines. Once the content is nailed down the next thing necessary for a really smooth experience is the environment where you are broadcasting. Good lighting, sound and background are all critical for your viewers to see and hear you and not get distracted by lighting or sound issues.”

Video will never replace human interaction but it provides the cannabis industry an invaluable tool to continue business as usual in highly unusual circumstances. Brands that are nervous about jumping in can start small with inter office meetings via Zoom or Skype. Get comfortable in the environment and hire a professional who can help with a plan and make sure that simple missteps that can lead to disaster – can be averted. 

This is just the beginning of the video age and the innovative cannabis businesses who are willing to experiment with the technology will be better equipped to deal with the times ahead. 

 



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