By Michael Halberstam, Chairman, ISA
Cannabis is having a moment. Increased legalization and growing acceptance are fueling the fastest-growing industry in the U.S. In addition to increasing in size, the market has grown in diversity. Women and Baby Boomers now comprise the fastest-growing segments, challenging assumptions about the “typical” cannabis consumer being young and male.
Research suggests that women and Baby Boomers are driving the surge in CBD sales, as both groups seek out relief from anxiety, sleep troubles and pain. Recent findings from SoapBoxSample’s CANNApinion Poll, a bi-monthly survey of 1000 US cannabis consumers, found that over 90% of those who use CBD for pain relief say it is at least somewhat effective. Additionally, 60% of CBD users polled by SoapBoxSample say they would use prescription drugs if they did not use CBD to treat their conditions.
Shifting demographics and evolving consumption habits pose challenges for multicultural marketers — and also unique opportunities. To create the marketing messages that feel authentic to this new audience, marketers should embrace generational inclusivity and diverse viewpoints. Marketing campaigns that shatter stereotypes and challenge traditional assumptions about cannabis consumers will break through the noise and deliver sustainable results.
Brands can connect with the modern cannabis consumer in a meaningful way by partnering with a research firm that specializes in cannabis consumers. This means going beyond traditional survey research to build detailed profiles of nontraditional cannabis consumer segments. A research company steeped in the cannabis business can help brands understand segments like “the Boomerang” (55+ users returning to cannabis due to legalization), or “the Tourist” (cannabis users who describe a visit to the dispensary as “like going to Disney World.”)
Rich data informs the creation of hyper relevant marketing campaigns. Innovative companies will use research to develop the next generation of their products and services by co-creating with their customers – and build a truly customer-centric brand in the process.