Marijuana marketing in Toronto is rapidly amplifying in scope and intensity as cannabis legalization becomes official next year in 2018. Much of this advertising activity takes place in print, given that social media sites like Facebook and Instagram heavily curtail promotion of cannabis products. In fact, as a reaction to the practically draconian attitude these social media networks exercise when it comes to marijuana marketing, many cannabis brands are flocking to alternative marketing media – prompting the CMO of an edibles company to note that “The No. 1 fastest media platform in this [cannabis] industry is print.”
This might tempt many up-and-coming cannabis brands to scramble to print advertising, fearing that valuable print ad space will be quickly swooped up by competitors. However, unbeknownst to many marijuana brands, this focus on print advertising actually carves out a glittering opportunity for cannabis businesses that are willing to forgo a heavy reliance on traditional marketing media – and, instead, become the vanguards of a cutting-edge and unapologetically innovative marijuana marketing approach.
That marketing approach goes by the name “experiential marketing.” So if you’re looking to create effective marijuana marketing campaigns in Toronto, then read on.
First, what exactly is experiential marketing? Experiential marketing consists of “marketing campaigns that begin with live, interactive brand experiences.” When a brand successfully immerses its target audiences in positive, fun, and thrilling experiences, the brand not only wins fierce loyalty from consumers, but also creates ardent brand advocates. And when it comes to long-term ROI, experiential marketing is overwhelmingly more effective than traditional advertising methods (including print) when it is used as a core part of the marketing mix. Obviously, all marketing channels should be integrated (instead of depending on only one marketing approach), but here we argue that marijuana companies should make experiential an inseverable nexus of their marketing and branding activities.
Further, experiential marketing doesn’t face the kind of anti-cannabis constraints that brands might encounter on social media or in many popular print publications. This makes it an extraordinarily flexible, agile marketing approach that isn’t tied down and shackled by highly specific requirements which is often encountered in both traditional and digital media.
Finally – and here is a key reason why the time is now for marijuana marketing in Toronto to adopt a largely experiential approach – not many cannabis companies are investing in live brand experiences. This is because the power of experiential marketing is not well-known to many traditional, more orthodox marketers. And this, in turn, means that brands that DO take the initiative – right now – to create powerful live brand experiences will have an impregnable long-term advantage over other cannabis brands which failed to use experiential. Since experiential marketing is the most effective way to create loyal brand advocates, those marijuana brands which use experiential marketing will win the undying loyalty of a large part of the cannabis consumer market – loyalty which non-experientially-oriented brands will have difficulty acquiring in the future. Thus, cannabis brands which make their Toronto marijuana marketing thoroughly experiential will have a solid foothold on a large part of the market, anchoring the brand firmly in the marketplace and blocking competitors from gaining a truly significant market share.