Brands and dispensary operators have grown accustomed to hearing “no” when it comes to many new-age marketing tactics. Fortunately, a more enlightened way to approach customer acquisition in the cannabis industry exists.
In the hyper-competitive space, customer attention is a finite resource, making it critical to interact with customers at every possible touchpoint along the buyer’s journey. Enlighten accomplishes this through digital advertising, retail outlets, and events.
“For brands, Enlighten’s platform is the portal to the cannabis consumer,” Chairman Jeremy Jacobs said. “Each solution can be utilized and built upon to reach that buyer at every stage of their journey.”
One of the touchpoints, digital advertising, represents an essential yet often elusive opportunity. Spending valuable time building a Facebook or Google campaign only to have it rejected can be as deflating as a punch to the gut. Enlighten’s AdSuite helps users disseminate their messages to top websites, mobile apps, and dispensary screens, ensuring they never waste time in fruitless pursuits.
Even when they accept cannabis ads, mainstream advertising platforms can be confusing to use and provide clients with little assistance in targeting the consumers most likely to respond to cannabis campaigns. Enlighten’s AdSuite alleviates those issues by drawing on the company’s extensive data not only about consumer interests, but also about the mainstream websites they visit. The platform connects brands to known cannabis consumers, reducing frustration and conserving budget.
According to Jacobs, the difference between a successful mainstream cannabis placement and failure is compliance. “Compliance in cannabis advertising means eliminating risk exposure for publications and brands,” he said. “Enlighten targets known cannabis consumers, identifying those consumers and leveraging data from various sources including partnerships and our proprietary, sophisticated technology. We make those connections simple, effective, and compliant—not just cannabis-compliant but also marketing-compliant. No personally identifiable information is shared.”
AdSuite has successfully placed cannabis ads with major brands and publications including Men’s Health, GQ, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Sports Illustrated, Cosmopolitan, USA Today, and Major League Baseball. The system also enables direct placement on Enlighten’s robust Dispensary TV, an in-store channel providing video information, education, and entertainment and a guaranteed way to ensure ads are seen by consumers most likely to purchase cannabis products.
Enlighten also harnesses advanced data to help boost profits by allowing clients to “walk in their customers’ shoes”—literally. Interactions between customers and staff on a dispensary’s floor are informative but limited. Enlighten provides travel patterns inside and outside retail dispensary shops. The information can open a host of opportunities to target both loyal and lapsed customers based on historical travel patterns. Dispensaries find that aspect of the platform particularly useful, because it allows them to take market share from competitors by “conquering highly trafficked paths” using billboards and other out-of-home channels.
“The transparency in the reporting and metrics Enlighten offers is crucial information for business owners because it is actionable and unique in the cannabis space,” Jacobs said. “Utilizing tools like pixels and technologies such as polygonning along with providing advanced reporting allows those business operators to target and retarget verified consumers and develop a long-term, strategic approach.”
Once a base of ideal customers has been established, the platform also allows brands and dispensaries to increase market penetration by targeting not only those they already reach, but also “lookalikes” who behave in similar ways.
Though data informs everything Enlighten does, the company also provides a surprising—and surprisingly effective—real-world opportunity. Events long have been the go-to method for interacting with existing customers and acquiring new ones. As the pandemic recedes, in-person events are poised to bounce back in a major way. Enlighten’s Real CannaBus—a recent addition to the company’s arsenal—is a conversation and party starter.
“The Real CannaBus is a unique and powerful multidimensional marketing tool for Enlighten and our customers,” Jacobs said. “Whether we are using it to demonstrate our services or a brand sponsors it to promote their own products, we wanted to provide a medium to interact directly with cannabis and cannacurious consumers.
The bus is about to go on tour, maximizing customer interaction and touchpoints and, really, to have some much-needed fun after a year of living in relative isolation. The timing could not be more perfect.