This is an exciting time for cannabis. The industry is growing, sales are increasing, the community is expanding, and there are positive legislative changes to look forward to worldwide. Given the better market opportunities, cannabis brands are investing more money in advertising, product innovation, and consumer education. In 2023, we'll likely see exciting new trends giving us a glimpse into the future of the business.
Let's take a closer look at these key trends and how they will shape the cannabis industry in 2023:
» TRADITIONAL ADVERTISING
Not every traditional marketing channel is a dead end for cannabis advertising. Out-of-home advertising, like billboards, is one of the few techniques cannabis brands can use without worrying that their ads will be taken down.
Isn't this method outdated? Of course it is, but it is so unexpected that it may just be what cannabis brands need. The downside of billboard advertising is that it's expensive, and campaign performance is challenging to measure, making market players hesitant to invest in it. Still, as companies are faced with few advertising opportunities and limitations to digital user tracking, out-of-home advertising is a channel worth exploring in 2023.
» WELLNESS MESSAGING
More and more people seek products and experiences because they make them feel good, often looking for natural alternatives to chemical and traditional drugs. Low-dose THC products are also booming as consumers turn to them for their health and wellness benefits. The greater the interest in these products, the less stigmatized other cannabinoids will become, providing companies with a great marketing opportunity to leverage.
This trend is driven by CBD, which has already established itself as a wellness product worldwide, giving more exposure to the cannabis category while helping remove the prejudices and stigma around it.
Cannabis brands can ride this wave by emphasizing the wellness benefits of their products. Of course, they can't make any guaranteed medical claims, but they can build their messaging around the wellness benefits and use creative ways to promote the medicinal uses of the plant.
» CELEBRITY PARTNERSHIPS
Cannabis brands must get creative in advertising their products, not only because of the regulatory and compliance hurdles they're facing but also because they cannot always leverage traditional advertising channels the same way as brands in other categories.
Digital channels would be great for cannabis brands to target their consumers effectively. However, platforms like Facebook and Instagram are not welcoming to the category, and they are left to seek new advertising opportunities. That's when things get exciting. When brands get creative, great projects can pop up, such as the four-episode series Tumbleweeds by Weedmaps, in which Killer Mike explores a new era of cannabis, giving exposure to the whole category.
Other players in the market have also dabbled in celebrity collaborations, and we see them teaming up with musicians and artists. Celebrity endorsements is a trend that will continue into 2023 as it builds consumer trust and strengthens the brand (and, of course, there's the coolness factor at play), even if it's not the most budget-friendly marketing tactic out there.
» PRODUCT INNOVATIONS
There is a growing interest in new cannabis products, prompting cannabis brands to invest in product innovations to entice their customers. Cannabis-infused products, edibles, and beverages mostly attract new customers who haven't tried cannabis before and find the flower intimidating at first. Companies recognizing and responding to this need, therefore, will be able to reach a broader consumer base.
When it comes to long-time customers, they may be less inclined to try cannabis-infused products, but they are all the more excited to test new cannabis strains with specific effects and flavor profiles. And thus, 2023 will also see an increase in the development of new strains as growers are experimenting with highly specialized products, and even personalized strains may become an exciting reality for some consumers.
» CONSUMER EDUCATION
Consumer education will be an essential aspect of marketing cannabis 2023 onward. Why? To remove the stigma associated with the sector, to emphasize that cannabinoids are safe to consume and that they won't create addiction. There are still too many preconceptions around the subject, so it's in the interest of all market players to make consumers aware of the product benefits while addressing their concerns and overcoming the stereotypes surrounding the business.
It is, therefore, essential to provide the public with information on the benefits, usage, and responsible dosage to ease their fears and help them make an informed decision about whether they want to try cannabis products. Based on the positively changing consumer attitudes, this strategy will possibly be successful, and we can expect greater public openness to cannabis products in 2023.
The interest in cannabis has never been stronger. The market is booming, sales are increasing, and more and more countries are open to legalizing it, making cannabis companies ready to ramp up their marketing spending. Even though they still face advertising limitations and regulatory and compliance hurdles, cannabis companies are experimenting with techniques like celebrity endorsement, billboard advertising, and consumer education to give more exposure to their products. Positively changing consumer attitudes and growing interest in cannabis as a wellness product will also prompt growers to invest in product innovation and develop specialized strains, making 2023 an exciting time for all cannabis enthusiasts.
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