Examples of CBD marketing debacles and successes


The legality and effects of CBD use have always raised questions, especially with the popularity it has accrued particularly amongst millennials. CBD use is associated with a long list of health benefits that include treating anxiety, gut health conditions, and epilepsy. Additionally, it holds a promising economic future as most business analysts are hinting towards its growth into a billion-dollar industry by the year 2026. However, cannabis industry still brings some pitfalls for marketers.

In California, for example, radio, cable, print, and digital ads can only be shown where at least 71.6% of the audience is expected to be over the age of 21. Facebook’s ad policy states that “Ads must not promote the sale or use of illegal, prescription, or recreational drugs,” which includes cannabis. As such, companies are often forced to get creative and resourceful in their marketing in order to make a name for themselves and drive consumer interest. 

The industry growth over the years has seen some marketing failures and successes. Keep reading to figure out how to eliminate the common pitfalls and make your cannabis business thrive.

Marketing marijuana-derived CBD

A table with the WEED advertisement.
Successful CBD marketing should focus on the benefits of CBD products.

The advertisement of marijuana-derived CBD products is usually at the very top of the list of things that connote failure in CBD marketing. Given that marijuana may have obtained full legality in a good number of states, its psychoactive aspects are still considered outlawed. This would inevitably make all marijuana-based products, including marijuana-based CBD products illegal. In this context, if you choose to pursue the advertisement of marijuana-derived CBD products, get ready for a brawl with government oversight authorities such as the FDA.

For successful CBD marketing, individuals who want to venture into the CBD enterprise should focus mainly on dealing with hemp-based CBD products. This recommendation is informed by the fact that hemp has no THC, which usually bears the psychoactive effect of marijuana that confers the substance’s illegal status in the US thus making hemp-derived CBD products legal across the whole nation. Additionally, CBD marketers who provide marijuana-derived CBD products should let that information be known to customers in person.

Want to get examples about the most typical failures and successes when it comes to marketing CBD? Go ahead!

FAILURE: False advertising

CBD arguably provides a variety of medical solutions to a long list of infections that affect a majority of the American population. Some even say that it may have the potential to produce an effective and longer-lasting solution for cancer patients. However, the FDA had to flag down some CBD products due to complaints from members of the public due to exaggerated medical prowess claims. More specifically, several companies were warned by the FDA over claims that their CBD products could cure several chronic conditions including:

  • Cancer
  • Acute mental health disorders
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Fibromyalgia

Such marketing failures have a prejudicial effect on the CBD market logistics. Although the substance has many health benefits, there’s a need for more research to ascertain the scope of CBD’s healing properties. However, it’s advisable that when marketing CBD products, you should focus on the general health benefits such as management of stress and anxiety as well as the sleep quality improvement element.

FAILURE: Including vague ingredient and additives lists

Bulbs with CBD products in them.
Some manufacturers add unwanted ingredients to CBD products.

First, the CBD industry is keen on a few consumer-related manufacturing features that keep the customer in the know on the composition of the product in use. As such, you should never have to ask yourself or have a hard time understanding the components of any CBD product. Sometimes CBD companies may use harmful substances during the manufacture of CBD-based vaporizers and oils. Such harmful substances include cough medicine ingredients that may have serious consequences on your heart, including an irregular heartbeat.

As aforementioned, you may find some CBD products with cough medicine ingredients with the most commonly used ingredient being dextromethorphan or DXM. Apart from that, while sticking to the packaging front of CBD products, some marketers may fail to indicate the amount in milligrams that a consumer should buy. This also encompasses failure when it comes to CBD marketing. Additionally, consumers should look out for the physical locations of the manufacturers of CBD products since the methods of cultivation of hemp plants differ from one country to the other. This difference affects the quality of the final product.

FAILURE: Walking away from the initial market

The point of marketing is to increase your sales, which in turn increases your profit margin. However, even though elevated profit margins or a general increase in business is nothing to frown about, some CBD marketers tend to desert their initial and loyal customers after the market size has increased. This in itself denotes CBD marketing failure since it leaves the business vulnerable to unexpected market fluctuations.

While at it, you may make use of reward programs for some of your loyal clients. For instance, one CBD company offers free shipping services to its loyal and frequent consumers, a move that allows such customers to embrace bulk buying. This same company also offers access to limited-run products through a customer loyalty program. 

The above are a few examples of CBD marketing failures. However, below is a list of examples that denote CBD marketing success.

SUCCESS: Extensive market research

First, this particular CBD marketing aspect stands for all marketing activities. You should have deep knowledge and understanding of the CBD market structure. People who are just at the preliminary stages of the CBD business tend to assume that this market is specifically for sickly persons in need of new treatment regimens or just the common marijuana enthusiast. Your market considerations should be focused on demographic aspects such as: 

  • age
  • income
  • level of education
  • gender

Also, be keen on your target audience’s communication preferences as well as their beliefs, attitudes, and personalities. By identifying the above elements, you’ve created a buyer persona and completed the first step of market research. 

New CBD companies need to conduct competitive analyses to identify ways they may outdo similar companies. This analysis may involve manipulating the price disparities based on market assessments. However, pervasive market research once helped a CBD marketing agency discover a completely new market after analyzing the site’s visitation statistics. It found that even though their primary market was millennials, persons above the age of 55 years were responsible for nearly double the profits made.

SUCCESS: Social media marketing

A screen of a smartphone with the social networks icons.
Social media channels cannot be overestimated in terms of CBD marketing.

Social media is one of the highly treasured modern-day inventions. There's no doubt that its functions are limitless. These functions may also apply to CBD marketing and when used efficiently, social media platforms for CBD marketing guarantees positive marketing outcomes. CBD marketing could take many forms although the effective ones include the use of social media influencers. Influencers are a better marketing choice for CBD products because major social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat are very conservative when it comes to people using the platforms to market CBD products.

When venturing into this sort of marketing, you need to ensure that your company has already set up a social media account and that your products are strictly hemp-based. After marking this off your checklist, begin looking for an influencer based on your target market expectations. If you are having trouble finding influencers, visit Instagram or YouTube, since these sites are rife with them. Additionally, other online CBD marketing strategies you may utilize include the use of affiliate network marketing techniques, Search Engine Optimizations, and email marketing.

SUCCESS: Creating quality content and products

A heart made of cannabis hemp.
No marketing campaign will ever make your product popular if it's not of high quality.

No matter how pleasing your marketing campaigns may be, the quality of your product is what determines whether your customers will remain loyal. Therefore, you should be keen on certain features of your CBD product, including the concentration, whereby it shouldn’t be too high or too low. The guideline for the acceptable CBD concentrations is available from the FDA. Also, as previously stated, you should indicate the number of ingredients and the amount used when manufacturing the product. Apart from that, all CBD products manufacturers should depict any side effects that may arise from the use of the product, and indicate dosage requirements. Products that adhere to such precautions inspire public trust hence more sales and profits.

After having cutting-edge products, you should similarly identify ways to improve your social marketing impact. This requires that you put adequate consideration into the kind of content you use to market your CBD products. You could use blogs, images, or videos to create marketing content. However, the success of your marketing campaign will hugely rely on the:

  • Quality of videos and photos
  • Constantly updated blog
  • General educative customer strategy through your content

 Quality marketing content may be conferred by the use of authentic promotion materials, which implies that you may create your content and market your enterprise by focusing on the originality of your work. Alternatively, you may use CBD marketing professionals available online to create high standard content on your behalf.

Solver Author: Solver

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