Three CBD marketers explain why they turned to the pot


For Cannabis Month ™ here at Marketing Brew, we spoke to a lot cannabis traders. And while some of them ate, slept and smoking breathe cannabis throughout their careers, others are new to the space, from companies that sell more “traditional” products.

After having delved deeply into all the peculiarities and inconveniences of marketing a highly regulated product like cannabis (or CBD… or hemp…), we couldn’t help but ask ourselves: what is it? who would push someone to quit the relative simplicity of marketing a product like socks or weddings? , to launch their own brand of cannabis, which requires crossing a million legal hurdles just to broadcast a simple digital ad? We spoke with a few of these people to find out why they joined this industry and what they learned in the process.

Their answers below have been edited slightly for clarity.

David fudge

Past marketing gigs at Oasis Collections, Bonobos, Esquire magazine

Current role: co-founder and CEO of Aplós

A few years ago, Fudge led the marketing efforts at Bonobos, a trendy menswear brand. Now (after making pit stops in the hospitality industry and as a consultant) he spends his days working on Aplós, a brand of hemp-infused spirits that launched just over eight months ago. .

The greatest learning from past roles: Building trust with the customer is essential. This is important when selling any product, but it is crucial in cannabis because there is a ton of questionable products and misinformation.

Main difference between the previous positions and this one: The standard rules do not apply to cannabis. You have to be more resourceful, as many of the tools used to create modern brands (digital advertising, payment processors, etc.) are not always accessible to cannabis brands due to regulatory constraints and the policies of these companies. And the rules change frequently.

Why cannabis? The rate of growth and innovation in space is incredibly exciting, but I have also preferred cannabis as an alternative to alcohol for many years, so I have a personal interest in the plant. We are only at the beginning of a huge cultural shift underway in which consumers are rethinking the way they drink. Cannabis will be a big part of the cocktail party experience at the bar of the future, and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.

Amanda goetz

Past marketing gigs at Teal, The Knot

Current role: Co-founder and CEO of House of Wise

At The Knot, Goetz’s job was deceptively simple: promoting a product that much of American society (and even its government) encourages people to buy… marriage.

But the government and the part of society that probably includes your grandparents are not as supportive of his new venture. House of Wise is an affiliate marketing brand that sells some pretty sophisticated CBD products for women, including candy for stress, sleep, and sex.

Similarities between current and past concerts: Something that has been at the heart of my thesis when marketing to women – both through The Knot and now House of Wise – is that women look for ways to feel less guilty and ashamed of the things they are going through. in everyday life. With The Knot, for example, the guilt and shame came from wanting to do something for their weddings that was “not traditional,” or something their families might not approve of, like not taking traditional vows, or don’t let her father walk her down the aisle.

When I went to The Knot, I realized that our brand positioning didn’t speak to this woman, and that we had to help her feel supported in her decisions. This involved removing all the dos and don’ts from all of our content and editorial, and saying, “Here is Ten ways to walk down the aisle, ”or“ Do X, Y, and Z instead of just one. “

How his experience at The Knot inspires his work today: The Knot, aside from growing up with the feeling that I had to fit into a certain mold society dictated to me, definitely influenced the way I think about building brands for this next generation of women. This is why the House of Wise brand provides a space to talk about sexual health and well-being and that we are stressed and need help. I think this idea of ​​“women don’t want to be put in one box” is a central thesis that I have now had during the last eight years of my marketing career.

Emily onkey

Former marketing concerts at CB2, Estée Lauder, Bonobos

Current role: co-founder and CMO of Aplós

Onkey has seen many different sides of the retail marketing industry, but has taken to the emerging cannabis space as her next challenge.

The greatest learning from past industries: Try out new ideas before you grow up. It changes the way we approach new opportunities, helps filter out what’s worth our limited resources, and navigate the undefined rules of a nascent category like non-alc spirits.

The main difference: Without a doubt, the regulatory constraints in pay-TV channels for cannabis and CBD. This is a whole new ball game and requires us to be disciplined in our storytelling and communicate a strong value proposition very clearly, as we are asking a customer to take a roundabout path to buy. It’s exciting to find our way and especially rewarding to know how to make it work.

Why cannabis? We belong to an expanding category, one that coincides with individual journeys to wellness and the adoption of new ideas. The cannabis space is where things are heading. Our culture has relied on alcohol as the default way to relax in a socially acceptable way since … forever? It’s high time to rethink that mindset, and we’re helping to shape the adult drinking experience in a healthier way that offers all the good without the bad. I am honored to even be in the mix.


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