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What Warren G And '90s Rap Taught Me About Marketing (Especially For Cannabis)

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What Warren G And '90s Rap Taught Me About Marketing Especially For Cannabis

By Samantha Collins, CMO of Bhang Corp.

1.     "Stop, Collaborate and Listen". – Vanilla Ice, "Ice Ice Baby" 1990

Believe me, I am as surprised as you that Vanilla made the list, but, honestly, this line is super sound. Often sales, marketing and finance build plans independently, creating friction, resentment and misalignment. The best marketers I know consider the sales team their most trusted consultants, and the finance team their right hand in decision making. So I implore you to heed the words of Vanilla Ice; stop doing it alone, collaborate with finance and listen to your sales team.

2.     "Never trust a big butt and a smile".- Bell Biv Devoe, "Poison" 1990

The wisdom here goes far beyond choosing a partner. What BBD were saying was "vet every deal". Particularly in cannabis, (though wine and spirits do it too) people have big shiny plans, with tiny little revenues associated. Do your homework, check the books and make sure deal is more tan just a “big butt and a smile”.

3.     "When the ship goes down, you better be ready"- Cypress Hill, "When the Ship Goes Down" 1993

Never a truer word was spoken. All brands have a lifecycle and trends don’t last forever. If you have a growing brand, you cannot sit back and relax. Unless you are actively innovating, incubating, and developing ways to keep your brand relevant, you won’t be ready when trends change, or your brand hits maturity and the ship goes down.

4.     "My mind on my money and my money on my mind". Snoop Dog, "Gin and Juice" 1993

I certainly don’t condone “rolling down the street, smoking indo, sipping on gin and juice” because responsible driving is important.  But keeping your mind on your money is all about return on investment, AKA ROI. When I worked for Diageo, we had a saying, “inspect what you expect”. If you expect a return on investment, you best have your mind on your money and your money on your mind.

5.     "No bogus hocus pocus, I bring back to focus, skills if you notice" - KRS-1, "Step Into a World (Rapture’s Delight)" 1997

What I love about this song (and frankly this whole album) is KRS-1’s respect for the craft of rapping above the marketing. What you are selling has to be as good as how you market it. As a business principal this means you can only fool a consumer with a shiny turd one time. So, focus on quality first and marketing second.

6.     "Cause fools be havin’ them vacuum lungs and if you let ‘em hit it for free you hella dumb-da-dum-dumb". Luniz, "I Got 5 On It" 1995

When I was marketing wine there was one sales leader who would respond to any new item presentation with “Well, I think that would work at $9.99, but not at $12.99”. Without ever trying to sell it at full price he would suck $3 out of my margin, and the confidence out of the sales staff. What Luniz can teach us is: Know your worth. Trust in your value. And don’t let the fools force you into discounting. If you make a good product have the confidence to charge the price it commands.

7.     "Power and the money, money and the power, minute after minute, hour after hour/ Everybody’s runnin' but half of them ain't lookin', what’s going on in the kitchen, but I don’t know what’s cookin".  – Coolio, "Gangsta's Paradise" 1995

AKA- don’t confuse activity with results. This one is particularly true for the cannabis industry. Have a strategy, set smart, measurable goals and then go after those. When you start chasing every shiny penny you leave dollars on the table.

8.      "Is it worth it? Let me work it. I put my thing down flip it and reverse it".- Missy Elliott, "Work it" 2002

When it comes to new items, knowing the category size, and the share you are targeting are critical to determining appropriate investment levels. So, before you put your thing down, flip it and reverse it make sure you understand if it is worth it. *I know this was 2002, but it is too good not to include.

All of these principles are important, but being a disciplined marketer is at the core of every one. In closing, I will quote Warren G again. You have to be “Damned good too, you can't be any geek off the street.”  

Photo of Warren G by Javier Hasse.

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

 

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