Benzinga Cannabis Hour: MassRoots CEO, Dosist CMO Discuss Social Media In Cannabis
With the cannabis industry expanding exponentially, cannabis marketing experts have their hands full.
Isaac Dietrich, chairman and CEO of MassRoots, Inc. (OTCQX:MSRT), is one of those seasoned cannabis professionals.
He was one of the guests in the Benzinga Cannabis Hour, co-hosted by Elliot Lane and Patrick Lane.
MassRoots is pawing its way toward becoming the leading marijuana media platform, allowing cannabis businesses and brands to reach cannabis consumers via social networks.
The application initially became available through iOS App Store in 2013, only to get pulled up from the app list in late 2014, due to the discord with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)'s guidelines, which forbade "apps that encourage excessive consumption of alcohol or illegal substances."
A few months later, the tech giant reversed its policy and brought back the social network into the App Store.
Dietrich explained that the app's audience and following made Apple change its decision after realizing "how passionate our [MassRoots'] followers are."
Following a restructuring aimed at creating a company that isn't "reliant on financings and dilution and diluting our shareholders in order to continue to operate,” Dietrich thinks that all that is needed to take it to the next level is "a very large reach" and "large audience." And the platform already has both, he added.
However, selling the brand is not how the company is seeking to monetize its audience.
"We don't want to sell out our voice in order to survive and get money," he said.
"We want to monetize our platform the right way, and that's by continuing to deliver authentic content, speak the truth, and build up an audience of brands and clients that feel the same way."
A Greatest Comeback Story – Herbfluence
Since its launch, MassRoots has secured over $30 million in financing. In December, it opted to purchase Herbfluence's technology platform, which will allow it to track the best influencers for its clients' advertising campaigns.
Herbfluence is a "kind of the microphone that brands will have to reach consumers." Dietrich said. Being responsible with messaging and following regulations paves a path to success.
Even though many within the cannabis industry are opposed to the "stoner image," these are often the "heaviest consumers," Dietrich argues. They "walk in and spend hundreds of dollars every single week," he commented, talking about the types of influencers they are seeking.
"At the end of the day, it's about making money and delivering consumers to our clients,” he added. It’s about customers who are spending the money regularly and consistently.
In February, the company revealed it's considering the re-launch of its mobile applications, on the heels of raising $446,000 via the sale of its Series X Preferred Stock.
Education Before Product
Anne-Marie Dacyshyn, chief marketing officer at cannabinoid company dosist, says social media has been a big part of the brand's growth.
The foundations of the marketing strategy she has been leading at dosist for over two years are consistency, education, and being product-led. As a company that introduces cannabis to people through a dose–controlled experience and targeted formulas, dosist emphasizes education.
In its approach, the company opted to go "old school." It turned to traditional marketing, using cannabis as a platform, instead of narrowing its marketing within a set of boundaries. Informing people through a conversation, without real products being offered live on social media, was a winning combination for dosist.
"We're only going to normalize this when we can speak to it; where people feel comfortable; where they're already getting their information," Dacyshyn explained.
The company's goal was to make it a "real product forum and just keep putting out a product and messaging so that you start to make that link to consumers," to help them recognize the product they've been educated about, she added.
Going forward, the company will focus its marketing efforts on bringing more humanity to its products by emphasizing user experiences and testimonials.
Dacyshyn also pointed out that doing co-marketing with the retailers and investing in their social platforms would do wonders for greater acceptance of cannabis.
"We're partners in this, and we both want to win," she said. It's essential to think about "not just our own channels."
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