By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.
Cannabis Marketing

Highly Effective Strategies: How Segmentation Boosts Lead Generation in the Cannabis Sector

December 1, 2023

In the world of business advertising and PR, you’ll often hear the term “total addressable market,” aka total available market or TAM. The total addressable cannabis market is absolutely enormous. When you really think about it, cannabis brands aren’t just talking to committed smokers and tokers, but to anyone who has ever tried cannabis, even once, or might be persuaded to try cannabis products for the first time. The median age in the United States is close to 40, meaning well over half the country’s population is old enough to purchase cannabis in legal dispensaries—which are now open for business in more states than ever.

In theory, that wide-reaching TAM is great news for cannabis brands—we predicted 2023 would be the year the TAM finally comes into focus for the industry, and we weren’t wrong. Who doesn’t want a huge pool of potential customers? 

As many industry stakeholders have realized, however, a big cannabis TAM doesn’t mean that marketing these highly regulated, highly taxed products is like shooting proverbial fish in the barrel. In fact, a big TAM makes a smart marketing strategy all the more important. After all, one of the core tenets of marketing is that you can’t be everything to everyone.

What the huge total addressable cannabis market does mean is that segmentation is key to the success of your cannabis marketing strategy. 

Think about it: Does the entrepreneur who hits the surf on his lunch break look for the same messaging as a medical cannabis patient ordering cannabis delivery between chemo sessions? How about the working mom with two kids who’s been considering making the switch from an after-work glass of wine to a hit off the vape? And college-age Gen Z’s idea of which brands have riz—that’s charisma to “the olds”—is very different from what Millennials and Gen X might gravitate toward when it comes to packaging, messaging and more.

This realization brings us to the power of segmentation. And like every cannabis strain, gaining a true understanding of the concept means breaking things down into finer nuances.

List Segmentation vs. Lead Segmentation: Knowing the Lay of the Land 

Before we venture further, let's clear the haze around some terms.

List Segmentation

This is about categorizing your customers based on certain criteria. For instance, you might segment them based on their preferred product, whether edibles, flower, vapes, hash or another category. Or you might take a page from the Grasslands book and organize your list segments for email and SMS subscribers by geotarget according to which legal market they’re in—a great tactic for MSOs. You can segment lists on almost any factor, from age group to gender to whether they prefer the latest Rolling Stones album or Beatles music video

Lead Segmentation

This is where things get interesting. Here, you're looking at potential customers—your leads. By categorizing them based on behaviors or engagement, you ensure your marketing efforts are laser-focused. 

Let's say a group of retailers frequently visit your website’s page dedicated to vape cartridges. Would a targeted email about a new vape launch pique their interest? You bet. Or perhaps you noticed a potential wholesale client moved from an e-blast to your website to your product page—they seem much more likely to sign a contract than someone who sent your message to their trash folder, or bounced off your blog without going further.

Total Addressable Market vs. Target Audience: The Grand Scheme vs. The Bullseye 

As you blaze your trail in the cannabis market, it's easy to get caught up in the vastness of the TAM—it’s like the entire munchie-filled room at a cannabis-themed party. Your target audience, on the other hand, is that group in the corner who can't stop raving about your edible. They’re your sweet spot—the ones more likely to buy and, importantly, advocate for your brand. 

And here’s where the magic of the Grasslands Message Map comes into play. It helps you find and communicate with a particular group effectively.

Segmentation allows cannabis businesses to recognize these intricate differences. By ensuring that your marketing efforts echo with the individual tunes of each segment, you're not just shouting in a crowded room—you're starting meaningful conversations.

Unleashing the Power with Marketing Automation

Now, segmentation without action is like rolling a joint but not lighting it up. This is where our marketing automation services come into play: Picture automatic e-blasts tailored to each segment. Instead of generic emails, your segmented audiences receive information that's aligned with their preferences and behaviors. The result? Higher engagement, better conversion rates and customers who feel truly seen and heard.

Marketing automation is a key strategy to amplifying the owned and earned media that is the backbone of any marketing strategy. Publishing blogs optimized for cannabis SEO about your product offerings, brand story and services is definitely a best practice. So is boosting your brand recognition through cannabis public relations services that focus on earned media coverage of your company in trade publications, mainstream magazines and regional newspapers. 

Until you send those wins and educational information to the list of subscribers that have already expressed interest in supporting your brand, however, you’re simply not leveraging your best resources to their fullest potential. You’re also not collecting key data points that, along with your web data analytics and search engine results pages (SERPs), can provide truly competitive insights into what your customers want and how they interact with your brand and content.

The Bottom Line: The Right Segment at the Right Time 

Segmentation isn't just about breaking down your audience into smaller groups. It's about understanding them—knowing their preferences, lifestyles and desires. In the ever-growing cannabis market, this knowledge is what separates the buds from the stems.

So, next time you think about reaching out to your audience, ask yourself: Are you speaking their language? If not, remember the power of segmentation—and how Grasslands can help light the way. After all, in this vibrant market, the key is to be both specific and spectacular. That’s not an easy line to straddle. When you’re asking yourself what to look for in a cannabis marketing agency, remember to think about the power of segmentation.

At Grasslands: A Journalism-Minded Agency, we know that we’re not the perfect fit for everyone, and that’s OK. But, for a lot of cannabis companies, we’re the One. Reach out today and find out how we can help you achieve your marketing goals.