How to use Cannabis Consumer Data to Nail Niche Audiences with Highly Targeted Advertising Campaigns

Recent data shows that only 10% of people think cannabis should not be federally or medically illegal. Over the past two decades, consumption’s social stigma has virtually vanished. What does it mean for cannabis business owners? As more cannabis-curious people flock to take advantage of cannabis businesses, dispensaries and brand owners can use the “cannabis gold rush” by marketing to customers in ways that the competition is not. First, it all starts with knowing your customers. 

Cannabis Consumer Data

The 9 Cannabis Consumer Archetypes You Should Know

According to New Frontier Data, there are 9 identified cannabis consumer archetypes. 

Infrequent Conservatives: Infrequent Conservatives are an older generation that likes to consume a few times a year for relaxation and recreational purposes. This population is easygoing about their consumption frequency and is more likely to prefer more traditional methods, like a one-hitter, pipe, or joint. 

Silver Dabblers: Also in the older demographic are Silver Dabblers. Silver Dabblers are single, mostly older men who live alone and use cannabis a few times a month or less for relaxation. They also prefer traditional consumption methods but may dabble in THC creams and oils. 

Social Opportunists: Social Opportunists represent the most significant portion of cannabis consumers, but they tend to only consume cannabis a few times a year in group settings. These consumers don’t care as much about the method of consumption and are open to consuming whatever methods are readily available. 

Discreet Unwinders: Discreet Unwinders is one of the more interesting demographic groups of cannabis consumers. This group are the mothers of adult children and believe in the medical benefits of cannabis deeply. Discreet Unwinders have been using cannabis for decades and believe in the power of the plant. 

Weekend Enthusiasts: Weekend Enthusiasts are usually parents in their 40s that like to enjoy their free time by smoking on the weekends. Their consumption methods may vary, but they enjoy combustible smoking methods, like joints. 

Traditional Lifestylers: Traditional lifestylers tend to be some of the biggest spenders of the cannabis customer archetypes. These users are young, diverse, single, and daily users of cannabis products. This group may enjoy a variety of consumption methods, such as cannabis vapes, and tend to enjoy high THC products.

Modern Lifestylers: Like Traditional Lifestylers, they are young and single and love all things cannabis. This customer demographic enjoys a significant income and consumes a variety of products for a variety of reasons. 

Functional Dependents: Functional Dependents are young, party animals that spend more than $100 a month on cannabis. These users are your “daily grinders” that consume daily. 

Medical Purists: Medical Purists are more likely to prefer lifestyle and wellness brands based on the medical benefits of cannabis. These users consume daily and by themselves.


What Tactics You Should Be Using: Programmatic Ads 101

So, how do cannabis marketers reach out to these demographics? Programmatic advertising is your one-stop-shop solution.

Programmatic advertising employs software solutions that streamline the process of buying ad inventory. These platforms have evolved to reduce the back and forth involved with traditional methods such as a request for proposal, discussions, and manual ordering of ads. Furthermore, programmatic ads create an alternative to the restrictive social media space where platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, take down accounts that are related to cannabis. 

The advantages of programmatic advertising are indisputable. What can you expect if you choose programmatic advertising? You can expect maximum transparency, real-time data, and improved targeting and efficiency—all of which help you maximize your return on ad spend (ROAS) while reaching larger audiences.

But, what do these ads look like in reality? 

Cannabis marketers can hyper-target consumers in certain states, specified market areas, cities, and other discrete locales using geofencing technology. This allows for seamless campaign activation across different territories and the ability to target cannabis right fit audiences without risking compliance.

Furthermore, programmatic advertising offers all of the traditional advantages marketers in every industry have grown to expect.

Cannabis ad retargeting is a term that refers to the practice of following up with customers to increase sales and engagement among clients who have already purchased or connected with a brand or retailer —for example, prospects who have already visited a company’s website or eCommerce environment. This is crucial for businesses looking to scale because it promotes repeat sales and customer loyalty.

Advertisements on mobile phones. 

Our daily lives have become more reliant on mobile gadgets. Large sections of the millennial consumer market spend several hours daily on their mobile devices. As Gen Z reaches the legal age and expands its market share, mobile app advertising becomes increasingly important.

Display Advertisements 

Display ads, referred to as banner ads, are the easiest way for cannabis businesses to launch programmatic advertising campaigns. Brands and retailers that aim to increase awareness and engagement on a large scale can reach large cannabis-consuming and related 21+ audiences. This is the simplest way for marketers to access millions of previously unavailable publisher websites like Car and Driver, ESPN, Barstool Sports, Rolling Stone, and applications related to gaming, sports, recipes, and utility.

Programmatic Video Advertisements

Video ads provide an opportunity for marketers to show their brands in action. One of the most effective video advertising methods is to showcase brand lifestyle, but be careful as no consumption is allowed. 


How To Reach Each Unique Cannabis Archetype With Precision

So, how do you target each group of customer demographics using programmatic ads? Let’s go over the basics by segment. 

Heavy Consumers

Our heavy consumer demographic mainly comprises daily users: the Traditional Lifestylers, Modern Lifestylers, and Functional Dependents. Start by segmenting this group into ages 21-40 and find your top 10% of purchasers. This is an excellent opportunity to retarget this group, as they purchase frequently. Launch a retargeting campaign to follow these customers around the web to stoke brand loyalty. Looking to go the extra mile with this group? Launch a loyalty rewards program that discounts every $100 spent. It will entice this group to keep coming back and spending with you. 

Moderate Consumers

Moderate consumers use at rates that are harder to quantify than heavy or light cannabis users, using between once and a few times a month. This segment includes Medical Purists, Weekend Enthusiasts, and Discreet Unwinders. An excellent strategy for this group is to segment these customers into an age group between 40-65+ years old and retarget those known to have purchased from your dispensary. You can offer this group discounts catered explicitly to them, such as a first of the month discount when they may be likely to restock since they won’t be visiting dispensaries as much as heavy users. You can also segment these customers by gender, offering a more tailored campaign for females within this demographic. 

Light Consumers

Many brands may overlook light users in their marketing plans because they purchase less often than other demographics. However, the Social Opportunists, Silver Dabblers, and Infrequent Conservatives demographic are more likely to build relationships with brands and retailers who have built trust and awareness and helped them feel comfortable purchasing. Looking to target this demographic? Launch a general brand awareness campaign for people who’ve been to a dispensary at least once over the last six months. You can target these segments by segmenting further into gender and age categories, for example, advertising cannabis topicals at a 15% discount for users over 60. 

Ready to get down to business? Schedule a demo to learn more about how you can overcome digital ad restrictions and target highly valuable cannabis audiences with programmatic advertising.