November 21, 2014
Marketing to All Generations of Marijuana Users

Marketing to All Generations of Marijuana Users

Older adults are the fastest growing demographic in the marijuana industry. We often forget about the pioneers of pot, the baby boomers, the hippies from the 60s and 70s. They were smoking marijuana decades before legalization began, why would they stop now? 57 percent of all Internet users are over the age of 50, or have a disability. What is your marijuana business doing to reach out to them?

A big mistake dispensaries and marketing companies are making is that their branding is alienating more than half of the smoker population. The average marijuana smoker is a 40-year-old male and a growing number of seniors are reaching for the joint.

Most dispensaries think having a Facebook page or Weedmaps listing is enough to get consumers through the door, and for a while it was. September saw the first sales drop since recreational legalization began in January 2014. Competition is getting tighter but dispensaries are still relying on social media for their marketing needs.

Dispensaries without a website are already behind. Tourists of all ages flock to Colorado and Washington to see what the bud is about. Many of those tourists are not using Weedmaps, Facebook or Twitter. Most likely Google will be their go-to and Google wants you to have a website, especially with the rise of the Google Talk app. Having a poorly designed website, or one without updated content (blogs, specials, etc.) is a mistake. You never get a second change to make a first impression. Make sure your website is beautiful and well designed.

Older adults, aka the average pot smoker, are more likely to have tablets or e-readers than a smart phone and only 46% use social media.

As of 2011, all websites must be ADA compliant. Dispensaries with websites that are not ADA compliant are shutting their doors to new customers, and risking legal action. The state of California has some of the most aggressive ADA Internet laws. Marijuana businesses in California risk immediate class action lawsuits if their websites are not ADA accessible. However, it is the law in all 50 states regardless of business size. Call 720-307-4950 for more information on how to make your marijuana website ADA accessible.

Making sure your website can be scanned by screen readers, and other disabled website screening devices is very important. Not only are dispensaries with existing websites at risk for lawsuits by not having an ADA website, but also thousands of medical marijuana (MMJ) patients will never be able to find them. Many MMJ patients have physical conditions or health issues that make using technology or reading difficult. ADA compliant websites are the law. They are also the smart thing to do.

Using social media to drive traffic to your website is a good plan but when all you have is social media you’re getting lost in the haystack of hundreds of others. Consumers want to know what makes your strains more potent than the next, but they will never know if they don’t find you.

Stop marketing to just the Facebook or MassRoots crowd, stop letting Weedmaps lump you in with the rest, set yourself a part and remember, marijuana users span generations; don’t market to just one of them.