Business 24 September 2019
CBD products are all the rage right now, and if early indicators hold, it will remain this way for the foreseeable future. If you haven't heard about CBD, it's time to up your social exposure because CBD is everywhere. CBD products claim to offer relief for everything from pain to inflammation, treatment for anxiety disorders, and a myriad of other ailments. Because of the multiple uses, CBD has caught the attention of today's consumer. This has resulted in a flurry of CBD brands flooding the market and has made breaking out of the brand noise feel like the Wild West. Add to this consumers confusion about the seemingly similar CBD products available for sale, and you have one monumental marketing challenge on your hands. I haven't even talked about the regulatory environment, platform restrictions and other limitations CBD brands already face. What's a CBD brand to do? This article will break down the top 3 strategies CBD marketers should use to stand out from the crowd.
The digital marketing landscape is tricky for CBD brands. At present, Google, Twitter and others do not allow CBD brands to engage in paid advertising. That means that CBD brands need to get creative. One of the best opportunities is for CBD brands to focus their efforts offline and connect with potential customers via experiential marketing. Festivals, Farmer's Markets, outdoor expos, health and wellness retreats and hyper-local events provide the perfect outlet. This grassroots style lets your CBD product speak for itself by being explained, tested, smelled, tried and consumed. This approach also provides interesting and authentic photo and video fodder for social media marketing. Images and videos of real people trying your CBD product which artfully captures their natural expressions and honest feedback can be priceless on social media. It also provides an opportunity for user-generated content which is equally beneficial for capturing your customer's trust. A little raw and genuine content can go a long way in separating your brand from the competition. More than that, all of this provides valuable, customer-centric content that engages and informs your target audience. Get your booth, tabletop and outdoor gear ready and go after it!
2. Be All about the Influencers
It's no secret, Influencer Marketing works and influencer partnerships should be a top priority for CBD brands. An ideal approach is to seek influencers who can help tell your brand story through insightful blogs and articles. Influencers who are also bloggers have a loyal readership and are skilled in the art of storytelling. That makes them not only a great resource but also a worthy investment. Influencers could discuss their personal issues with pain or anxiety and explain how CBD helped to offer relief. To keep the cost down, CBD brands would be wise to use micro-influencers who have smaller follower counts but tend to have more loyal and engaged followers. This is also a clever way of utilizing unique and original content marketing tactics through digital platforms to expand your brand's reach and engage new audiences. If you haven't thought of using influencers, it is time to give this marketing opportunity a try.
3. Social with a Purpose
To be honest, most of the time I'm underwhelmed with brands on social media. They tend to feel too much like non-distinct copy-cats of other brands. However, I recently stumbled upon a CBD brand that is doing many things right on social media: SundayScaries. First, they have aligned their brand with a higher purpose through cause marketing and social issues which resonates with more and more consumers. In fact, according to the Cone/Porter Novelli Study, 77% of Americans feel a strong emotional connection to purpose driven brands. Specifically, SundayScaries have partnered with The Trevor Project and donate $1.00 from each sale of their jerky product to provide intervention and suicide prevention for youth within the LGBTQ community. Second, they appreciate the native environment of Instagram. It is clear that they put a great deal of thought into the curation of images on their Instagram page. They speak to the creativity and aesthetic nature of Instagram users. Their brand page feels distinct from other CBD brands. Plus, their fun memes add an element of levity that captures the brand's essence. While their engagement rate could use a little work, they have been clever in using contests with complimentary brands to increase their engagement and reach. One area of improvement would be for SundayScaries to begin writing and distributing interesting blogs or articles which concentrates on the lifestyle interests and needs of their customers. This will afford stickiness on their website while providing another connection point on social media. Other CBD brands take note, SundayScaries methodology shows that there are many organic opportunities to improve your visibility, engagement and reach on social media.
The truth is that some of the limitations to CBD marketing will gradually go by the wayside as platforms determine how best to support this growing industry. Still there is no time like the present to increase the exposure of your CBD brand by following these simple tips. After all, the Wild West only lasts so long.
5 Min Read
Help! My Husband Won't Stop Yelling At Me
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I'm a newlywed, and I love my husband very much. But whenever I'm on the phone, the way my husband speaks to me makes people think he is abusive even though he really isn't. He just has a hard time managing his voice and his energy levels when he is stressed. The next second he's back to being chill and flexible (once I'm off the phone, of course). I don't want people to misinterpret my relationship, and I do want him to change. What do I do?
- On The Edge
Dear On The Edge,
I'm sorry that you're feeling humiliated by your husband's actions. What you describe definitely sounds like a classic symptom of abuse and it is understandable that your friends are worried. The difference between abuse and a simple disagreement is that it happens every day with significant consistency. Your instinct to want your husband to change is likely rooted in the fact that you understand this behavior may not be sustainable to a healthy marriage in the long run.
You sound brave and strong, and you seem capable of distinguishing that these are his issues on display, not yours. As Dr. Seltzer, a Clinical Psychologist points out in this article, "In all likelihood, the rage says a good deal more about that person and the gravity of their unresolved issues than it does about you" Regardless, it is important to take care of yourself. Have you assessed how the yelling makes you feel personally without taking into account your friends' reactions? Does it make you anxious or affect your overall well being?
It concerns me that you are chalking up his behavior to stress. It's okay for couples to have conflict, and many psychologists agree that this can be done in a constructive way by communicating and expressing one's anger in order to work on them together. Contrary, it is not okay to be on the receiving end of your spouse yelling, and repeatedly so. Have you tried speaking to him about this issue? If so, how did he react and does he understand how his actions are affecting you? Has he made any effort to change his behavior? This could be an important first opportunity to work on a serious issue as a married couple, but if speaking to him directly isn't an option you should seek counseling. I recommended you see a professional therapist separately or a marriage counselor together. Meanwhile, if your mobile phone rings, take that call miles away from hubby!
- The Armchair Psychologist
HELP! Is Democracy The Right Path?
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I wanted to ask you about a dilemma I struggle with. I come from a country that is under an autocracy. I'm curious to learn about the path to democracy and why some countries struggle more than others. And, an even bigger question of this model, does it "fit all?" Obviously, there are three basic models that are/were widely spread around the globe, including some deviations with different blends and mixtures: monarchy, democracy, communism. Throughout history, it seems that the democratic model has been well-adapted and successful in Western countries, where cultural, social and political conditions are well suited for it. Whereas in Asia, we can observe some deviations of this same model achieving success with a blend of authoritarian rule and sometimes communism such as in China, Singapore, and South Korea (all to varying degrees). What is your perspective on this? Living in the western world, one always hears about the democratic model being the right way, but if you look at the most successful examples (growth-wise): Singapore, South Korea were blended democratic models that have achieved great results. So, should the western world deviate from its preferred model given that checks and balances are in place?
I'm sorry to hear that you're dismayed by your country's autocracy. Living in the US under Trump's rule is feeling more and more like an autocracy for myself and many others these days.
Let's take a look at the growth rate of the countries you mentioned. The USA grew by 2.3%, South Korea grew by 3.1%, and Singapore grew by 3.6%, in terms of GDP. While it's true that the US may seem to lag behind a bit in growth, it's important to put into perspective how that growth is measured. The old saying "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics" comes to mind. But the perspective of how we measure things is crucial.
As an example, let's say you are coming out of college and you're worth $1,000 because that's all you have in your bank account. Your neighbor has $10 million. Next year, you have $2,000 and your neighbor has $12 million. Your growth rate was 100% and your neighbor's was only 20%, but does that mean you did much better than your neighbor that year? Of course not, because it's also the total amount of money you make each year that counts.
Courtesy of Y-chart
Basically, the US made around $240 billion in growth in 2018, whereas Singapore and South Korea made about $25 billion each. Smaller, emerging countries always grow faster initially but as they get larger they have to keep making increasingly large amounts of money to keep that same growth rate up, so it's no surprise that growth slows over time.
However, discussing economics alone can't answer your question, because, as many people often do, you're conflating Capitalism with Democracy. They are very, very different things. One is how you structure your economy. The other is how you structure your society. Judging Democracy by how the economy is doing is like judging an apple by an orange. The point of Democracy is not making sure you can buy that new television, it's to ensure human equality and personal rights.
You asked about Democracy and if the Armchair Psychologist believes that governments should be accountable to the people they govern. Should the population be able to remove its leadership? Are checks and balances good for a nation to keep megalomaniacs from taking complete control? Absolutely. Is it perfect? Absolutely not.
Your question may also be "is capitalism the best way for emerging societies to grow?" Most scholars would argue that America wasn't truly capitalistic in its infancy. Rather, it was about communal living, small local towns becoming self-sufficient, growing their own food, and taking care of each other. How economies grow in their earliest phases is a function of the local culture and the resources available to that country and also what infrastructure needs to be developed (schools, transportation, highways, refineries). There are many ways of improving the wealth of a country, but removing the population's control over leadership isn't a necessary ingredient to success. I hope this eases your mind; this is a difficult dilemma to work out. But, as Churchill once said, "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others."
- The Armchair Psychologist