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The holidays are soon approaching. If you sell cannabis in Canada, December is the perfect opportunity to boost sales and hit your targets for the year. But, as a retailer, you’ll also know the many restrictions you face in advertising compared to non-regulated industries.

So how can you legally and compliantly take advantage of consumer spending habits during the holiday season? First, stick with in-store and online advertising channels. Second, choose marketing tactics that have a high ROI, like email marketing. Third, plan to create a 30-day cohesive strategy. 

Still, stuck on cannabis holiday marketing ideas? Let’s review.

What’s Compliant Cannabis Marketing in Canada?

According to Canadian Marketing and Advertising Law, five core tenets are restricting most cannabis advertising in the country:

  1. No details about price or distribution
  2. No promotion that could be appealing to young persons
  3. No testimonials or endorsements
  4. No real or fictional representations of people, characters, or animals — that means no Santa, elves, or reindeer!
  5. No lifestyle marketing 

But, there are a few exceptions “for certain types of informational, point of sale and brand-preference promotions.” Within certain contexts, that means you can market your THC-infused wares provided that:

  • Promotions are addressed and sent to an individual who is 18 years of age or older and identified by name
  • Promotions are available in a place where people under the age of 18 are not permitted by law
  • Promotions are delivered through telecommunication (text, online, email, etc.) so long as reasonable steps have been taken to prevent access by a young person. 

With that out of the way, let’s explore a few ways to take advantage of the holiday season through compliant marketing channels.

4 Ways to Market Cannabis in Canada this Holiday Season

  1. Stock Up on Special Edition Holiday Launches

Do a little research into the brands you carry. Chances are they are all launching some specialized cannabis products with a Christmas flare. Whether that’s gift boxes, 12 Days of Christmas sets, or just updated packaging, these are must-haves for your holiday shoppers.

For example, one of the big-ticket items that took off last year was advent calendars. Quite a few of Canada’s cannabis brands launched holiday-themed advent calendars that consumers gobbled up.

Other hot ticket holiday-themed cannabis launches in 2021 included 12 Joints of Christmas by Citizen Stash and Candy Cane Redees by Redican. 

Once you’ve placed your pre-holiday orders, show this inventory off! Ensure these limited-time-only items are loudly and prominently displayed around your store. Think in high-traffic areas, at the till, and on digital signage.

2. Compliant Online AdCampaign Made Easy with Programmatic

Online advertising is one of the few areas where Canadian cannabis retailers can shine and shine compliantly. And the best way to get your name in front of the most people is through programmatic marketing technology. 

As per Adjust, “Programmatic advertising is the use of automated technology for media buying, as opposed to traditional (often manual) methods of digital advertising. Programmatic media buying utilizes data insights and algorithms to serve ads to the right user at the right time, and at the right price.” 

As a cannabis company, you can employ compliant programmatic marketing to ensure that their ads appear only on websites open to cannabis content and only to users over the legal age. You can even go further with this technology to target users based on their age, gender, salary, and other available datasets. 

There is no better way to get your brand and products in front of hundreds of thousands of people at the click of a button — all while ensuring your Christmas campaign stays compliant. 

3. Deck the Halls with In-Store Digital Signage

Instead of investing in new printed holiday sales signage year after year, have you ever considered going digital? After all, you’ll just toss those printed signs away at the end of the season. Why not switch to an agile and versatile platform?

Digital signage is easy to update with Christmas-themed sales and holiday graphics — week by week or even day by day. Having rotating digital displays keeps customers engaged and interested, something that stagnant traditional signage fails to do.

And digital signs actually help your customers. According to one assessment, “90% of buyers find videos played on a screen helpful in making their purchase decisions.” And after installing digital signs, 80 percent of stores reported a 33 percent increase in sales.

Worried about keeping it up to date? TechPOS’s cloud-based digital sign system integrates into your inventory system. Meaning it’s always up to date with what you have in stock and that latest holiday drop. At the click of a button, any inventory changes or price adjustments are automatically updated across all systems — including your digital displays.

4. Strategic Email Holiday Email Marketing

If you have been doing your due diligence at the till, you’ve been collecting customer email addresses. And even if you haven’t been hitting up your customer’s inbox yet, there is no time like the present to launch a clever holiday email marketing campaign.

Despite what you may think about pestering your contact list with sales emails, according to Mediajel,”72% of people prefer to receive promotional content through email.” Email marketing is one of the only truly cost-effective direct-to-consumer channels you have.

But, you need to be strategic with your email marketing campaign. Consider breaking out your email list into targeted demographics: age, sex, spending habits and other characteristics. Using your customer data, you should be able to determine what products to highlight for which customer demographic. 

For example, the types of products you advertise to a female millennial could be much different than those you’d send to an older male customer. 

Also, timing is everything. The closer we are to the big day, the more sales pick up. Last year, Cannabis Business Times gathered intel from data platforms like Headset and Leaflink, and almost across the board, the week leading up to Christmas was the busiest. Headset reported a 26 percent increase in sales the week before Christmas compared with previous weeks. 

So, this is the perfect time to ramp up your email marketing efforts. Right before Christmas, we’d recommend highlighting last-minute gift ideas for Mom, Dad, friends, and colleagues.

Structure your campaign based on opens, click-throughs, and nurturing follow-ups to get the best ROI from your holiday email marketing campaign. 

As Mediajel advises, “Data gathered from email marketing is cost-effective and can be used in all your other marketing channels. Email marketing has an ROI of 3800%.”

Do You Have a Holiday Marketing Strategy?

Don’t get caught in mid-December with no holiday marketing strategy. You can do the planning now, and with the power of campaign management tools like Klavvyio and cloud-based digital signage, you can launch at the click of a button.

At TechPOS, we can help. Our all-in-one cannabis retail ecosystem helps you plan ahead, capture customer attention while in store, and stay in touch with them throughout the holiday season. 

We offer an omnichannel user experience that combines essential retail hardware with smart integrations to help you increase sales and take advantage of the latest innovations. Want to find out more? Schedule a demo today.


Author Jessica

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