In this edition of Marketer of the Week, Ignite Visibility spotlights Jason White, Chief Marketing Officer at Curaleaf, a provider of cannabis products.
Ignite Visibility applauds White and the Curaleaf team for the growth of the company’s stock price during the past several months.
On March 16, Curaleaf’s stock price stood at $2.79 per share. Today, it’s trading at about five times that.
Although the broader stock market also recovered quite a bit since March, it didn’t recover that much. In other words, Curaleaf overperformed. Dramatically.
That’s probably due to the fact that the company posted record after record in the third quarter.
- Record pro forma revenue of $215.3 million
- Record managed revenue of $193.2 million, up 164%
- Record year-to-date managed revenue of $419.6 million
- Record cash flow of $42.3 million
Additionally, Curaleaf closed its acquisition of a company hilariously named Grassroots. That move created the largest cannabis brand in the world as measured by revenue.
But that wasn’t the only acquisition for Curaleaf in 2020. The company also purchased Cura Partners, Inc., owners of Select, a cannabis oil brand.
Curaleaf launched Select products into three new states this year: Ohio, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.
By the way, this all happened while the COVID-19 pandemic crippled much of the American economy.
And with Jason White heading up marketing for Curaleaf, things are about to get much better.
Jason’s History With the Cool Kids
White has been with Curaleaf (in one form or another) since early 2019. He served as CMO at Cura Cannabis Solutions prior to his present role.
Before that, he was Head of Global Marketing for Beats by Dre. That’s an audio brand founded by Dr. Dre in the mid-2000’s.
According to the company website: “Beats has introduced an entirely new generation to the possibilities of premium sound entertainment. The brand’s continued success helps bring the energy, emotion, and excitement of playback in the recording studio back to the listening experience for music lovers worldwide.”
Beats, by the way, was formally acquired by Apple in 2014, the same year that White started working with the company.
In a recent interview with WARC, Jason White explained how Curaleaf had to adjust its messaging this year because of the pandemic.
“First, we went dark, and we just let our business run,” he said. “We communicated that we are open, we’re here for you, we are safe. That was the core message…”
White also pointed out that the company kept up with its customers by using CRM apps. Further, the marketing team used email to remind folks of the value that Curaleaf provides to them in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak.
He also said that the company made use of programmatic advertising in “bigger ways” this past year.
If you’re unfamiliar with programmatic advertising (often just called “programmatic”), it’s a marketing automation strategy that relies on software to purchase digital advertising. That’s in contrast to the “old school” model that uses requests for proposals (RFPs) and human interactions.
Creating National Brands in a Half-National Market
Right now, Curaleaf is active in only 23 states. That’s almost certainly going to change in the near future, though.
But even within those 23 states, laws about cannabis aren’t consistent. That’s why Jason and his team face challenges in marketing every day.
One challenge: his company can’t cross state lines with cannabis ingredients.
“We can’t cross the lines with many of the elements of the plant, so, you have to have folks that can make sure that formula is consistent from state to state to state and make sure that taste is consistent from state to state to state and that effect is consistent from state to state to state, so you can call yourself a brand that consumers can rely on.”
So his message is simple: focus on brand value, make sure people understand what the brand is committed to, and make sure people understand how Curaleaf delivers on its promise.
Wrapping It Up
The future is bright for cannabis. It’s also bright for people who can successfully market the controversial product in the current economic and political climate.
One such marketer is Jason White, Chief Marketing Officer at Curaleaf. I look forward to seeing where he takes the comapny in the future.