Why You Should Be Utilizing Cannabis Market ResearchEverything you need to know about marijuana market research - what it is, who it benefits, and the very best cannabis research firms.
Getting a detailed, in-depth look at everything from emerging consumer trends to exactly how your company stacks up against the competition gives any business an invaluable edge in marketing, financial planning, concept creation, and much more. Read on to learn all about the importance of utilizing dedicated cannabis market research – and our list of today’s very best hemp, CBD, and marijuana market research firms.
Cannabis Market Research: A Critical Business Tool
Market research is a broad term encompassing a variety of data collection and analysis methods used to assess the current state of and future projections for individual businesses or an industry as a whole. For individual businesses, market research takes the guesswork out of evaluating your position in the current market, the needs of your target demographic, and where your company’s biggest strengths and weaknesses lie. Market research data is an essential tool for refining your business focus, improving efficiency, and ensuring your company keeps a leg up over the competition.
Who Should Hire Cannabis Market Researchers?
Any company or entity involved in the booming new fields of legal cannabis, hemp, and CBD can benefit considerably from hiring cannabis market researchers, including:
- Cannabis businesses, including dispensaries, commercial growers, medical cannabis clinicians, product manufacturers, tourism companies, and companies producing business essentials such as compliant product packaging.
- Ancillary businesses servicing the cannabis industry, including attorneys, CPAs, and insurers.
- Marketers specializing in either B2C or B2B content, including website designers, event planners, and PR firms.
- Investors who are interested in investing capital into cannabis businesses or stocks.
- Journalists covering consumer and business trends in the rapidly evolving cannabis, hemp, and CBD markets.
What Do Cannabis Market Research Firms Do?
The various niches of the cannabis market research field cover a range of critical information for new and established companies in any stage of business.
New Market Entry
New market entry research helps new and aspiring business owners determine the size, growth rate, and margins necessary to be successful and profitable in their target market. New market entry researchers assess the capabilities and resources your company is coming in with, determining whether you’ll be able to integrate into the current market, uncovering potential weak spots, and estimating your ROI (return on investment). If this research indicates your company has what it takes, most firms will then share recommendations for playing upon these strengths as you move forward with business strategy creation.
Competitive Landscape Analysis
Competitive landscape analysis gives an in-depth look at everything you could possibly want to know about your competitors – who they are and who they serve, their position in the current market, strengths and weaknesses, pricing, marketing strategies, and more. With this information you can develop your own company’s UVP (unique value proposition), honing in on what truly makes your company stand out from the pack.
Concept testing should be part of any business’ regular practice. This research method involves gathering opinions from either broad or highly-specific demographics to assess their impressions on everything from specific products and marketing materials to your website, logo design, price structures – even your company name itself. This information helps you eliminate any content coming across to your customers or clients as annoying, untrustworthy, or generally unappealing, so you can focus on what actually piques your target demographic’s interest.
Consumer insight research involves conducting customer satisfaction surveys and/or focus groups, and then interpreting, analyzing, and presenting the data in a usable format. With this information, you can ensure your products or services are anticipating and meeting the needs of your intended customer or client base.
Brand Health Audit
Brand health audits are another practice any business should regularly utilize. Brand health audits are particularly important during times of change – be that a slump or boost in sales, introduction of a new product line, or a total rebranding. A brand health audit assesses exactly where your brand stands in comparison to your competitors, highlights your strengths, and addresses your weak spots. With this information, you can discern which aspects of your business may be struggling and which are still strong, so you can refocus where needed.
Assessing cannabis business and consumer trends at the local, regional, national, or global level gives business owners, investors, journalists, and other professionals a clear look at what’s going on in the hemp and legal marijuana industries as a whole. This information is crucial in anticipating which products or services your target demographic will be most interested in and which trends may have already run their course.
An investment analysis gives a thorough look at the financial health and potential of a business, sector, or industry as a whole. In addition to providing business owners with an in-depth financial report card, a detailed financial analysis is an essential part of a successful investment pitch, as well as critical information for anyone considering investing capital in a new or existing cannabis venture.
Of course, pages upon pages of the most detailed market research in the world doesn’t mean much if the data isn’t well-organized and applicable to the real-life needs of your business. Data analysis specifically designed to honing in on your company or organization’s most important objectives is a critical aspect of effective cannabis market research.
Data presentation methods vary by research firm and by application. Commonly-used organization methods include visual data models, online dashboards, or detailed written reports. Some market research firms also offer consulting services, advising their clients on how to make the best use of their research findings.
What Cannabis Market Research Can Do For Your Business
Armed with detailed analytics covering every necessary aspect of your target market, competition, and health of your business, you’ll be capable of making the most informed decisions to keep your business running smoothly and poised for growth.
Create Sales and Inventory Projections
Established businesses must regularly evaluate their performance to get a feel for the direction of their current company trajectory. A solid sales projection based on past performance is a valuable tool for keeping on track with sales and budget goals. Attracting potential investors is another important use for sales forecasts. Evidence-based sales forecasts are the best way to give investors a clear and honest look at how solid your business currently is and exactly where it’s headed.
Inventory Forecasting/Demand Planning
Your company’s past performance trends can also serve as a strong predictor of your future inventory needs. In-depth assessments of sales trends and customer needs provide an outline of how often to replenish retail merchandise and/or other essential supplies, how much to budget for them, and other critical factors such as lead time.
Manage Company Finances
Financial forecasting data is essential for maintaining a healthy business cash flow, ensuring liabilities are comfortably covered, as well as predicting future revenues and expenses. Financial forecasting data can be used to create models for estimating how different factors, circumstances, or outcomes may affect the financial well-being of the business.
Create Effective Marketing Campaigns
To create marketing campaigns that speak directly to the needs of your target demographic, there is no substitute for detailed consumer research. With well-researched consumer insights and a razor-sharp focus, you can ensure no aspect of your marketing efforts goes to waste or falls flat. Additionally, competitive landscape research allows you to craft a marketing strategy that plays upon the key differences between you and your competitors.
Set Your Company up for Expansion
When you’re ready to level up your business, the right market research data ensures you’ll have the most effective strategies at your disposal to branch out into new demographics, services, or product lines, while maintaining healthy finances and attracting capital.
How to Select a Cannabis Market Research Firm
A quick online search will reveal no shortage of market research firms serving the cannabis industry. Here’s what to look for when choosing the right company to help your business thrive.
- Cost – Well-executed cannabis market research is a highly involved process and its numerous benefits are well worth the expense. But, of course, it is essential that this service fits reasonably into your budget. When interviewing potential firms to work with, ensure all costs are clearly laid out up front.
- Communication and Rapport – It’s essential to select a market research team that you can build a good relationship with. Look for firms who prioritize listening to your needs and working within your clearly defined objectives over trying to sell you a cookie-cutter service. Your firm of choice must also be capable of effectively communicating its methods and findings to you.
- Experience and References – Look for market research companies with considerable experience and expertise in the cannabis field. Don’t be afraid to ask for references from past clients.
- Actionable Results – Opt for cannabis market researchers who deliver insights in a digestible format, designed to highlight data with an actionable focus, rather than firms who simply research and deliver raw data.
- Location – Depending on the type of market research you need, a firm’s location may be an important consideration – if your research objectives involve surveying the local market, for example.
- Personnel – Another important consideration is who will actually be doing the research and data analysis. Some firms employ experienced high-level professionals to handle all of these tasks, while others delegate much of this work to entry-level staff.
- Flexibility – Flexibility is also an important market researcher trait. Each market research project is as unique as the company it represents. You need a firm that can work around your schedule and easily adapt and shift priorities as your needs change or new information comes up.
For those ready to begin shopping for a cannabis market research company that will rise to their business or organization’s unique needs, we’ve compiled a list of trusted, high-level research firms with special expertise in the cannabis, CBD, and hemp industries.
Our Recommended Cannabis Market Research Firms
Reporting on industry trends in the cannabis industry at large, Grand View Research is a globally renowned firm providing market intelligence insights to top companies in a variety of sectors, including the rapidly-growing medical marijuana industry. Grand View Research helps cannabis companies monitor the market and their position within it, delivering tailored strategic insights through both syndicated and customized research reports, as well as consulting services. Grand View research is dedicated to creating an excellent service experience, giving every client their own highly-experienced dedicated account manager. Grand View Research is headquartered in San Francisco, California.
Cowen is a major investment and market research firm specializing in investment analysis. Cowen services the cannabis industry alongside several other healthcare and technological sectors. Cowen’s specialties for cannabis industry clients include investment banking and management as well as boots-on-the-ground research. Cowen has been a leader in the cannabis sector since 2016, when it emerged as the first major investment bank researching and publishing insights on the newly-created legal cannabis industry. Additionally, Cowen hosts multiple cannabis investor conferences every year. Cowen is headquartered in New York City, with additional offices throughout the US and the rest of the world.