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CBD has made a huge splash in the market recently, with sales expected to reach over $800 million this year alone. But with a newer marketplace comes a lack of consumer understanding around the products and marketing challenges for CBD consumer packaged goods companies.
Our team, led by Anthony Bratti, Western Region President & Head of National Cannabis Industry for USA TODAY NETWORK, understands the unique challenges that come from marketing a CBD brand. He and his team work firsthand with CBD businesses to help them reach the right audience in the right ways. And, with a CBD marketing study about to be released that goes into detail about who’s using CBD, what makes them unique, and the best ways to connect with them, we wanted to get more information from Anthony about the study, what it’s like working with CBD brands, and some teasers.Tell me a little about the study itself?
So, one, it’s the largest CBD study ever conducted in the U.S. We’re excited about that and about what that means for the data we were able to collect. Two, the findings from the study enable us to be able to understand the buyer’s journey based on their demographics and where they are relative to education and use of the products as they come out into market.
There are so many different types of CBD right now. There’s the CBD oils and edibles, then there’s makeup, there are pet products, and more. And each of these types of CBD products have their own target audiences and ways they should be reaching those audiences. This study allows us to understand those people and better equip our CBD clients to reach them.It sounds like there are a lot of opportunities when it comes to marketing CBD right now.
Yes, so many opportunities. There are opportunities to break into the different product lines I outlined, connect with your audience, and really stand out in those spaces.
For example, we’re working with a brand that has CBD makeup. I had no idea there was a makeup line that incorporated CBD and all the benefits that come with that. And I know a lot of other people are the same way. So, we can create awareness and education around this product line for this brand, which will bring in new customers.
Another thing is educating on what your brand is doing to stand out or go above and beyond. The CBD brands we work with do a lot of independent testing done beyond the regular product testing, and that’s something we found that consumers are interested in. You can get CBD at pretty much any grocery store or Amazon right now, and there’s not really any regulation. So, by getting independent testing done and further verifying you have a trusted product, you can attract consumers and set yourself apart in a crowded marketplace.You briefly mentioned the benefits of CBD ““ what are some of the misconceptions around CBD?
Consumers are very new to CBD ““ they want to know is it legal or is it illegal? It is cannabis or is it not? So, that’s always the first question: is it legal. Second, they want to know if it’s legal everywhere. Can they take it on a plane?
And then beyond that, they truly don’t understand the true health benefits.
So, going back to opportunity ““ this is the chance for brands to tell their story and communicate the clear benefits. I think the key with CBD marketing is education because consumers aren’t sure what CBD can do. They don’t know how to buy it and what to buy it for.
Once brands provide that education, there’s a chance to build their brand and really hone in on the audiences they want to target.
That’s one of the reasons I’m excited about this study. We really outline the audiences that are using CBD and the best ways to reach them.Speaking of the study, what teasers can you give us?
So, we had over 10,000 respondents, and over 20% of respondents said they saw a significant reduction in alcohol use once they started using CBD. The eye-opening data that came from this study is pretty amazing, not only to help us better hone in on marketing strategies for our clients ““ but also to help our clients get the word out there on the positive impact CBD is having on the lives of the consumers across the country. We also examined consumer behavior as it relates to what consumers think about CBD in a traditional retail space, how to drive trial, brand loyalty, and ultimately basket size. Last but not least ““ we have found that each CBD brand has its own unique attributes and appeal to different consumer groups. Because of that, we took a more granular approach with how we looked at audience segmentation so we could assist our partners with creating brand strategies that make them stand out in a crowded marketplace. And that’s the power of the USA TODAY NETWORK’s network of consumers coupled with our data and intelligence capabilities.
I think this study allows us to see a direct result of our data and intelligence in how we deliver marketing solutions for our partners. That’s the most important thing for me.How can people find out more about this report?
We’d love to share it with them. Just email Jennifer Metzger at [email protected], and one of our experts will get back with you.Stephanie Heitman
Stephanie is the Associate Director of Content for LocaliQ and WordStream. She has over 10 years of experience in content and social media marketing and loves writing about all things digital marketing. When she’s not researching the latest and greatest marketing news and updates, she’s probably watching reality TV with her husband, reading, or playing with her two pups.
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Do you need insight into your Twitter engagement?
Twitter Analytics allows you to dive into the data behind your top Tweets, audience growth, and conversations.
Continue reading to find out how to access Twitter Analytics and what insights you can use to improve your Twitter marketing.How To Access Twitter Analytics
This will take you to your Twitter Analytics Home Screen or ask you to sign in to your Twitter account.
Alternatively, if you use Twitter Ads, you will find a menu option to access Twitter Analytics from the top navigation menu in Twitter Ads Manager.
Note that Twitter Analytics only begins collecting data when you first sign in, hence the sooner you sign in, the more historical data will be available to you.How To Use Twitter Analytics
There are three main sections of your Twitter Analytics data – the Account Home, Tweet Activity, and Videos.Review Your 28-Day Summary & Monthly Highlights In Account Home
In the Account Home, Twitter provides a summary of your Twitter account activity.
Starting at the top of your Account Home, you will see a summary of the following metrics for the past 28 days.
Tweet Impressions – The number of times your Tweets have been seen on Twitter. This includes when Tweets are seen in your followers’ timeline, in Twitter search results, or on your Twitter profile.
Profile Visits – The number of times your Twitter profile has been visited by other Twitter users on the Twitter website or Twitter app.
Mentions – The number of times your @username has been included in Tweets by other users.
New Followers – The number of Twitter users who have followed your account for the first time.
Note that Tweet impressions will not include the number of times a Tweet has been seen when embedded on an external website or the number of times a tweet has been seen in a third-party app.
Only impressions on the Twitter website or Twitter app are counted.
Following the summary of your Twitter activity over the past 28 days is a section of monthly highlights.
For each month, you will see your Top Tweet, Top Mention, and Top Follower.
Your Top Tweet is chosen based on the number of impressions it has received.
Your Top Mention is chosen based on the number of engagements it has received.
Your Top Follower is the newest addition to your Twitter followers with the highest number of followers.
In addition, you will see a summary of your Tweet Impressions, Mentions, Profile Visits, and New Followers for each month.Get Engagement Data For Posts In The Tweet Activity Dashboard
The Tweet Activity dashboard allows you to view metrics for individual Tweets.
Start by selecting the time period you want to review with the dropdown at the top right of this section.
You can choose the past 7 days, 28 days, or a specific month.
Next, you will see a bar graph depicting the number of impressions your Tweets have received over the time period selected.
Following the graph is a list of your Tweets for the selected time period.
You can choose to filter your view by Tweets, Top Tweets, Tweets & Replies, or Promoted Tweets.
Impressions – The number of times the Tweet was seen on the Twitter website or Twitter app.
Engagement Rate – The rate is calculated by taking the number of engagements divided by the number of impressions a Tweet has received.
Detailed Tweet Activity
When you select a specific Tweet, you will be able to see additional engagement metrics about it, including the following.
Detail Expands – The number of times someone expanded a Tweet to view more details about it.
Retweets – The number of times a Tweet has been Retweeted by other users.
EngagementsSee How Well Videos Perform In The Video Activity Dashboard
The Video Activity dashboard allows you to view metrics for individual videos shared in your Tweets.
Start by selecting the time period you want to review with the dropdown at the top right of this section. You can choose the past 7 days, 28 days, or a specific month.
Next, you will see a bar graph depicting the number of views your videos have received over the time period selected.
Following the graph is a list of your videos for the selected time period.
You can choose to filter your view to show all videos or only promoted videos.
Video Views – The number of times your video was viewed on the Twitter website or Twitter app.
Completion Rate – The percentage of users who watched the entire video.
Detailed Video Analytics
When you select a specific video, you will be able to see the audience retention for the entire length of the video and additional engagement metrics including the number of views and the following.
Minutes Viewed – The total number of minutes users spent viewing a video.
To the right of your Video Activity is a summary for the time period selected of the Total Minutes Viewed and Minutes Per Day.Detailed Tweet Activity Via The Twitter App
Detailed Tweet Activity can also be viewed from the Twitter app.
To access Tweet Activity, visit your Twitter profile in the Twitter app and tap on the analytics icon beneath the Tweet you want to analyze.
You can also tap on the Tweet itself and then tap on View Tweet Activity.
You will also get the number of New Followers and Profile Visits that you received resulting from this Tweet.
If your Tweet contains a video, you will also see the total number of Unique Views, overall Views, and the audience retention graph for the entire length of the video.View Engagement Metrics For Any Tweet
Twitter offers a few insights into the engagement of every Tweet on Twitter.
Retweets – The number of total retweets.
Likes – The number of times users liked this Tweet.Conclusion
As you can see, Twitter Analytics offers valuable insights into the performance of your Tweets and the growth of your audience.
Use this data to refine your Twitter marketing strategy to focus on the types of Tweets that drive engagement and help grow your Twitter audience.
Featured Image: Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock
Still relatively new to the mainstream, cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is becoming a household name. The purported therapeutic and health benefits of CBD, one of many compounds found in cannabis and hemp plants, has created a buzz. CBD oil has entered the marketplace in the form of tinctures, infused edibles, topicals and more. The growth of CBD oil products has been so immense, in fact, that industry analyst BDS Analytics predicts the U.S. CBD market will reach $20 billion in sales by 2024.
The potential of the CBD industry has prompted many people to explore how they can launch a CBD business. The industry is not without its challenges, though, especially surrounding the evolving legal landscape, but the opportunity is significant.
If you’re considering getting involved in the CBD industry, you first need to understand more about cannabinoids and the products that utilize them.What is CBD?
CBD is one of more than 100 cannabinoids, which are compounds found throughout the cannabis and hemp plants. The most famous cannabinoid is undoubtedly tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for the intoxication associated with the consumption of cannabis. CBD, however, does not produce an intoxicating effect; instead, it offers potential therapeutic and health benefits, though research into its potential medical applications is ongoing.
CBD products are generally created in several steps. First, the raw material needs to be cultivated and harvested. For example, if you plan on using industrial hemp to create your CBD products, you will either need to cultivate or purchase a large amount of the plant. From there, CBD oil is extracted from the plant using a variety of methods. Again, you can do this yourself or outsource the process to an extraction company. Once you have extracted the CBD oil, it can be sold as a concentrate or used to infuse a variety of products. Some of the most common CBD products on the market today include sublingual tinctures, infused edibles and topicals, like gels or creams.Hemp CBD vs. cannabis CBD
CBD is found in both cannabis and hemp plants. CBD oil can be extracted from either plant and used to create CBD oil products. However, there is a key difference between hemp CBD oil and CBD products derived from cannabis: THC.
Industrial hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, and as such, it is considered legal under federal law to cultivate, harvest and process into finished products. Cannabis, on the other hand, contains more than 0.3% THC (often much higher levels) and remains federally illegal.
Hemp and cannabis are closely related; in fact, industrial hemp is actually Cannabis sativa L. The difference in name is mostly a function of a legal definition, which sets the threshold for THC content. The flowers of a hemp plant contain little to no THC, while the flowers of a cannabis plant (commonly referred to as marijuana) contain much higher levels of THC.
The federal government considers marijuana a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, making it illegal for interstate commerce, even as dozens of states legalize it for adult use. Industrial hemp, on the other hand, was recently removed from the Controlled Substances Act altogether, opening the way for its cultivation and harvest in the U.S. for the first time since 1937.
Did You Know?
The key difference between hemp CBD oil and CBD products derived from cannabis is THC.Key challenges facing CBD businesses
The CBD and cannabis industry faces unique challenges that other industries don’t. Most of these challenges relate to the regulatory environment and, as federal agencies like the FDA detail specific rules and guidelines, things should stabilize. For now, though, if you want to start a CBD business, you should be aware of these major considerations:
Banking: Access to reliable banking services can be complicated due to the fluctuating regulatory landscape. Many banks are hesitant to do business with CBD and cannabis companies, fearing significant risk or burdensome oversight. Frequently, CBD businesses are forced to switch banks or experience the abrupt closure of a merchant account, which can seriously disrupt operations.
Insurance: Finding affordable insurance for a CBD business is another major challenge. Prices remain elevated despite the legalization of industrial hemp, Slovik said, as the industry takes time to catch up to the developments. Education remains a key obstacle.
Payment processing: Similarly, payment processors present high fees and other challenges to CBD businesses. Slovik said Visa recently cut off all CBD businesses, leaving him capable of only accepting MasterCard and Discover for payments.
Access to capital: Banks and other lenders are reluctant to fund CBD companies, viewing the industry as too risky without clear regulatory requirements. So far, the CBD industry has relied on bootstrapping, outside investors or alternative lenders to find the growth capital it needs.
Each of these challenges will likely be cleared up as more concrete regulation appears, but in the meantime, CBD businesses must remain adaptable and well-informed. Changes in the industry come on a day-to-day basis, so preparing backup plans ahead of time could save you a great deal of time and money should the worst come to pass.CBD is a huge business opportunity, if it’s approached correctly
The growth opportunity in the CBD industry is unparalleled. The cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing in the nation, and CBD is one of the quickest growing sectors of that industry. Especially following the passage of the 2023 Farm Bill, hemp CBD products are proliferating at a fast rate. If you want to start a CBD business, you’re not alone.
“This industry has been more or less illegal for the past century,” said Slovik. “At this point, there’s major, major momentum. Many people are trying to break in, so don’t follow the herd. You want to be a leader.”
A combination of due diligence and creativity will set your business up for success in the CBD industry. Now is the time to get in on the ground floor and build a company that will last, but differentiate yourself with a quality product that stands out from the crowd.
Additional reporting by Sammi Caramela. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.
UK DMA’s survey reveals key insights for email marketers
One of the challenges for email marketers is to stop thinking like email marketers.
A lot of assumptions about best practices are based on our collective view of just what’s going on inside consumer inboxes. But this view is biased by what’s going on inside our own inboxes.
If you’re an email marketer, you’re probably an online regular with a heavy duty email account or accounts. The same can’t be said of the proverbial man and woman in the street: the people who typically get the actual emails.
Our email experience is not their email experience.
Or is it?
Truth is we don’t really know.
Surveys of end users can, however, help correct our misconceptions. They provide important insight into how we might adapt our email campaigns to the reality of end-user chúng tôi the benefit of the email bottom line.
The UK DMA, chúng tôi and Alchemy Worx recently released the 2011 edition of the Email Tracker Report, which surveyed 1,800 UK consumers on their inbox activity and habits, responses and attitudes to commercial email, use of mobile email, and their social sharing behavior.
The numbers include a few surprises. For example, it turns out most people do not use email during their working day.Lesson 1: The wider relationship is important
Survey result: Over 60% of respondents are signed up to 10 or fewer senders.
People enter relatively few email relationships when you consider the total number of brands (i.e. potential senders) they interact with.
Many email marketers conceive campaigns on the assumption that the recipient’s inbox is flooded with great deals from their many competitors. This may not be the case, offering more scope for alternatives to the ever-increasing-discount wars, including content-oriented, loyalty and branding messages.
Senders face a challenge to crack what Merkle have long called the “inner circle” of senders (they say the average email user subscribes to email from just over 11 companies). The key here may be to exploit the wider, existing (hopefully positive) relationship with the recipient to capture the opt-in. For example by placing sign-up CTAs at key points of contact (like the point of sale in stores) or promoting the email list in transactional communications.
Loren McDonald has a good list building overview, where he emphasizes the need to exploit heightened interest caused by the forthcoming holiday season. It’s a similar principle: exploit the existing brand relationship to get the opt-in.Lesson 2: Email drives many out-of-email responses
Alchemy Worx’s Dela Quist sums up nicely in the report’s introduction:
“Email makes things happen in other channels and at other times too. Many consumers hold on to email to refer to for later use, which is vital for attribution and a valuable growing trend: a consumer who returns a week later to retrieve a commercial email demonstrates very high purchase propensity, for instance.”
The recognition that emails are having a significant impact on attitudes and responses outside of the actual email itself changes everything, as I’ve written before. To summarize:
it tells us we need to reassess how we measure email success, so our investment in email reflects it’s true value
it encourages us to create specific campaigns to exploit the out-of-email response, driving action now through other channels or driving action in the future through branding and awareness impacts.
“Organizations need to do a better job at defining an inactive”Lesson 3: You might be able to send more emails after all
Survey result: 94% of respondents are signed up to email from trusted brands, but over half are getting less than 3 such emails a day total.
Most inboxes are not overflowing with commercial email from trusted brands. This is confirmed by benchmark reports which show UK email frequencies at long-term lows.
Email marketers have long been wary of increasing email frequency for fear of triggering excessive spam complaints. Sending “too much” email is chúng tôi nor do you want to miss out on responses by sending “too little”.
Just under 1 in 10 respondents cited “too many emails” as the primary reason for marking a message as spam. So it’s still an issue, but many senders may be well under the threshold for what constitutes “too many”.
1. Consider carefully testing broad-brush increases in frequency
2. Explore ways to deliver more value, which lifts both responses and upper thresholds for acceptable frequency
3. Treat frequency changes as another option for specific segments or individuals. Your list is not an amorphous blob: some subscribers might resent more email, some will welcome it. The challenge is identifying the subscriber preferences, characteristics and/or behavior that lets you know who falls into each categoryLessons 4: Social sharing is not a global panacea
Survey result: 33% of respondents use no social network at all. Only 12% of respondents said they shared commercial email content into their social networks.
There is much interest in exploiting the interaction between social networks and email to the benefit of both.
That interest is justified, but needs to be tempered by realism: content and CTAs involving social networks are not relevant to many (most?) subscribers.
Rather than clutter up emails with “share with your network” links as a matter of course, marketers may benefit from using social CTAs more selectively. One option is to target by social network use, placing stronger focus on social calls to action with subscribers identified as potential sharers and influencers.
A second option is to reserve sharing efforts for specific contexts. Gretchen Scheiman, for example, recommends three reasons to keep (or not) sharing links in emails:
When the email content is newsworthy
When sharing is central to the message
When sharing is the way you increase your audience
We shouldn’t forget, of course, that what consumers say and what they do are not necessarily the same. Yet this kind of research does alert us to the key differences between our biased perceptions and inbox reality.
If you want to find out more about the way the email consumer thinks, as well as the DMA study, you might also want to check out surveys by e-Dialog, ContactLab, ExactTarget, Merkle. Or have you conducted your own study recently? What did you learn?
If you use a PC running any current version of Windows you may have noticed small files called chúng tôi popping up on your system. What is it, what do they do, what did I do to create them? Relax, they’re harmless. Here’s what chúng tôi files are for.
Thumbs.db generates a quick image based preview of files inside a folder when using the Icon or Thumbnail mode in Windows. By creating the preview before the folder is accessed saves time rendering a visual thumbnail. Doing this on the fly might not slow your computer down dramatically. However, for folders with many files or folders hosted on storage with a slow connection, chúng tôi can help give you a visual representation without waiting to connect to the folder.
By selecting this option, Windows will no longer generate chúng tôi files to show a quick visual representation of what’s in the folder you are accessing.
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NEIDL Symposium: Talking about Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci, David Quammen address scientists, BU community members, the public
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci told the NEIDL symposium audience that because there have always been, and always will be, emerging infectious diseases, “we need people and efforts like those that are going on right here, at BU, and at places like the NEIDL.”
Anthony Fauci flashed on the screen a slide of a huge map of the world crisscrossed with blue and red lines showing dozens of emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. Ebola. Yellow fever. MERS. West Nile virus. Dengue. Zika. This was the map the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases had shown to the appropriations committee of the US House of Representatives in March 2023, he said, addressing the opening of Boston University’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) inaugural symposium, held at BU’s George Sherman Union (GSU) on September 18, 2023.
“I made this slide completely impossible to read, because I want to overwhelm them so they will give me more money,” Fauci said. “For the last few years they haven’t, but that’s another story.”
Later, during a panel discussion with experts and journalists, Fauci pointed out that in February 2023, President Obama asked Congress for $1.9 billion to combat the spread of the Zika virus. “It is now September 18 and we still don’t have it,” he said. “It is completely unconscionable. We could turn that around by having an emergency fund.” He was referring to a global health security fund that has been proposed by health experts and would not be subject to the whims of Congress.
The three-day symposium brought together some 160 virologists and other scientists from all over the world who study the diseases on Fauci’s map—and work on vaccines, treatments, and public health responses—to discuss their research and the particular challenges of working with dangerous pathogens. On the first day, the scientists joined a large crowd of BU faculty and students, funders, journalists, and other members of the public at the GSU.
“This is a milestone event in the history of the NEIDL,” said BU President Robert A. Brown, who joined NEIDL director Ronald B. Corley, a BU School of Medicine professor of microbiology, in welcoming the scientists. “To be relevant, leading research universities must be involved in understanding the pathways of these diseases and finding vaccines and cures and treatments.” As the NEIDL moves toward opening its biosafety level 4 lab, he said, “we are committed to assembling a world-class team of interdisciplinary researchers to work on the most virulent diseases in a state-of-the-art facility with the highest standards of safety.”
While Fauci gave an overview of emerging infectious diseases, From AIDS to Zika, the day’s other keynote speaker, science journalist and author David Quammen, talked about how to communicate effectively with the public about such diseases. Some of Quammen’s pointers:
“People want to read about people. They want human stories.”
“Narrative is good. Every emerging infectious disease is a mystery waiting to be solved…Disease biologists are the Sam Spades, the Philip Marlowes, the Sherlock Holmeses who go out and solve the mysteries.”
“When Dr. Watson comes calling, let him in.” Holmes’ Dr. Watson, Quammen explained, is a journalist or author. “It is useful and valuable to give them access,” he said, although scientists should be careful and selective and talk to writers who do “responsible, cautious, conscientious work, checking facts, getting the context and quotes right.”
During the panel discussion, moderated by Adil Najam, dean of the BU Pardee School of Global Studies, Quammen had a question for Fauci: How does the drama of new and emerging infectious diseases affect our ability to deal with existing diseases?
Fauci’s answer: “The bad news is that it can take away attention from a problem that is chronic and ongoing, that is far worse than the very worst peak of the emerging infection.”
He cited the example of malaria. “For centuries and centuries, it’s been killing African babies,” he said. “Every 30 seconds, an African baby dies of malaria. If you look at what happened in West Africa during the Ebola outbreak, more people died of malaria than Ebola. And yet everyone was completely focused on the scariness of Ebola. The Ebola outbreak is now over in West Africa, and they’re still dying of malaria.” A positive way to look at this, he said, is that the dramatic outbreak, and people’s worries about it, could be used as a way to bring attention to the other diseases that are killing a lot of people.
The other panelists were Trevor Mundel, president, Global Health Division, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; George Church, a Harvard Medical School professor of genetics, a Harvard and MIT professor of health sciences and technology, and a Wyss Institute founding core faculty member; Nurith Aizenman, who reports on global health for National Public Radio; and New York Times medical reporter Lawrence K. Altman.
To have a major impact on the public and bring broad attention to emerging infectious diseases, Church said, Hollywood has to be involved. “You have to have movies like Contagion and Outbreak.”
“Some of those movies have been very unhelpful,” Aizenman said.
Lipkin suggested that scientists could have a broader impact by getting out of their media comfort zone and talking to conservative talk show hosts like Bill O’Reilly (COM’75).
“National Geographic is democratic,” said Quammen, a longtime contributing writer for the magazine. “It’s in every dentist’s office in America.
“We should be speaking not just to people who agree with us, even if we have to wrap it in sugar, and embed it in entertainment.”
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