James Carbary

Founder at Sweet Fish Media

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How do You Market in a New Industry?

James Carbary

Founder at Sweet Fish Media

Full Profile »

A number of questions arise when marketing in an up-and-coming industry. How do you market in a new industry? CLICK TO TWEET How do you establish trust? How do you gain credibility? We sat down with Lisa Buffo, Chief Marketing Officer at Tradiv, an online wholesale marketplace for the Cannabis Industry. Lisa is well-versed in forming a positive reputation in an unfamiliar industry. During our conversation, she highlighted 3 things that were key to Tradiv’s success even when the market was hesitant to embrace the new industry.

1) Transparency is Key

Transparency is everything.


The wholesale cannabis industry is still relatively new, and even though the legality of recreational cannabis use is growing, it is still a federally illegal substance. In such an industry, many more consumer trust barriers exist simply due to the legal volatility of the product.

Touchpoints, handshakes, face-to-face meetings, and building a reputation with customers all aid in establishing trust. Tradiv wants to ensure their customers know and understand that they are there to help them and to help their businesses. Whether they’re a dispensary, a MIPS company (Manufacturers of Infused Products), a cultivator, or a grower, Tradiv invests the time into building trusting relationships with their customers.

Tradiv also prides themselves on being very hands-on and highly attuned to a client’s needs and wants. For cultivators, they will come to your farm, take high-quality photos, and gather as many details about the product as possible, which creates a high-quality, high-transparency standard amongst their partners.

2) Piggyback on Partnerships

Tradiv has strategically piggybacked on the credibility of strong partnerships. Early on, Tradiv partnered with a business development company, Canopy Boulder, who specializes in a mentorship-driven seed-stage investment program for startups in the cannabis industry.

With Canopy Boulder’s widely known and respected reputation, Tradiv was able to gain an incredible amount of credibility even in their early days of starting up. In addition, they partnered with investor network, The ArcView Group, which launched them in the right direction.

3) Earn Trust, Maintain Trust

Maintaining established trust is a large piece of the pie as well.

Tradiv has a strong commitment to ensure that the trade that is happening through their site is happening safely, securely, and transparently. Simple things like guaranteeing orders and covering return costs for products that are not up to standard are huge steps to ensuring their clients continue to trust them.

Tradiv has also placed dedicated account executives in strategic regions of the state of Colorado, so local shops have a dedicated presence in their area. These account executives know their customers’ needs and can tailor their product for them. For instance, a lot of mom and pop stores place high importance on pesticide-free, Grade-A cannabis, and Tradiv can make sure that happens.

At the end of the day, they know what the market is asking for and are dedicated to providing top level service to a very educated consumer base.

None of this is easy. People are understandably hesitant to embrace companies that are new, and specifically ones that carry the kind of volatility that the cannabis industry does. With people like Lisa behind the marketing wheel, though, they should rest easy.

This post is based on an interview with Lisa Buffo from Tradiv. You can find this interview, and many more, by subscribing to the B2B Growth Show on iTunes.