Bolder Thinking Blog

Financial services meets marijuana: Stash’s approach to promoting the cannabis industry

July 2nd, 2019 | Lierin Ehmke

As Illinois joins the ranks of states to legalize marijuana, the business implications of the cannabis industry are top-of-mind for many. However, it’s no secret that the industry—laden with volatility, criminalization, and advertising restrictions—is a tricky one for companies to venture into.  

Despite its murky waters, it’s clear that cannabis is a growing industry. According to Mintel research on recreational cannabis users, Consumers ages 22-34 are the strongest advocates as they are the most likely to consume and more open to the usage of marijuana. 

While the financial services industry probably isn’t the first thing to come to mind when thinking of cannabis, this interest can help reach the golden goose that’s desired by many FSIs: attracting the Millennial and Gen Z consumer. Leveraging interest in and the wealth potential of the cannabis industry to attract younger investors can be a lucrative move for all parties involved while creating life-long customers.

Stash Invest

A model FSI for venturing into these marketing frontiers is Stash Invest. While investment platforms like eToro and Robinhood offer products like marijuana ETFs, Stash Invest took charge with promoting the marijuana industry, its market potential, and various investment products. This is a strong move for Stash, as the brand typically focuses on young, nascent investors getting their foot in the door for stock trading.

Marketing Approach

Stash’s approach to promoting the cannabis industry is unique as it takes an informative, honest, and expert approach. Stash invested $150K YTD for its acquisition strategy on paid Facebook, which allows the brand to target based on interest, affinity, and location, thus better reaching those interested and open to investing in the cannabis industry. Stash is also very forward with its creatives, putting the $25B market worth potential of the industry front-and-center. 

Mintel analysis of Pathmatics [01/01/2019 – 06/26/2019]
From a retention perspective, Stash Invest leverages email campaigns to update customers on all cannabis news, from legalization updates to information of top companies. A proactive approach to informing customers helps put Stash in a position to be an expert in the field that many companies have yet to venture in. 

Source: Mintel ePerformance

Lastly, Stash pushes honesty and transparency, a vital combination in regards to a turbulent industry. Its cannabis ETF description is upfront about its volatility, stating that it is a high-risk fund that’s exposed to legal uncertainty. The honest approach is vital, especially for a new industry that’s still pending legalization, and further instills Stash’s informative positioning.


What we think

Stash’s priority toward the cannabis market, in conjunction with its easy-to-start-investing business strategy, is sure to stick out. Mintel research on marketing to Gen Z reveals that the cohort feels most strongly about marijuana legalization above all other issues. Other brands can take note – leveraging this new industry could prove beneficial to companies taking an informative and trustworthy approach to attract younger consumers. Providing news, updates, and ETF options can help make this new trend more digestible and appealing to invest early, and thus attractive to a nascent investor and facilitate long-term loyalty.


Lierin Ehmke

Lierin Ehmke

Lierin is a Senior Digital Marketing Analyst at Comperemedia. Lierin is responsible for producing syndicated and custom reports and providing omnichannel insights that enable clients to thrive within the digital space across a range of industry sectors.