We had a chat with Chris Whitener, Sales Manager at MagicalButter to learn about their growth, success and challenges.
MagicalButter is a kitchen appliance for extracting nutrients from herbs.
It has strong connections to the (legal!) growing cannabis community, and it wants to expand to culinary, homeopathic markets.
Challenges facing MagicalButter
- They have a team of about 30 people.
- They’re experiencing typical ‘growing pains’: Logistics, fulfilment, keeping up with demand.
What does marketing look like for MagicalButter?
Getting media attention / press is a big driver of growth.
- They advertise & build relationships with publications like the High Times.
- Active on lots of communities and forums
- Active social presence, especially on Facebook – they have over 275,000 Likes
- Generate awareness through compassion centers & medicinal marijuana dispensaries
- SEO / PPC growing, but not currently a priority for them (probably because the keywords in this industry are heavily saturated, and the prices are disproportionately high.)
Why referral marketing?
“The cannabis community is really tight-knit. when you have an industry with customers that like to hang out in forums and share advice, review products for each other, it just makes sense to have a referral marketing program.”
How did you put together your referral program?
MagicalButter gives $25 cash as a referral reward to advocates, and $25 off as a friend offer.
“We really wanted to make it worth it for our customers. It’s something people love to use and love to talk about. you can see it from all the blog reviews and video reviews about us. So it just makes sense to get it in as many hands as possible. We use our referral program to keep it spreading far and wide.”
MagicalButter’s experiences with using the ReferralCandy app:
Time commitment: “I use it about once a week, just to see how things are doing.”
Dashboard: “I love that you can see all the information you really need – who referred, who was the referrer, the amount, etc. It also alerts you if you need to change something.”
Manual onboarding: “Once in a while, if a customer is old-fashioned and is intimidated by tech but wants to participate, I’ll go in the app and manually add them as an advocate. This is easy, but could be better.”
It just works: “Our customers have never had any issues. We wanted to make our program as easy as possible, and it just works.”
Mega-fans: “We’ve had a few ‘super advocates’ who drive tons of sales for us because they have are skilled at content marketing or write a lot of reviews. We might not have captured those guys without a referral program. There’s one guy in particular, he loves the machine so much that he just keeps writing about it.”
Noteworthy things about MagicalButter approach to marketing:
The brand focuses on positivity & telling the story of how cannabis can help people. Managing perception is important, especially as the greater public views cannabis in a certain light.
Telling their user’s stories: At the Cannabis Cup (event by High Times magazine) the MagicalButter team brought a mother on stage to tell her story. She talked about her son, aged 14, who had Crohn’s disease. He had to use a wheelchair for mobility. Did cannabis therapy illegally to deal with the illness. She moved her family to Colorado over a year ago, where it is easier (and legal!) to get the medicine he needs. Today, the son is able to walk again – and has even taken up mountain climbing.
Big focus on community. They set up a Facebook group where users can share stories, trade recipes, and help each other get better results with the product.
“Imagine, as a medical patient, going into a marijuana dispensary and getting the medicine you need, but with no instructions on how to use it. A lot of those patients don’t even use the Internet. So they try to smoke it, which is a really inefficient and unhealthy way of getting the nutrients into your system. So what a lot of compassion centers do is they recommend our product. That way, so instead of smoking it, you could instead make some coconut oil, or some butter, which helps you absorb it much more efficiently.”