Party Like a Marketer Podcast

Episode 35: The Importance of Data for Cannabis Retailers

Episode Description

One of the most important things for cannabis brands to do is create an amazing product. But what about the ideal buyer persona?

How does the consumer ultimately have a positive experience with your brand and make the decision to buy?

This podcast talks about how cannabis retailers collect information on their users through point-of-sale data collection, follow-up marketing emails, and in-store promotions. Rick and Lisa also touch on how databases have evolved through online customer reviews and in-person testing of products so that customers could make well-informed decisions as they shop for their favorite cannabis products.

Cannabis Marketing Association:
Contact us: [email protected]
Rick’s LinkedIn:
Lucid Green:

Read the Transcript

Lisa Buffo  00:12

Hi everyone, welcome to party like a marketer, the podcast dedicated to cannabis marketing, public relations and authentic storytelling. I’m your host Lisa buffo, the founder and CEO of the cannabis Marketing Association. You can connect with me on Instagram at Libuff and Twitter at Libuff 21. Send me a message I’d love to hear from you. Today’s conversation features Rick Bashkoff the Senior Vice President at Lucid green. Rick is an experienced startup executive who has worked in or invested in some of the most innovative sectors of media, entertainment and technology. Rick brings the knowledge base to the cannabis industry as the head of our marketing platform. Lucid Connect. Okay, welcome, everybody to today’s episode of Party like a marketer, the podcast dedicated to cannabis marketing, authentic storytelling and cannabis PR. Today’s guest is Rick Bashkoff, the Senior Vice President of Strategy and general manager of consumer platforms at Lucid green. Rick, thank you so much for being here today. Could you tell our guests a little bit about who you are? Your background? You know, what, what brought you to cannabis? What brought you to lucid green and a bit about lucid green and what the company does?

Rick Bashkoff  01:24

Yeah, for sure. Thanks for having us, Lisa. We appreciate it. So I actually been in cannabis for about three years now. I started off about six years ago as just, you know, a hobbyist and interested on the investing side. And so I thought it was a great way to learn about the market and decide if it was something I was interested in. And long story short, about six months into that I was I found myself waking up in the morning rushing to read cannabis information, as opposed to my previous career, which was in media and technology, mainly in the startup space actually started at one of the major record labels Warner Music Group, running digital video, and then moved over to startup when I was in my late 20s. And haven’t stopped. That’s really where I’ve spent most of my career. So I’m kind of a typical startup executive, I do a lot of different things. But my focus area has been mainly in business development, you know, GM in business business units. And and mostly for the for the better part of my career been just super focused on technology. Just a a pretty, pretty natural interest for me, I’ve always kind of been into it. And same with cannabis. And so I’ve been a cannabis user for quite some time, and never really thought that career would take me in this direction. But like I said, when I started looking at companies and learning more, I kind of I kind of showed up in 2016 and felt like I like almost missed the party, I didn’t really realize that there was already so much happening in the medical space and was completely naive on the power of the plant and all that. So took a few years for me to kind of catch up on all that. But, you know, made the jump at the end of 2017. And spent some time at a VC firms spend some time consulting and ultimately got connected to lucid green through some of the investing circles that I was in and just really was very impressed with the platform. So what lucid green does is we’re a software platform that solves both supply chain challenges, as well as an entire consumer marketing platform for brands specifically to speak directly to consumers. And so I thought it was unique in that the technology touches all areas of the supply chain. So everything from producers, distributors, retailers, we add value all along the supply chain. And then ultimately, the area that I’ve been focused on, up until recently, exclusively has been on the consumer marketing piece. And, you know, I spend most of my time at the intersection of media and tech and so having the opportunity to work with cannabis brands every single day just trying to help them figure out how to connect with their consumers was ultimately just you know, too sweet of a gig and so when when I got the opportunity to join I definitely jumped at it. And and, you know, look how I how I got to cannabis is like I said before, just the the natural passion just kind of brought me here. I feel I feel pretty fortunate to be working in a in a space that is so new. And you know, the the people that I’ve met in the space thus far have been have been great. So I’m happy to be in the space.

Lisa Buffo  04:46

And where where did you grow up and where do you live? Now tell us a little bit about where you’re from.

Rick Bashkoff  04:52

So I’m from upstate New York, just outside of Saratoga. For those who don’t know it’s big kind of summer, summer day destination horse track all types of cool things for kids. But yeah, I was I was definitely an upstate New York kid, went to school in Maryland, took my first job in Miami and then moved to New York City. And I’ve been in New York City and the surrounding area. Since so my wife and two kids we live outside of New York, just in a town about 20 minutes north of the city. And we also own a vacation house in the Catskills in Woodstock, which is, you know, from a culture perspective for the business that I’m in now is pretty sweet. And there’s lots of cool things happening now that New York is working towards legalization and so, so yeah, we’re like, we’re definitely New Yorkers. I don’t think like your typical what you think of like a city, New York, you know, group because we’re pretty into nature. And, and, but, but yeah, New York is home for us.

Lisa Buffo  05:54

Where Maryland did you go to school?

Rick Bashkoff  05:56

University of California? What!

Lisa Buffo  06:00

I yeah, I went to college park.

Rick Bashkoff  06:02


Lisa Buffo  06:02

Yep. Yeah.

Rick Bashkoff  06:04

When did you graduate.

Lisa Buffo  06:05


Rick Bashkoff  06:07

Nice. Well, I was a class of Oh, four. Yeah, very cool.

Lisa Buffo  06:13

Yeah, no, Sam, I was like, Maryland. Now. I gotta, I gotta ask, well, we’ll have to go down that rabbit hole another day. But there’s a lot of Terps in the industry.

Rick Bashkoff  06:22

Yeah, I know, it’s great.

Lisa Buffo  06:23

That’s awesome. And a lot and a lot of my trip friends are New Yorkers. So.

Rick Bashkoff  06:28

They actually have they have a master’s program, I believe now. The program. Yeah. And cannabis, I was pretty pumped to see the Alma Mater getting involved. It’s awesome.

Lisa Buffo  06:37

Yeah, yeah. And I think it’s a sign of the times that, seeing it at higher ed institutions and start to take a hold as far as entering the mainstream. I mean, that’s definitely one of the signals. So well, that’s exciting. I’m glad to hear that. Okay. Well, Rick, tell us a little bit about let’s start with some advice you would share with cannabis marketers, as a startup guy in a startup industry. I’m sure you’re enjoying the space I’m I share that personality trait with you where I love the the early stages of things. And I think part of what’s exciting about the cannabis space is that it’s a startup industry. So everyone, even kind of the veterans in cannabis, we’re still operating from that startup perspective. You know, regardless of how long you’ve been here. So what is some advice you have for cannabis marketers and cannabis entrepreneurs, given the stage that lucid green is at and some of the things that you’ve learned that have translated or not to this space?

Rick Bashkoff  07:36

Yeah, sure, I would say the first thing that pops to mind is know more about your customer than anyone else and be just like ruthless about getting that information in in a value exchange type of way, right thinking about it in terms of what can I provide to the consumer, for them to share me more information so that I create this, this nice cycle of getting information that tells me what my customers want, how their behaviors are changing how their their desires are changing over time, and allow that to be a very strong signal and input into the products we make and how we market them. And so, you know, obviously data is a word that’s thrown around quite a bit. But it really is, it really boils down to finding out information about your customers, that is the easiest way to think about data, right? Because data can be a little scary. So I would say that’s, that’s the first thing that comes to mind is that you know, what’s table stakes in other industries about the types of information you have to know about your consumers? I think we’ve seen more moreso than any of us would have would have liked in the cannabis space brands that are doing a partnership with a cultivator wrapping a logo around product and targeting an age range, right? Like that’s not that’s not really, you know, how to approach this type of this type of product, especially because there are so many different types of consumer profiles use cases for the plant, and the dynamic nature of how the plant actually reacts with consumers. There’s just so much open space to find pockets of opportunity. And so I would say that if you’re a cannabis marketer, and soliciting information directly from your consumers is not like a cornerstone of your marketing program. It really should be and you should start thinking about it immediately. And it’s and thinking about it in terms of getting more information from your customers is also like a less scary way to think about I gotta build a whole data set and then like start small, what is one way that you can connect with your customers that you can collect feedback on the product on the experience how easy it was to purchase? Do you like the merch we’re putting out You know, whatever that signal is start small start getting some signal and and you will probably end up finding your way to the next step to step three.

Lisa Buffo  10:09

And do you have advice on that sort of the practicality of how to do that, and I’ll say this and with some background, so the way we do it at CMA is I’m all about buyer personas. I love buyer personas, I like that exercise of going through, you know, we actually have a deck internally of these are our buyer personas. It allows you to fill in these these blanks, you know, what, what are they saying? What are their identifiers? What makes them unique? How can your product solve the problems that they have in their business, and we update them over time. And we actually just this week updated our buyer persona deck, based on assumptions we had made in 2020. And we did that, you know, that was another iteration. So there’s sort of the like, visualizing it, getting it and codifying it internally so that your team knows and has some shared language. But then there’s also the step of like getting that into your CRM or your database. So you can take action from it and say, Hey, okay, this customer, you know, should get this piece of marketing information. And so we’re going to segment them this way, do you have, you know, thoughts or advice on kind of that the best way to collect and make that data usable? Within teams? So that, yeah, so that you can really just make the most of it? Like any any advice on sort of that technical implementation? And even the, I don’t want to say ranking of value, but like, what, what is important? And how do you collect that, if that makes sense?

Rick Bashkoff  11:39

Yeah, for sure. I mean, I’m a very big proponent. And you know, obviously take this with a grain of salt, because I work at a cannabis tech company. But you know, I think cannabis brands and cannabis brands need to focus on making the best products, cannabis retailers need to focus on the buyer journey. I think in terms of building a database, go to providers that do this all day, right? Like, I’ve definitely come across brands who are like, Yeah, well, we kind of made this, you know, cobbled together this system with these three tools and whatnot. And if it works, great, but if you’re struggling with it, there’s lots of folks in the space that are looking to help cannabis brands manage their data, right? Whether it’s a traditional CDP is a database platform that you can use, which might be a little too complicated. For most, we’re having it bundled with other services, like we do at Lucid green, where, if you’re working on the consumer marketing platform, your consumer database is built into that, and that, that data, it’s yours, right, make sure you’re working with someone who, if you’re working with a provider, and you’re soliciting it, and you’re collecting it, depending on you know, in terms of ownership, that’s that’s definitely that definitely can get complicated, just in terms of the actual user owns their own submissions. However, as long as you’re doing, you’re collecting this information in a compliant way that you can use it however you’d like to, you know, I would say go with a third party to try and help you make the most of the data that you’re collecting, so that you can organize it and present it for inclusion in internal materials, such as decks, external materials that you’re going out to, so that you can kind of, you know, use this in sales materials at retail, you can use this at sales material, you know, for your case at, you know, events and, and conventions. But yeah, I would say that, you know, don’t don’t try and invent these types of systems yourself. I would, you know, I think the best advice is to either bring on someone who can do this full time internally, and it’s not just collecting data, right like I think there’s a you know, data leader that can that can you know, be bundled under marketing or operations depending on what type of of cannabis operator you are. But yeah, solicit the expertise don’t cobble this thing together, it’s too important. So that’s kind of my the answer to the second question about a super important to have the process in place. And I think it’s, I think it’s great that you guys have a that you have a internal process where you’re reviewing these buyer personas, different customer segments, you know it for cannabis brands. And the point that you made about updating them over time is one that gets lost all too often Right? Like we did this brand exercise two years ago. This is our target customer, I can almost guarantee you that that customer is not the same. It’s been two years so needs have changed. Specially in cannabis market conditions have changed. Price can become a pretty important buying signal when prices drop right and then as that evaporates, other things become important and so you know that that data stream of you know collecting the data To on an ongoing basis and letting it inform updates to your strategy, I think is of paramount importance.

Lisa Buffo  15:11

Definitely. And it was funny when we did it, we thought, Oh, these are going to be totally outdated, you know, we’re basically gonna have to scrap them and start over. And we didn’t. And we actually had, we had done better than we thought as far as like, Oh, these assumptions. They, they, they need to be updated. But there was a lot of meat to them as far as being true in present time with our present customers, but needing to adjust it and tweak it.

Rick Bashkoff  15:36

You still needed to collect data to validate that, right? Yes, we’ll need data to validate that we’re still on the right path. And that can be even more valuable than finding out that you have to change paths, right. So. So yeah, that’s, it’s great to hear that you’re doing that.

Lisa Buffo  15:52

Yeah, definitely. And just find the answers were okay, maybe we had grouped these customers as one group before. But looking at it closely, we can divide this into in a way that makes more logical sense for the business. One thing I want to talk about that you said that I’ve actually never heard anyone say before, but I’m still sitting with it that brands need to focus on their product. And retailers need to focus on the customer journey, which is interesting and makes a lot of sense. And I often hear, you know, speaking with brands and retailers, where brands are trying to also focus on the customer journey, help the retailers and help build that relationship in order to bring folks in the door. Because you know, so much in this space, as far as license holders, you’re doing b2b and b2c marketing, where you need to build those relationships with the brand or retailer depending on who you are, and the customer to make sure you’re bringing folks in the door. And that when they come in the door, that they’re buying and asking for your product, which is, you know, a win win. But it does come down to the product at the end of the day. And also, you know what the bud tenders recommending? So can you speak a little bit and I know lucid green touches this to the difference in the cannabis industry as far as B to B data collection and be to see data collection on your customers, and how to kind of navigate and explore that as far as your marketing strategy, because they are different, but they’re they’re definitely related, depending on your business. And I’m just we’ll just stick to talking to brands and retailers here. What is the difference in? Let’s just unpack that a little bit as far as collecting that information and how it is important to your marketing? Or just unpack for me what you said about brands focusing on product and retailers on the customer, the buyers journey, because that the mean, there’s a lot there.

Rick Bashkoff  17:42

Yeah. And I mean, look, I think that, you know, that statement was meant to be brief and overly simplistic. You know, there’s definitely a role for brands to play in the customer journey, especially those brands who are focused on direct to consumer offerings, right. I mean, obviously, there’s a there’s a need there to focus on the on the shopper journey. But but in terms of if you were to put one thing at the top of the Christmas tree, right for like what they do, the star at the top of the Christmas tree for for producers, for manufacturers, for brands is the product that they’re putting on the on the on the shelves, and the message that they’re communicating to their customers, right. And so retailers, they, they do one thing for the most part, right, and they sell product. Now, there’s obviously, you know, at the corporate level, there are companies that are doing both, but from a if you’re looking at the retail, or from a data collection perspective, they need to be very focused on the shopper journey. Whereas a brand has to be focused on post purchase intelligence that can feed back to product development, and, you know, obviously helping in with the retail partnership for customer journey. But to get to your question about kind of how, and I think what you’re asking, correct me if I’m wrong, is kind of how does collecting b2c information differ from b2b and what value those bring?

Lisa Buffo  19:03

Yeah, it’s internally? How do you kind of prioritize it? How do you wrap your head around it internally, and where I want to say where’s the most value because they’re different as far as what they do, but oftentimes, you do have to do both and manage both.

Rick Bashkoff  19:20

Sure. And lucid green definitely appreciates this, we operate both a b2b business and we provide software for consumers to connect with brands. And so we do, you know, have to collect both types of data. We’re a little unique in that we’re the platform on the consumer side. And we’re the platform on both sides. But specifically on the consumer side. We’re really, you know, we’re light on branding. We’re light on consumer messaging because it’s really all about brands connecting with their consumers. But, you know, we act as consumer marketing specialists for for our brands, and so I can tell you that Um, you know, the tactics for collecting data directly from your customers can take a variety of different forms. Number one, if you have your own owned and operated properties, you’re collecting first party data, right first party data being data that you know, you are recording that that refers to the user activities on your owned and operated properties. And there’s a lot to unpack there, depending on what platforms you’re using. So that’s one really easy kind of set. I don’t want to say set and forget. But lace set and it take care takes care of itself, it doesn’t really you know, like, once you set up your analytics, once you set up your social channels, your website, things like this, that you have a system to collect that data. So you have a stream of data coming to you having a way to communicate directly with customers who are purchasing your product. So like short plug for lucid ID we integrate right in at the package level, so that it can actually communicate with the customer if they if they scan the QR code. Another great thing about having this type of integration in on your packaging is this is your consumer education platform right here, customer can scan. And they’re now presented with a very rich consumer experience about your product, which I think education is one of the best value exchanges for collecting information from consumers, right, I’m going to provide you all of this really rich information about the product that you’re holding, get you confident about your cannabis experience and an exchange. Tell me how it went? What What feelings did you have, how quickly did the onset happen? Was it easy to find my products, right, having that conversation directly is kind of that next level zero party data, which is a big buzzword today, in that you’re now soliciting a response directly from your customer, in exchange for some type of value. So I think those are, those are those two areas, I think are the places to focus for most cannabis brands and retailers for that matter is being able to, you know, collect the data for, for the activities that are happening on the on the on the marketing channels that you operate, and the sales channels that you operate. So that data stream is coming in, but then Pair that with real life, you know, information that you’re collecting from your consumers directly. On the on the b2b marketing side, you know, obviously a bit different, we tend to, you know, focus, you know, on one or two social channels for obvious reasons that we all know. And we struggle with at all times, for those who are for anyone who’s listening who’s not who’s just kind of first in cannabis, social social media channels are, are quite the quite the bear for for cannabis brands and retailers alike. And even cannabis associations, I’m sure we’ve actually run into problems and we technically don’t touch the plant. So, you know, it’s it’s rough out there. But, but I think look like there’s areas like LinkedIn, where there’s, there seems to be a, you know, a very, very strong community in the cannabis space. You know, this, this, this industry is almost over conferenced on some level, but there, but there’s a few, you know, key kind of national conferences that I think it’s important to be at to collect real world information and feedback. You know, I think a lot of companies go to events and just feel like it’s about being there. And it’s about, you know, the socializing and forming relationships, that is an incredible opportunity to collect information. And we at Lucid green, we kind of have built an internal system using notion and a couple of other internal documents where, you know, if you’re, if you’re running at a meeting, and you find out a really interesting tidbit, it goes into a specific area, in our in our, in our internal tools, so that we can kind of collect that feedback real time. And so on the b2b side, you got to be a little bit more creative. There’s not a lot of kind of set and forget type of things in terms of data collection. But yeah, I would say, you know, getting out, you know, speaking directly to your customers, even in a conference setting, if necessary. But I mean, we’re just like, like we were saying, like we were talking about leasing before we hopped on I you know, we’re having a blast right now, just meeting with our customers on an ongoing basis. You know, the agendas are light intentionally. You know, we have a lot of conversations about the industry. We have a lot of conversations about, you know, the details of everyday operations. And data reveals itself in those conversations. And so I urge you know, people on the b2b side, if you’re not spending, you know, a decent percentage of your time, interfacing with the customers who are using your products, you’re probably falling behind.

Lisa Buffo  25:01

Yeah, I would say that’s fair. And I think, um, relationships, that personal relationship to some degree is more important on the b2b side, because you are speaking to a more, I don’t want to say sophisticated like buyer persona, but there’s a little more at stake there because it is a b2b relationship. And, and we are talking about to businesses.

Rick Bashkoff  25:25

Absolutely, I think you’re actually spot on on that. Because, you know, if you think about, you know, forming business relationships, most of these relationships are not as fleeting as a purchase, right, and most business relationships, I’m not going to make a decision to join a kind of another cannabis association for marketing every day, it’s going to happen once or twice a year for me, right, where we take a look at who we want to, which, which associations and communities we’re getting the most out of right, and we’re gonna make a decision. Whereas, you know, with consumers, you know, a lot of cannabis consumers are making decisions every single week. Right? And so the opportunity to affect that decision in that cycle is, so I think you’re right, on the on the b2b side, you know, relationship building is definitely of the highest importance.

Lisa Buffo  26:16

And do you have any lessons from your Warner Brothers days and your video media days that have been instrumental in the marketing that you do now?

Rick Bashkoff  26:27

Yeah, you know, what, I would say, one of the things that I learned in my, in my previous life and my career is, is just don’t bet the farm on one platform or one marketing channel. We saw a lot of folks in the media space do that as so. So I’m, I’m in the YouTube media space, like in 2006 2007. And like, video is going from a marketing cost in music, right? Music videos, right? To sell more music to an asset that you can stream on YouTube and make money off of it was just like, like, really big shift. And we just watched all of these content creators, right? Basically, one one year, they were betting everything on YouTube, the next year, it was all it was gonna be all about Facebook, it was like, you just watch this, like, jumping from platform to platform, got to diversify, you got to have your email list, you got to have the website, you got to have a bunch of different channels so that when one of them changes, or in the cases of cannabis, and why it’s relevant when one of them goes down when it because because it’s been blocked. You’re not You’re not blocked off from communicating with your customers, right? And I personally think that if you get the cadence, right, most consumers today actually appreciate getting communicated and educated in different ways, you know, over a six to 12 month period. Right. And so I think that that’s one of the big lessons that has, has, has translated like, we were preaching this constantly in the media space, like, you know, diversify, like have more marketing channels in the video space where your content is living, and you know, not not a million but have more than one that is core to your strategy. And I think how that’s translated over to cannabis brands is sometimes we’ll meet with a Canada’s cannabis brand. And you know, what are you spending marketing on and we’re doing everything is retail co branding, with you know, our CO marketing with our retail that’s like all we spend money and, and look like I get how, you know, with current market conditions, it can be very easy to make the easy decision. But you’re not setting yourself up for when that retailer changes policies or you fall out of favor at that retail now, now what is your so you got to kind of rethink on the fly over and over and over again. Whereas if you’re setting this up, where I have channels like email and my website and other places where I’m, I have a direct communication with my customers, right? That’s a lot of the reason why brands approach lucid green for the lucid connect consumer marketing platform is for them to be oh, this is another thing for me to turn on where I’m communicating directly with my customers. And it just again, like social goes down, they know that they have other channels to communicate to their partners. So diversify, get a nice group of partners that can work with you that work work friendly together. Tech platforms are meant to integrate, that’s why API’s exist. And so you know, make sure that you got a group of partners that are setting you up for success.

Lisa Buffo  29:38

That’s fair. And one thing we’ve also learned from marketing at the on the CMA side is not only do you want to diversify and for you know, basic survival purposes, but people also consume information differently. Some people are video aficionados and that’s how they learn. That’s what they love. Other people prefer to read, and they like articles They like lists. So having different forms of content on different channels can reach different people who it might not be that they’re not aware that you’re on YouTube. But that’s just not how they like to consume information. So you’re you’re also kind of meeting their learning styles as, as you were talking about education and how important it is in cannabis. That is couldn’t be more true. So how do you actually,

Rick Bashkoff  30:22

I’m sorry, I’m sorry to interrupt you but you actually brought up something that that I think is relevant here, which is, if you’re if you’re, if you’re taking the mindset that you just described, it sets you up to be able to test different things, test test, test different things, right? I don’t see enough of that in cannabis. We, that’s like all we did with our partners back at, you know, when I was in media and videos like, hey, let’s try this, oh, this part work. But this didn’t let’s do it again. Let’s do it. You know? So I’m constantly talking to brands when they say, have you tried XYZ? Yeah, we tried that once. It didn’t work. We don’t do that anymore. It’s like, well, let’s talk a little bit about that. Why didn’t it work? Right. And so I think that there has been a lot of and I feel for, for cannabis brands on this on this point, right? It’s like, you get burned on a marketing spend, it stings. But if you can kind of change your mindset a bit, and that every new thing, every new tactic that you try in your marketing strategy, it’s a test. Right? It’s we’re testing this thing, if it didn’t work, we need to figure out why it doesn’t, and tweak it, or, you know, try and get creative on on different ways to approach it. So you just made me think of that, because I think that that’s a smart, more smart way to approach it. If you’re trying something may hit on something that’s really working on email, that can that can benefit your business in ways that you didn’t really know. So just keep keep trying keep testing.

Lisa Buffo  31:49

No, yeah, that’s I love that. That’s totally the iterative startup mind, I’m just constantly creating and busting assumptions. And just repeat, rinse and repeat till your business is working. But the other thing I wanted to mention is the I really love and I am a fan of HubSpot talks about this. Gary Vee talks about this. But this like content model where you have sort of pillar content or pillar information, you’re talking about it, but you can disseminate it into different forms. So if you are creating a webinar up, that’s an hour long, you can make a one minute video clip, you can make a blog post from it, you can make four or five social media posts that are optimized for different platforms. So you’re putting in one efforts for creating this one piece of content, but it can be kind of sliced and diced and disseminated in different platforms. So you can test you know, video, you can test short form, you can test long form you can test right and from one piece of content. So you’re making those tests kind of go further faster. But keeping that constant the same of okay, this this piece of content is talking about, you know, whatever it is that that topic. So there is ways to, to use this startup mindset and use this concept of how do I make what I have go as far as possible and learn as much as possible, simply by sort of changing your format and how content is presented.

Rick Bashkoff  33:14

I think all of what you just said also applies to data collection, right? You’re taking in data and that one piece of data that you’re taking in, if you pair that with other data, right? So if you take, for example, if you take consumer scan data, and you take time of day data, right, and you pull these things together, you can start to see, okay, there’s certain types of day that consumers seem to be in the mindset of scanning product and finding out more about product. So that’s going to inform when I send out my emails, when I send out push notifications to people in my loyalty program, because I know these are the types of days that it seems like people are either at the dispensary, they’re getting home with their product and checking out the packaging. But you know, I think that that mindset of collecting, or in the case of content creating once, right, but then being able to, I guess the better way is generating once right generating content once but then slicing and dicing it into different ways, you know, different pieces of content or different linkages of data, you start to really get, you know, multiples on the value of your effort. So I think it’s a really smart way to think about content.

Lisa Buffo  34:34

Yeah, that’s interesting. Yeah, from the data perspective, it may I mean, it makes sense. And I meant to ask you, so when you scan that package, you help hold up and you have your QR code. What happens like what, what did they see what comes up? What’s next?

Rick Bashkoff  34:49

Yeah, that’s great. So brands have the ability to basically present a mobile optimized product brochure. So everything from product imagery to A description of the product, the full source to stay a source the shelf story. dosages, you know likely effects, we curate a set of product reviews so that folks can see what they’re getting into. And then and then. And then finally, most importantly, and where I think we we believe as a company, there’s so much opportunity is we’re actually integrated with over 400 testing labs. So we actually have the seat the certificate of analysis data, so the product testing data in a user readable format, if the users want to, they can click through and see the actual official COA data, but that builds trust with the customer, right? So like that, that area of the experience. Audit automates being able to communicate trust to your customer. Here’s the testing data like like, this is a legit product, we follow the rules. This is aboveboard, here are the types of cannabinoids how much THC is in it, getting into terpene profiling, which we’re very excited about. I don’t think the consumers are there just yet. But I think we, we see a future of true effects based products that are based off of specific terpene profiles. So you just have this, this opportunity as a brand, to close the knowledge gap with your customers about your product, which is, you know, again, just to bring this full circle, I think that’s the tip of the spear for data collection. And value exchange is let me give you more information, give you a you know, a bit more confidence about our product and our brand, and an exchange, we’d love to hear about your experience or what your intentions are or what your preferences are. Right. And so, you know, I think that that is, you know, the the most one of the most exciting parts of the lucid green platform is all of the work that we do on the supply chain side of our business fuels this very rich consumer experience. And so when you sign on with lucid ID for your packages, you’re really signing on for both operational efficiencies and solving the consumer marketing conundrum. All in one fell swoop. And it’s really powerful consumer scans the the code they get, you know, they’re getting direct communication from you. And like I said, it just it builds trust being transparent. Brand and kind of shouting it from the mountaintops, it really it matters for consumers, especially at this point in the industry.

Lisa Buffo  37:35

Yeah, definitely so so it’s a trust signal, because they know they’re gonna see the testing results, and it’s almost extended packaging space in the sense where you can put all the information in that won’t fit on the box.

Rick Bashkoff  37:47

Yeah, and like really immersive experiences and brands can, you know, I know brands are starting to and so you did a podcast on this recently, you know, getting into the NFT space, there’s, there’s, you know, basically there’s, there’s the ability to deliver what whatever type of experience you want, in terms of, you know, you can obviously link off to other places that your, your, your building community, you can ask them to join your email, there’s all types of ways to communicate. And it’s really like we’re actually, you know, the consumer application is, is the lucid ID app. It’s available on the Apple and Google Play Store. And really, it’s it’s, it’s a brand space to connect with, with customers. And so you don’t have to have the app to scan this product and get the consumer information that’s all built in. But if you want to connect further with a brand, you have the opportunity to join their loyalty program, get value from them share information back and really, and really form a strong relationship.

Lisa Buffo  38:47

And you were saying from the the brand side, they they get to sort of own that data. So do they get to see, you know, when QR codes are scanned and like, like, Tell me Tell me a bit about that. Did they get to see Hey, Lisa, the you know, 32 year old female and Denver just bought your like she scanned this on your animal package? Like what? Yeah, tell me about that.

Rick Bashkoff  39:11

Yeah, so look, yes, like we are like borderline annoying with our customers getting them, you know, nudging them to get to get them to look at the dashboard. So we have a dashboard product called lucid insights. It lucid insights for brands is what’s included as part of of the platform. What basically happens is we visualize the core health metrics for our customers. So things like we look at things like scan rate, so over a six month period, how many products did you put into market and of those, how many were scanned by a customer, right? And to give you an idea, on our platform, platform average is around three and a half to 4%. When you think about other marketing channels, it’s actually a pretty good response rate. For those brands who lean in Have a loyalty program and start to message that their customers best brands on the platform has an 11% scan rate. It’s bonkers, right? So better than one out of every 10 purchases, people are engaging with you and giving you information. It’s it’s pretty, pretty impressive. We also look at things like engagement rate, how often are the loyalty members that join your program? How often? Are they coming back and engaging? How often are they scanning? How often are they claiming points from you? Right? Another important thing that we give them, the opportunity to look at is, Where’s all this activity happening, but from a location time device, you know, we give them lists of their top users so that they can connect directly with them. You know, some of our some of our some of our brands on our platform are starting to do really cool stuff around experiences. So if we’re going to do like a purpose led brand, for example, we’re going to do a beach cleanup. If you come to the beach, clean up, we’ll have a couple of QR codes there that you can scan, you can get 50 points and join our loyalty program. There’s all kinds of different ways that that, that you can start. And this is, you know, to go back to our initial conversation, data collection is all data collection, right? But it’s but it’s data collection that fosters a really strong relationship. And so every piece of data that we’re collecting, we’re turning into some type of visualization for our customers. But I will say like, I’m not really into the whole, like, dashboard set and forget thing like that’s the tip of the iceberg. So like for us, we are we use the dashboards with our customers to ask the initial question, but then we provide a tremendous amount of support to our customers in terms of running, you know, bespoke data queries doing bespoke analysis, so so we’ll ask a question and pick up on something from the dashboards. But the real insights come from the support that we give our customers. And imagine being a cannabis brand, and you have a data analyst on your team. It just so happens, it’s with a partner, but you have the ability to kind of tap into that knowledge base and say, Well, you know, we we’ve noticed X snowfall, I’ll give you an example. So we have a brand that has loyalty programs in a few different states. And one of the states, California is always the top scan just because of the scale, right, the top scanning state, you know, one day last week, Oklahoma came out of nowhere, and was the top scanning brand on their platform. So what happened there, so we’re able to go look at where did the scans happen, what users were scanning. And so we were able to figure out very quickly, that new store opened in in specific area. And this user base, they were they were they leaned forward. And you know, at the at the, at the, in some of the in store events, the brand ambassadors did a really good job of pointing out the code and whatnot. And so it’s great to be able to catch a trend at the dashboard, but then work with the brand to get to the bottom of it, because that’s where the learnings and the insight takes place.

Lisa Buffo  42:55

That makes sense. And it definitely helps, I think when you have that level of expertise to dive into it and make sense of it. Because I think what we see with brands and retailers is they do have a lot of data, but they don’t know what that actionable next step is.

Rick Bashkoff  43:10

Absolutely. And I would say look like, we want to work with other data providers in your stack, right? Because we’re one signal, right? We’re really focused on post, post purchase information. But if you’re working with, you know, a media activation company or running campaigns, and you’re getting data from that, let’s work together, let’s figure out a way to work with your other partner, so that we can figure out if you know, a specific message that you that you were pushing on the paid media side really activated your loyal customers, we should know that right? And so it’s important to again, kind of beat this drum a lot. work with partners that are willing to work together. It’s really important.

Lisa Buffo  43:55

Yeah, no, that’s fair. That’s fair. I think definitely with data. It takes a village to make sense of it. Absolutely. Okay, Rick, love want to be mindful of the time. So one last question. What would like if you had one piece of advice for brands in the cannabis space or entrepreneurs like what what would it be?

Rick Bashkoff  44:17

Right now, next year is going to be tough. I think it’s going to be we’re kind of meeting this, this this point of maturation in the business, which I think is exciting and a little scary. But my my one piece of advice is to you know, don’t forget the size of the opportunity that we’re all working on here in terms of leveling the playing field, you know, an industry that can level the playing field, right wrongs, you know, generate a tremendous amount of opportunity jobs. And yes, money, right, like, like there’s lots of opportunity here. But don’t lose sight of that during tough times. If you’re entering the cannabis space right now come in with with your you know, ready to do battle? I mean, it is, it is, it is a tough space to operate, but it’s, it’s rewarding. So my piece of advice is to is to keep your head up out there and, and keep solving problems if you’re if you’re solving problems, you’re probably headed in the right direction if you’re stuck, you know, find partners that can help you. But yeah, it’s it’s tough out there right now. But I really think that the five year outlook here is really, really exciting. And, and, you know, just unfortunately, we’re in a space right now where it happens to most markets. And it’s kind of a badge of honor to kind of hit these these, these market corrections. But you know, if you’re staying focused on on the on the, on the basics, and just having grit, you know, you’re gonna get on the other side, and there’s going to be lots of lots of fun to be had on the other side.

Lisa Buffo  45:55

Yes, very much. So. Well, Rick, is there any contact information website, social handles, anything you want to share? For listeners who are either trying to find lucid, green, or you?

Rick Bashkoff  46:06

Yeah, check us out at You can find out all about what we do there. And, you know, schedule a demo I the first place, you should start with any tech providers, let them show you what they do. And we can’t wait to connect with brands and show them exactly what our tech does. So yeah, head on over to and hit us up and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

Lisa Buffo  46:32

Awesome. Well, Rick, thank you so much for taking the time to connect with us today. We will link on our podcast page, your website, lucid greens website and your LinkedIn. Thank you. It was really been a pleasure talking data with you and learning more about you as well.

Rick Bashkoff  46:47

Same. Thanks, Lisa. Talk to you soon.

Lisa Buffo  46:49

Okay, thanks. Bye. Thank you for joining us for another episode of Party like a marketer. Follow us on Instagram at party like a marketer and on our website, the cannabis marketing Check out our website for more details and membership information. We’ll see you next time.

Meet Your Host

LISA BUFFO, Founder and CEO of Cannabis Marketing Association

Lisa Buffo is an award-winning entrepreneur and marketer with a passion for launching companies with experience in both the cannabis and technology industries. Lisa is the Founder & CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association, a membership based organization focused on education and best practices for industry marketers with the vision of rebranding cannabis at the national level. She was named one of 2019’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in Cannabis by Marijuana Venture Magazine in 2019 and named “The Marketing Guru” by Women & Weed magazine and is a featured speaker and media source in publications like Forbes, The Guardian, and VICE. You can find her on Instagram @libuff and Twitter @libuff21.

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