How To Leverage AI Software For Your Cannabis Dispensary

Brandon Quan | Founder

Published: March 28, 2022

We’re back with another awesome session. In this episode of the Dispensary Marketing Podcast, we have Jerry Abiog. Co-Founder of Standard Insights. Their AI software enables you to target the right person, with the right product/service at the right time. 

In this session we discuss:

  • How to leverage artificial intelligence to drive more sales to your dispensary
  • How you can reduce wage inflation with AI
  • Four levers that can help weaponize your dispensary sales data
  • What dispensary owners should focus on in 2022

 And much much more!


Cannabud Marketing is the top digital marketing agency for Cannabis Dispensaries. Our specialized expertise will put you in the best position to succeed when working with us.


What’s going on guys? Here with another podcast, the dispensary marketing podcast, I’m your host, Brandon Quan. The founder of Cannabud Marketing, the number one digital marketing agency for cannabis dispensaries.

And I’m here with Jerry from Standard Insights. So just wanted to say thank you and welcome to the podcast. Thanks for coming on. Hey, Brandon. Thanks for having me on glad to be here. No worries. No worries. So, you know, let’s just hop right into it. Tell us a little bit about yourself, how you got things going, how you got into the space.

Yeah, Brandon. So, uh, a little bit about myself. Uh, I’m an older guy than maybe your Sur past podcast pad podcast guests. I’ve had over 25 plus years in, uh, sales and marketing experience. About 10 years ago, I left the corporate world and started my own business, helping software companies with sales and, uh, marketing initiatives had some awesome clients, uh, along the way.

And then, um, as I say in life, you learn from one of your failures and one of my clients, it was, uh, another AI and machine learning company and that client failed. It was an utter bust. But what I learned from there is, you know, a couple things is that there’s a, there was gonna be a huge potential and AI space.

And number two, doesn’t matter what software that people are using or software that you’re trying to sell. People want a good user experience. And with that, I mean, something that’s, uh, you know, easy to use. So as this, um, company was imploding through San events, I met my future co-founder who was I, I live here in Atlanta.

So my future co-founder was visiting from India here. Atlanta used to live in Atlanta, and he used to work as a technical architect for general electric, right. A fortune 50 companies. So we met through mutual friends having a few beers, and he pitched me this idea of a, a, uh, a prototype head of an AI, uh, platform that could help businesses doesn’t matter what vertical drive, repeat buyers.

So this was going back three and a half, four years ago. I took that concept flew from Atlanta to Denver, into outdoor re, uh, and went to the outdoor retail show. And a week later when I returned to Atlanta, uh, had two, uh, beta clients. And from there, uh, standard insights was formed. So was this, uh, essentially phase one of standard insights? How has that kind of evolved from what you did, you know, I guess four years ago to kind of what you’re doing? Yeah.

So I guess it was phase one, as you may know, a lot of these startups happened, uh, the impetus of these startups maybe just happened in a casual conversation, maybe over, uh, over beers. And initially was just, we drew up plans on a cocktail napkin if you’ll, and it just kind of evolved from there as we, as we grew and morphed.

And then one of those verticals that we morphed into is in the cannabis space. Nice, nice. So tell us a little bit how exactly the software works. Obviously you wanna drive, repeat customers, that’s where the value add is for, for, for your clients. Um, but how exactly does it work? Like what’s the process behind it? So we, our goal is to our, our mission, if you will, is we leverage businesses first party data, help them weaponize that to help them drive growth.

And where do you get your first party data that could come from a handful of places, but typically from your e-commerce platform, mm-hmm or point of sale, uh, platform. So with dispensaries, it is coming from our point of sale platform. So we pulled data via an, a, an API, you know, run it through our AI engine, our software, and then it spits out to recommendations from there.

So for the most part, is it just the recommendations and, or do you have a nice little data set on the back end where now dispensary owners can then make actionable decisions based on, I guess, the recommendations that your AI has? Yeah, it’s, uh, we got a data set mm-hmm and then now you can execute under recommendations.

So what we can do is we pull the data and we in essence can do four things. So we can take a look at the, um, you know, potential profitability yep. Of a dispensary’s customers. We can predict on a macro level if, uh, the dispenser has a data based on what someone’s likely to buy on a macro level on, based on geographic demographic, psychographic, or behavior characteristics, uh, number three, we can predict on a micro level what each person’s likely to buy.

So you and I could be a customer of a particular dispensary mm-hmm and an hour past behavior patterns, buying patterns compared to other people like us, you and I could be predicted to buy different things. It’s a similar to what you’re seeing with Amazon and our product recommendations and Netflix, uh, with their movie recommendations mm-hmm or now we can also do, uh, inventory level prediction.

So we can predict how much of these, uh, CBD hemp drops here will sell how much of it will sell in a given, uh, day, week, or month. So now we take all that information. It’s in a pretty little dashboard, but we go beyond pretty dashboards. Now we can enable you to execute truly data driven omnichannel campaign.

Mm-hmm the email text, or social media. So you and I we’re getting a relevant text based on products that were likely to buy instead of mass, uh, blasting a product that you or I may not have interest in. Okay. So I have a few things to unpack, and I just wanna make it as simple for whoever’s going to, uh, end up listening to this.

So sure. In terms of kind of the, the benefits, you know, I guess of what you guys do, you have the profitability aspect, the analysis of the demographics past behavior patterns, and then the inventory level, uh, prediction. Is that kind of yes. Yeah. The overarching 30,000 foot kind of view. Yeah. What you guys do.

And then on that, we can then use that for email tax social media or, or, you know, kind of whatever that is. Right? Correct. So in terms of the, the, the data set, right? Like how much data do these dispensary owners need to, to, to really use, cause just like any analysis, the larger, this sample sizes, the kind of better and more accurate, you know, decisions can be made moving forward.

Typically how, I don’t know if it’s a, how long do they need to be using your software for, or how many transactions, like, what does that look like for the dispensary owner? Yeah, that’s a very good question Brandon. So obviously the more established dispensaries that have large amount of data sets they’ll do better, you know, with the predictions, um, you know, ideally just bare bones when, uh, verse coming in or you’re a brand new dispensary, you know, ideally, you know, minimal maybe a thousand of, you know, purchase orders.

Sure. Got a hundred plus customers just to start. Yeah. But mainly just because you’re at young dispensary and versus someone it’s more established at five plus years old, that older dispensary is gonna have more efficacy with the predictions. Right. Mm-hmm we always say between 30 and 70% accuracy rate, maybe for the younger dispensary, it’s gonna be 30%, but for the more established one, it’ll be, uh, you know, closer to 70, but the good a thing with AI, it gets smarter over time.

Yes. So if that younger dispensary, okay. You could argue that, Hey, it only has 30% efficacy rate today, but over time as they get more and more customers and go through emotions, that efficacy rate will continue to improve and grow. That’s the beauty of AI yeah. You’re right, right. A lot of, uh, the, the owners, the dispensary owners that, that I speak with, or even that I’m working with, they own multiple locations.

Right. And, and one of the, the prediction factors, uh, in terms of the data leverage that you can use is demographics. Right? So typically when people let’s just say, I have five different dispensaries distributed in different cities, right? Obvious, well, maybe not obvious the demographics may or may not be different.

Right. So, you know, I’m a dispensary owner. I have, let’s say one shop that I’ve opened up for three years. It’s super, super successful. And then in succession, I’m gonna open up 2, 3, 4, 5, right. Do you recommend to use your preexisting data for location one for the rest of the locations? Or should I generate a new sample size or a new data set for the, for the updated information I may get from these different cities? So, both.

Right. So initially if you you’re, you have a successful dispense, so dispense number one. Yeah. That’s doing well, you got a robust data set, but you’re opening up dispensary 2, 3, 4, and five. Sure. You can do both in parallels. So now you can take the data set from one mm. Apply it to the new newer dispensaries number 2, 3, 4, and five.

But as those dispensaries get new new customers, right. So you’re taking that data, existing buyer data and kind of combining it with the, with the, uh, from dispension number one. And over time that those two data sets that are gonna emerge mm-hmm . And then now as those dispensaries grow dispensary two, three, and four and five, now we’re gonna have their own identity.

Okay. Nice. Nice. And, uh, one of the things that, you know, kind of peak my interest is that whole email, text, social media stuff, right? Yeah. So, uh, from my knowledge, a lot of the softwares, um, and companies that kind of do that stuff is more so, Hey, let’s just regularly put out a blast every two weeks for these latest drops or whatever it is.

Right. There’s not necessarily any targeted thing on a per customer or basis. So as what you’re saying, we can then curate specific messages for the people that want, um, well, well, they don’t know that they want, but based on, but based on your data, um, they know what, what we know what we can target for them.

Yeah. You’re absolutely right. Cause marketing dollars, especially in today’s day and age, labor, shortages, and inflation, you know, marketing dollars are too precious to waste. Yeah. Right. And to your point, you want to be highly, uh, you know, curated because if you’re highly curated, that’s gonna improve the customer experience and help drive growth for that dispensary.

So to your point, instead of sending a mass blast, I think, I mean, we’re, we’re definitely in, you know, in different age groups, right. I’m 50. And, uh, when I use, uh, uh, cannabis, it’ll be to help me sleep. Mm-hmm help me get a good night’s sleep, you know, seven to eight hours. That’s what I use it for.

Right. Yeah. Maybe someone in their twenties, maybe using cannabis for different, uh, reason maybe, uh, to, to get high or, you know, get the creative juices flowing. Yeah. So if I we’re, we’re both going to the same dispensary and that dispenser owner, that dispenser marketing manager sends me an email, Hey, try this free yearold to help you get high, I’m going be turned off.

Right. Cause that customer doesn’t know me in essence, what we’re helping the dispensaries owners do is to know their customers better than they know themselves. Yeah. And we can, when you can encapsulate that and translate that through marketing campaigns could be email or text, that customer will be a greater chance of them by being a repeat buyer for that specific dispensary.

Mm-hmm , mm-hmm I mean, I think that’s a perfect way cuz like, I think a lot of times, you know, in the marketing space it’s like, it’s a very much shotgun approach, right. It’s like, Hey, let’s just blast out a newsletter to my list of 5,000 people. Um, but I talk to dispense owners about this all the time about like, it’s not just about, you know, doing the actions, the first thing, but doing it better is, is the second action.

Right? How can you, how can you further improve conversions, whether it’s via email or whether it’s via text. And I think you guys have a really awesome way that you can essentially curate that, that message for, for everyone. And you made, you made a good point, right? The shotgun, I mean, uh, we’ve come too far in today’s, you know, marketing environment just to rely on a shotgun approach.

Yeah. Yeah. So one of the main things, and we spoke about this when, when we first spoke, you know, however many months ago, I think the biggest obstacle was that to get like your software to get standard insights integrated with companies that already have whatever POS or backend loyalty system or, you know, it was very, very difficult.

Right. Um, but you told me about your integration with Flowhub, which I thought was really, really awesome. So tell me about kind of how that started and how that works with Flowhub and how you guys integrate with each other. Yeah. So we partner up with Flowhub, uh, you know, a few months back, so now our API can connect with theirs.

So now if you’re dispensary that’s using Flowhub, we can take your data from there mm-hmm and, um, run it through our, um, you know, AI engine. Um, so that’s pretty much how it works. Right. Which when we spoke, I think it was nearly a year ago. Yeah. we didn’t have that. Yes. And then, as we speak though, it hasn’t been made public, we just signed some agreements with a couple other point of sale companies, nice.

Uh, in the Canada space and not only point of sale companies, but we’re in discussions, wood with a last mile delivery company. Now they work in a bunch of a bunch of different verticals. Sure. But cannabis is one of ’em. So now we’re gonna help them predict or their clients predict what type of products we’ll sell in a, given a geo location.

Mm-hmm so, um, yes, we’re doing self full hub and soon to be with other point of sale systems, but we’re also, um, incorporating with other, uh, uh, tech platforms and one of ’em coming down the road will be, uh, a last mile delivery company. Ah that’s that’s, that’s super, super exciting stuff.

When can we expect, uh, the delivery, um, I guess partnership for you guys coming up in the future. Yeah. Hopefully, hopefully soon. I mean, I’ll text you or, uh, uh, drop you an email into the once we get to go ahead. Yeah. Yeah. We’ll, we’ll have a separate episode and you can talk about, you know, all the stuff that, that, that goes around that.

How has, um, how has the, I guess the uptick in, you know, when you integrated with flow, how, how has that kind of changed? Has that changed what you guys are doing or is it just as simple as you do something flow? Hub’s like, Hey, I love what you’re doing and you know, let’s move forward or did you do anything different to integrate with them? No, it just, Hey.

I mean, they were looking at other analytics partners to build up their, uh, your, their analytic tech stack. And um, I think with us there’s six, there were, you know, five, five others. And then we, we came on six relatively, relatively recently. Mm-hmm and yes, I mean there mean there are other analytics platforms out there I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna hide that from you.

Yeah. But where we differ is we can make the predictive recommendations. Okay. And even if the others can make the predictive recommendations, we can help you not only run or, uh, you can execute data driven campaigns from our platform mm-hmm , but we also have a maintenance service component that’ll help you create and run those campaigns.

Mm-hmm uh, mainly because I’m assuming just like in the states and in Canada as well, most dispensaries are short staffed yeah. And suffering from a labor shortage. Yeah. Yeah. So now we can in one complete package, not only can we provide you with the data to make help, you make smart decisions, we can actually create and execute these campaigns for you.

So you mm-hmm as a dispenser owner, who’s short staffed. Um, you know, you have, you know, you’re busy doing other things and we can help you with that component. Okay. So I think that’s, I think that’s super valuable. What you touched on is the, you know, the, the standard dispensary owner, you know, whether they own a lot of stores and they’re short staffed across the board, or it’s a mom and pop and you know, the one person kind of wants to get out, walk me through how exactly, you know, you guys can help out, you know, uh, in, in this specific manner for, for this labor shortage.

So yeah, basically we would do all the work, all the heavy lifting for them once they sign the agreement and we get the API, uh, their data access, we take care of everything behind the scenes. So you Brandon, if you’re a dispenser owner, you’re not sitting behind your computer at nine o’clock in the morning as a dispensary opens.

Yeah. Trying to figure out a piece of software. Sure. You know, running campaigns. Yes. Um, you know, with it. So we take, we take that for you. So you, you can think of us as your, as your data arm, as your smart marketing arm. And maybe now we meet with you, you know, once a week, um, maybe on Monday or Tuesday mornings for, you know, half hour, 45 minutes, Hey, Brandon, this is what we came up with.

What do you think you give us the go ahead and then we’ll execute those campaigns for you and the campaigns are the SMS email campaigns or this SMS, the, the eMAR, the marketing, uh, yeah, the marketing emails. Mm-hmm but they’re, they’re smart campaigns. They’re smart emails. So now it’s going beyond you, uh, you know, a mass blast, uh, you know, if you will, so you and I, if we’re on a dispenser email list yes we could, or text list, we could get recommended different products.

Yes, yes. So one of the main concerns or the not even a concern, it was, it was a problem with at least some of the, the owners that I spoke to was that the, the loyalty aspect of getting people to download an app or, you know, kind of go into this points wallet to, you know, it’s a very cumbersome process, right.

To, to line up me as a customer. Let’s say if customer one with customer ones purchases down the line, right. Without having to, you know, continually ask someone or again, download an app or have a specific wallet or something like that. So how does, how do you sync up with the customer data? That’s making the purchases, you would then integrate with the existing POS of whatever customer, get that data and then be able to a, push it towards whoever you need to, and you don’t need any additional access.

You don’t need the customer to do anything more. Right? Nope. Just as long as we get the data firsthand mm-hmm and we get the API keys and that’s that then? Yeah. The customer, I mean, it’s not app based. We know, uh, people have too many apps in our phone and it’s just a pain to download. Yeah.

So, yeah, just matter, getting, uh, data the first time. Sure. And, and that’s that, and then you get a login. Our, our software system is a, is a, a it’s a SaaS platform. Right. So just monthly, monthly fee. Yeah. Uh, you know, to that yeah. This, this sounds like some pretty, some pretty, pretty cool stuff that you guys have going on.

I mean, it, it sounds awesome. The, the, the evolution of, I think a lot of businesses, whether it’s SAS, whether it’s a brick and mortar, whether it’s kind of an agency style, you know, I’m just super interested in kind of like how, how these businesses grow and stuff like that, which is, you know, really, really interesting.

So I guess on that topic, what’s coming down the pipeline for, for you guys, like in the future. Sure. Um, do you have any kind of big projects, big milestones that, that you’re looking towards? Yeah, so we have remote our main, a AI platform, right. Uh, smart choice, AI mm-hmm that makes those recommendations, uh, coming down to pike, we’re gonna launch our own email platform, uh, called quick reach.

Okay. Okay. Right. And then though this is not our, uh, our main product. Um, it can be used as a, you know, an ordering app, not an ordering app. It’s a ordering, uh, site. Uh, you know, if you will, so now, and yes, there are other tons of ordering platforms in cannabis space. Mm-hmm , but what makes us different is you using the, uh, AI, you know, AI recommendations.

So once you log in, after we’ve established some sort of behavior pattern from either Brandon or Jerry, now, when you log in, it’s gonna make recommendations on what you’re likely to buy. Uh, interesting. And then, um, you know, a couple other things, um, you know, some cannabis companies we, we talk to, it’s not really our, our, you know, our forte, but they need, may need help with say software development.

We can help ’em with that. Sure. In, in what aspect, how, like, for, for what exactly. Yeah. Just for anything that, that may, they may need. So if they wanted a, maybe a specific app, uh, develop or some software that they, um, now we’ve opened up a, a dev arm. Oh, okay. Okay. So you’re just kind of using your existing resources for yep.

Exactly. So you got a dispenser or something. They need help with some, some dev work we can help out with that. Mm-hmm , mm-hmm right. Maybe they wanna create a, um, an ordering platform. Yeah. Specific to them. Mm-hmm um, you know, in fact that’s what we’re doing for a delivery company, cannabis delivery company.

Right now we’re in the process, we’re helping them create an, an AI driven ordering platform. Oh, that’s, that’s, that’s pretty awesome. Looking forward. Hey, look, I, I think we’ll have a lot of content for another podcast at this football. Yeah. but nowadays you mentioned this and yeah. I mean, people are, you know, Hey, buy our software, buy our, you use my consulting services.

Yes. To help you drive so sales, but, you know, we’re no different, but it’s really not about driving sales. Mm-hmm , but for a particular dispensary, but you know, what could you lose? Cuz AI is becoming ubiquitous. Yep. And that nowadays it’s, it’s becoming democratized and it happens behind a scenes.

It’s almost incid is ins deciduous. If you will, that you don’t know what’s happening. Yeah. But when you’re getting an email or text, Brandon, Jared gets a text, but it’s really a text on what we like, oh, Hey, it’s just a text message. Right. No big deal. But it’s a product that we like. Yeah. Maybe it’s like a CBD to help me go to sleep.

That rings a bell right now. It’s like, okay, they get me. They know who I am. And you’re likely to, um, you know, buy again from that dispensary mm-hmm mm-hmm . So it’s really getting into, you know, we discussed this earlier, helping that dispenser owner know their customers better than they know them sell.

So starts with improving the user experience, preventing customer indecision and telling them what to do next. So if you can get this and master it and it takes time just because you buy the software today doesn’t mean it’s gonna happen tomorrow. Then you can expect to see improved sales. Yeah. Increase average order value and reducing customer churn.

Yeah. It it’s the overall boost of the business. It’s not, you know, sure. Getting sales is really, really good, but like, you need to know what products you need to buy in the future. Right. You know, there’s a whole bunch of different strains and LPs and genetics and all these different, uh, like how do I know which one, like my customers want.

Right. That it really helps knowing what products to buy yes. In a future, if you’re dispenser. Right. Okay. That doesn’t necessarily translate to increased sales, but you can, if you can better, um, handle your inventory. Oh yeah. That’s driving your inventory. Inventory costs down, so, oh yeah. Yeah.

Sales are important. It’s driving, you know, top line growth. What about, what about bottom line growth, knowing what products to buy or what’s predicted to sell your dispense? So if it’s a particular cherry, edible is not selling and it’s just taking up shelf space. Yep. It’s costing me money carrying that product when it’s not selling.

Yep. Yep. And then yeah, no, I was just gonna say it, it exponentially grows too. Cause we’re talking about how a lot of owners, their goal is to open up more stores with either the aim to just become like city famous as I would call it. Right. They have their five dispensaries or whatever it is or they, they grow enough to be acquired by one of the, the, the bigger guys that just want to eat up everyone else.

Right. Um, but as you get more data to do different things, that data then becomes valuable towards whatever the owners end goal is. If they wanna open up more stores, they know what they need to do. Right. If they want to sell, they now have this data that that’s super valuable for people that’s gonna come and right.

And I think that’s also another benefit. Yeah. You made it two very, very important points. So number one, if you’re dispensing, you just wanna be a dispensary to, you know, grow with other more dispensaries that that can help you grow. Yeah. Two, on the other hand, if you’re a small, you know, mom and pop dispensary that wants to get acquired, cuz we know it’s happening now in, in the cannabis, uh, cannabis space.

Mm-hmm you are gonna look better for acquisition if you have your data in alignment. So whether you wanna grow more, buy, grow, more dispensaries or getting ready to get bought out, being data driven and getting your data house in order will help you in, in both assets. Yes. Yeah. 100%. 100%.

So we’re messing with a lot of data, um, with all this whole Facebook, privacy, apple iOS, 14 privacy stuff going on. Um, you know, you guys, I’m assuming don’t own the data. It’s it’s it’s all the customers. Or do you plan on leveraging this data for something in the future? Like what does the data itself, like, what is it used for on your end? So the customer owns the data.

I mean, obviously we’re, we’re running it and we’re analyzing it. Yeah. But you, I guess I know what you’re asking. No, we’re not selling your data. Yeah. Um, but no, the, the customer owns the data and, and that’s disputed of it. Cause if you take a look at these other platforms, whether it’s Facebook, Amazon, you know, Uber eats or some of these other ordering platforms for cannabis, they own the data here.

You own the, you as a dispenser owner or the cannabis delivery come, whatever it may be, you own your data. Mm-hmm however, and you have access to it any point in time. Mm-hmm however, uh, joking, not joking if you don’t pay your SAS bill. Yes. And yeah, you’re, you’re not gonna see that data, but if you keep on saying us, yeah.

I mean, that’s your data and whatever you want yeah. To, you know, to do with it. But yeah. It it’s important. Right. That customer, that dispensary gets to keep and owns their data. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that’s, I think that’s what a lot of people want to hear. So it’s, it’s really, really good that you that’s, you guys do that.

Um, so now we can, you know, kind of segue into some of the articles you wrote. So I think one of, uh, one of the two, the first one was about, you know, mitigating wage inflation with AI. And I know you touched on that with, you know, kind of how we can help out the dispensary owners essentially multiply their time.

Right. Be a bit more productive, you know, with what’s going on. But if you want to touch on, you know, I guess kind of that article that you did, uh, you know, did you have any additional points on, on that main topic, you know, last two years, whether it’s in us, Canada and around the world, there’s a labor shortage, right? Mm-hmm whether it’s in restaurants or even in, in, in the, in the, in the, you know, software development world or in there’s a labor shortage.

So as I talked about article say you’re a dispenser owner and you’ve got a 10 person dispensary mm-hmm , uh, staffed with, uh, 10 people, three leaves. So now you’re down to seven mm-hmm and, um, you’re hiring, everyone’s getting paid 15 bucks an hour, but the people that, you know, want to come on board, the three, they wanna get paid 20 bucks an hour, right? Yeah.

So you bring, you hire three people on board, they’re all getting paid 20 bucks an hour, but what about the other seven? They’re gonna be that cuz they’re they’re, you know, they’re only getting paid $15 an hour. Mm-hmm now to order for them to, you gotta amp up the, the 15 to 20 that’s a 33%, um, increase in wages, which last side check, uh, dispenser owners, you know, can’t afford that, you know, average profit, profit margin for dispensaries 15% mm-hmm um, with dispensaries, they’re not raising their prices like other, uh, like other verticals mm-hmm and um, so how are you gonna, you know, you can’t pull money in profit or thin air.

So what, you know, what’s left, it’s implementing, uh, technologies, particularly with AI. So if you have a, an ordering platform or a KIOS that’s AI driven and now it’s recommending products based on it’s as if you had a bud tenderer there next to you, helping you pick out products right now with AI, it can learn from past behaviors.

So maybe instead of hiring, you know, 10 people, maybe you only need five. And of those five people that are left, you can pay am to 20 bucks an hour mm-hmm mm-hmm . Instead of having 10 people on staff getting paid 20 bucks an hour, you may only need five getting paid 20 bucks an hour, you know, with the technologies and you may save like 30% in labor costs.

So that’s how, you know, we feel that with having an AI driven technology can help, um, you know, mitigate wage inflation. Yeah. I, I think you bring up a good point about, you know, being able to, I guess, you know, pay the standard wage for a lot of these bud tenderers and then also having a software or that allows them to do a better job because me doing my marketing research and stuff like that.

If you look at Google reviews and I, I don’t think this is just in the cannabis space, like I think in restaurants, in any service based business, if you look at the reviews, the majority of the reviews are like, you know, John really helped me out with these recommendations, you know, you know, I went home whatever small and how to, you know, it was great, right.

Or, you know, kind of Amy remembered it was my birthday and gave me this really cool thing. It was just customer service facing things. Right. But by having a good software that allows you to, you know, uh, give better recommendations, right. But then also paying bud tenders to also be better. Right. I think overall it would be a boost to the business, not even including that, you know, or eliminating that 30 to 30% increase on, on total wages for everyone.

And then also not being better customer service people, uh, either even if John is being paid 20 bucks an hour, mm-hmm even if John is the best customer has good customer service skills, can John really theoretical to remember products to recommend Brandon mm-hmm when there are over five to 600 products maybe in that dispensary.

Yeah. Maybe that dispensary has eight to 10,000 customers and maybe 50,000 purchase orders. Mm-hmm you could pay John a hundred bucks an hour. I don’t know if he’ll remember yeah. That’s what the AI driven record, uh, can come in. It’s a, it’s a tool, it’s a tool that helps, helps them out too.

Right. And I, and I, again, I think that’s super, super important. Um, and then I, I guess the second article was about leveraging AI itself. Right. You know, how can dispensary owners leverage AI the data itself so that, you know, they could do a better job. What others get more sales in, you have these things.

So, you know, touch on a little bit of what you wrote about in, in that article as well. It’s basically asking the right que I wrote into articles. So this was after MJ biz. I visited two dispensaries in Las Vegas and these dispensaries were just probably a couple miles, you know, apart. And they, they didn’t ask questions.

Yes. They have my name and phone number, but you know, when I went to the, the counter to, to check out, they didn’t really do anything. They didn’t try to upsell me. I mean, they were polite, but they didn’t, they didn’t do any more fact finding. And I was giving them the opportunity to do more, more fact finding cuz who knows.

Yeah, I don’t live in Las Vegas, but I visit there maybe two, three times, uh, two, three times a year. Right. And, um, they didn’t do any fact findings. So those two dispensaries potential could have lost out on a potential on repeat, uh, business. So it’s about doing the right thing. And even though two dispensaries are just a few miles apart that dispensary who’s gonna do the right thing will win that repeat business.

Then the other one who doesn’t mm-hmm mm-hmm . And, uh, that’s a, that’s another big thing. We’re just kind of circling around to all the things that I tell, you know, I tell my clients and like the, the, the how loyalty and not necessarily loyalty, but getting those customers coming back as repeat customers is super, super important.

Cause it’s not just that like one time sale of, I don’t know, they buy 50 to $60 worth of products. Right. But it’s how do we get that customer are coming back over and over again. And you know, one of the case studies that I read up on is about Starbucks. And I say this all the time now, but it’s like Starbucks lifetime value of their customers, $14,000, right? Like one customer, $14,000.

And that’s a lot of coffee, right? It’s a lot of coffee for, I don’t know, between two and $20 cup of coffee. Right. So I think what you guys are doing to help extend the lifetime value for customers, it’s also a very, very important thing as well. So business typically want two things, new business and repeat business.

So right. To your point, what a Starbucks analogy, our, our software focus into ladder. I mean, if you go to our website is helping buyers drive, repeat business using AI. Yep. So with that being said, you know, I could shout from the rooftops all day long about driving repeat business. Maybe it falls in deaf ears, maybe doesn’t.

But if you, if, if you Google a study put out by Bain that, um, just a 5% improvement in repeat business can help drive profitability between 25 to 95%. So, you know, don’t, believe me, maybe people don’t believe you that doesn’t matter, but there are studies out there that show the validity of drive and repeat business could have help, uh, add, you know, help drive growth.

Mm-hmm are you seeing any other, you know, aside from your myself, I, I did the podcast with the conversational AI live chatbot, you know, um, that, that, that you took a look at, are there any other players in this space competitors, or not that you’re like, Hey, what they’re doing is really, really cool that you wanna keep an eye on, you know, uh, how is this industry kind of evolving? So, uh, yeah, that’s a good a question.

So even if you look at, if you look at Flowhub and we’re part of their analytics tech stack, or if you look at the, uh, we’re part of the, uh, can tech ecosystem, a lot of those folks mentioned before us were the, I guess, early adopters or the fur, a wave of analytics platforms and cannabis mm-hmm in mind, you, cannabis is a relatively new industry.

AI is a relatively new industry. Yep. So it’s, uh, with relatively new software and equipment, it’s not like restaurants that have been around for hundreds of years and they’re using, uh, NCR. NCR is a company that’s been around for a long, long time. So all these companies that you see in the, uh, can tech ecosystem space are relatively new.

Mm-hmm, maybe going back five, six years, you know, at the oldest, uh, from, you know, at the oldest. Right. So we’re coming in, if you wanna argue, you know, the second wave, so we’ve been studying the, those other guys we’ve come from past, uh, you know, other verticals in implementing our business knowledge into the, uh, into the cannabis space.

Would you say it’s again, idea to get into the space? You know, as, I guess, I wouldn’t say you guys are exactly a startup, but in terms of cannabis specific, maybe, right. Um, as everything’s relatively recent, right. Based on what you’re seeing, are you seeing a lot of competition that’s also doing it well, or are you just seeing people that, Hey, we can do it just because we can do it kind thing.

I dunno, probably a little bit of, a little bit of both. Um, don’t really spend a lot of my day analyzing, uh, you know, competitors otherwise, you know, would not be able to get my, my job done, but just in a high level, yes, I do take a look at what, uh, others are doing, you know, just a few seconds maybe scanning, you know, scanning their website.

Yes. Um, but, but for us, I mean, not only do we bring in the, the technology piece, but we bring in the execution piece and then not only that we bring in the managed services sure. To help that person create and execute and run those campaigns, you know, for them cuz as we discussed earlier, these owners are busy and they don’t Brandon doesn’t have time to be spending, you know, hours on end trying to figure out a piece of software and launch campaigns when he could be doing hundred, you know, a hundred other tasks as a makes sense as a dispenser manager and dispenser owner.

Yeah. Yeah. I gotta keep the blindfolds on if you’re spending most of your day just to kind of looking at what everyone else is doing, then, you know, they’re, they’re eventually gonna catch it up to you or, you know, kind of, you know, I I’m complete agreement on that. So now that I know that you’re spending most of your time working on the stuff that you are working on, you know, what are some of, uh, the biggest challenges that you faced? Uh, kind of growing standard insights.

Yeah. So, you know, we are, you know, last two years, you know, everyone’s coming out of the, the, the, uh, pandemic mm-hmm , but um, it’s scaling and then, uh, and then hiring people. Right. Cause it all, you know, two, two and a half years ago, if I told you, Hey, I’m I have an AI company or, uh, co-founding an AI company.

Uh, they probably would’ve told me to pound sand um, you’ll take my job away. Yeah. But now two years later, two and a half years later, I mean the world, not only the us and Canada, I mean, they, they’re experiencing some massive, massive labor shortage sure. And massive inflation. And how are you gonna, you know, counteract that while you’re gonna have to have technology help you out.

Yeah. So since then, um, you know, you know, it’s a, been a slow trajectory, but now our company is like, you know, like growing like, like that what’s so what’s the game plan. What’s the game plan to help you scale up better to help you hire more? I mean, so we’re, we’re, we’re, we’re hiring, um, both on the sales side, you know, marketing side and then on the tech side, uh, in, in India, but yeah, continuing to not only generate, you know, direct sales, but form, uh, you know, of partnerships like with guys like you with folks, like Flowhub other point of sale companies, delivery companies, anyone that could help their customers drive growth through, uh, through technology or AI driven technology.

Mm-hmm mm-hmm and I know I’m just super, super curious about this. Like I know that you guys work in different vertical and stuff like that, and different industries is your product offering generally the same across the board or like if they are different, do you plan on taking some, some learnings from industry a and taking it to the cannabis space or cannabis space to, to I, this is kind of off topic, but I’m just curious for myself.

Well, so there, there’s a little bit of cross pollination, if you will, but you know, it’s 80%, 85% the same across the board. Sure. The principles, the basic fundamental principles that it’ll help you drive growth in cannabis. Mm-hmm , you know, in restaurants, in e-commerce retail are fundamentally the same.

there’s a little bit of adjustment. Yeah. You know, the last 10 or 15%, but yeah, there’s a little bit of cross pollination mm-hmm , uh, you know, amongst the different verticals amongst different industries. Yeah. But generally what helps you be successful in one industry is the same thing that’s gonna make you successful in the cannabis industry, right? Yeah.

There are, there are a lot of analogies. I use a restaurant example all the time. Right. It’s like, how do people find restaurants go to Google, look at their reviews, go into the restaurant and then they would use, ideally they would then use your softwares on that retargeting end and you know, to kinda do that.

Yeah. Like for restaurants, right? Define you in Google, they may find you in Uber eats. Right. But while out, you know, Uber eats or your restaurant was helped, you know, you got found by Uber eats. Now, once you walk into that restaurant, it’s your job as that restaurant owner to get more Brandon’s information, to get more of Jerry’s information.

So now they’re ordering from you as a repeat guest repeat buyer than they are from Uber eats or someone someplace else. Mm-hmm , mm-hmm . And by doing so, you know, you’re gonna keep Mario property cuz those guys and other ordering platforms, you know, take a big chunk of, um, one’s mm-hmm mm-hmm .

Now what would you say would be kind of like the, the, the 80, 20 of the data that you provide to these expense for owners? Cause, you know, as you mentioned, there’s a lot of ways we can, you know, kind of skin a cat, right. You can, you know, make more sales, you can get more current customers coming in, you can reduce the payroll.

Like what is the, the most common use case scenario for a lot of these dispensary owners, if you, if you have that information, like, you know, what is the most, what I’m trying to get at is that like you, you guys offer a lot of things. Right. And in terms of the data that’s being, being given, there’s also a lot of data, but what aspect of the data that you provide, do you find being the most valuable for the dispensary owners? I would probably have to say everything that we offer, probably the personalized recommendations.

Okay. Right. And I think that seems to be the most favorite, uh, one of all, because you can log onto our platform and click on Brandon and Jerry’s names. Yeah. And based on their buying patterns and both those guys be predicted to buy different things and that’s probably the, you know, the best one and not only that being able, okay.

It’s nice to see that jar’s predicting to buy, you know, you know, a pre-roll and Brandon’s predicted, you know, buy a flower product. Mm-hmm , you know, that’s fine. And D but being able to take that data information and do something with it, whether it’s an email sending an email or text a brand under Jerry, so mm-hmm yeah.

That, yeah. Do you plan on, on that personalization and customization stuff? I know in, in industries where you can advertise like paid advertising for the most part, Facebook ads, Instagram ads and stuff like that. Do you have a social media retargeting component that you can possibly do? Is that part of the game plan at all? Or is it strictly email or so yes, we do.

Um, in fact, um, it’s called it’s on our website, uh, you know, Dopel gang or marketing, but we haven’t used that as quite a bit as of late. Sure. Um, we can, um, but yeah, for, yeah, for other industries, obviously we can retarget for, uh, based on what, you know, Brandon and Jerry have bought in the past. Obviously you can’t do it for, for cannabis.

So of course cannabis is just to email, you know, email and text. Yeah. But the capabilities are there whenever in the verticals it’s allowed. Okay. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. And you know, I guess kind of ending off, uh, you know, our, our, this, this, this awesome episode, um, do you have any golden nuggets for, for dispensary owners that are looking to take, you know, whatever it is to the next level, whatever you think the next level is, you know, what are you seeing in the space right now that you’d be like, Hey, you gotta get this done.

You know, you’re, you’re really missing out. Yeah. I would say to it’s just to get out of their comfort zone, mm-hmm right. They’re so busy in their day to day aspect that they get to, you know, peek up and take a look at what’s out there, take a breath and take, uh, see what’s out there. Yeah.

Cause if they don’t do that, I can almost guarantee that their competitors are, and you know, who knows that dispenser owner who fails to do that yeah. Will be lost and no one’s, you know, too big to have failed, but look at blockbuster, they’re not in existence. Yes. Or borders books. They’re they’re no longer in existence.

Yes. Years they’re on, they’re on a downward slide. Right. Mm-hmm but one company that wasn’t a downward slide, JC Penney’s now they’re back on the upswing because they have, uh, implemented, uh, AI technologies into their, into their ecosystem. Mm-hmm so yeah. For dispensed owners, I, I know you’re busy and it’s kind of hard to, uh, look at other things, but carve out sometime, you know, during your day just seeing what other, uh, tech platforms, anything that can help drive growth and don’t be afraid to try that.

Sure, sure. Experiment. A bunch of different things, you know, most of the time, you know, it may or may not work. Right. But, but when you find that thing, it’s, it’s gonna compound over and over and over again. Exactly. Cause it is now a piece of it’s now an asset essentially, that you own. Right. And whether it’s your platform or whatever other platform that would help the business.

I, I really do think that working on the business right. At least taking time, like you said to, to, to figure out how we can grow the business itself versus working in the business, doing the nitty gritty would, would really, really help. And I think that that applies for, for all businesses, for, you know, your business for my business.

Just any, any business to that’s that’s looking to grow overall. Yeah. Abs yeah. No, you’re absolutely right. Yeah. So last question is, is, you know, where can people find you if they’re, they’re interested in all of the wonderful things you had to say today. Yeah. Thanks Brandon. So they can find me on LinkedIn, Jerry, a a, B I O G I think I’m the only one there.

Um, you know, they could shoot me an email like Jerry J E R R Y at standard insights, uh, dot IO or, you know, they can shoot me a text 4 0 4, uh, 2 7, 2, 4, 4, 3 1. We can take ’em through, uh, you know, a demo. If they see value in it, we can, uh, you know, take it from there. Awesome. Well, look, uh, Jerry is really, really awesome having you on the podcast.

Uh, you know, I think it’s really, really insightful. Uh, we’re getting a lot of AI guests on and I think it it’s. So again, you know, to kind of take dispensaries to, to, to that next level. So just wanna say, you know, everyone listening, I hope you enjoyed the podcast and I’ll see you on the next one. Talk to you later.

Article By

Brandon Quan

About The Author: A digital marketer with over 7 years of experience, Brandon Quan is wildly known as the top marketing expert within the Cannabis Industry.

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