In a recent interview with ITWC President Fawn Annan conducted as part of the CMO Talks podcast series, Chandaria Family Holdings Vice President, Consumables, Beverly Altberg acknowledged the disruption brought about by the pandemic. But her focus remains on the customer and the best strategies for reaching them.
Altberg thinks cannabis is an interesting space as there’s not yet a lot of consumer data. In these early stages of this market, it’s important to ask consumer-centric questions: How do you think about cannabis from a consumer point of view? How do you hypothesize who the customers are right now? What impacts will regulatory change have?
It’s critically important, said Altberg, to draw out the personas of your target market. In the case of cannabis: “somebody that’s used marijuana recreationally for many years is different from those who need it medicinally, and they are different from new users who may be thinking ‘I drink too much wine; I should try this.’”
The key when it comes to customers remains understanding who’s out there, what they need (even if they don’t know it yet), and offering them a proposition that speaks directly to them. In emerging spaces like cannabis, thinking will evolve and refine itself as more data comes in.
Annan asked Altberg to paint a picture of strategic implementation for both small organizations and larger, more mature firms. Altberg said that for the latter it’s a massive undertaking, and that she always divides up the levels of an organization – starts with the infrastructure, moves on to processes (which feeds into strategy), and on top of that considers teams.
“When you’re dealing with a large organization that’s going through a transformation, you have to think of each of those levels and how they change, and the sequencing of how they change and what that means for the people that are involved.” But at some point, said Altberg, you must step back and ask about goals. What are we trying to accomplish? What does success look like?
In new and/or emerging market-spaces, Altberg was clear that the data must always lead the way. When you have little to no data, everything hinges on knowing your customers. Even in a new space, you must find at least a couple of data points from which to build out hypotheses. From these “nuggets,” she said, you can begin acquiring new information, and embracing and leveraging on change.