Welcome to the first Data Talks podcast episode! On Data Talks I interview people who work in a wide variety of disciplines to determine what kinds of data they use, or don’t use, to inform their decision-making and the actions they take in their professional and personal lives.

In our first episode I talk with Joe Hodas, who is Chief Marketing Officer at Dixie Brands in Denver, Colorado. Dixie Brands is a marijuana-infused products company. Joe has over 20 years of experience in marketing and public relations. He previously served as a partner and Executive Vice President of Channel Management at Vladimir Jones, one of the largest and oldest independently held advertising agencies in Colorado. At Dixie Elixirs, in addition to fielding pot jokes and requests for volunteer “tasters,” he heads up a team that is helping to define adult use marketing of marijuana.

We talk about some of the personal and professional decisions that Joe has made and the role of data in that process.

We discuss:

Risk/reward analysis: How Joe made his decision to take the position of Dixie CMO

How he saw that decision as a once in a lifetime opportunity

Joe’s public relations and marketing experience

Information sources and metrics that inform his planning and decisions

The lack of good marketing data in the marijuana industry and the challenges that present

What is a bud tender and why they are important? How he uses their input

The impact of state regulators and lawyers on Joe’s decision-making process

What is a dispensary, what do they look like, and how do they work

How he uses social media

Marijuana social media websites:

  • Leafly- https://www.leafly.com
  • Massroots- http://massroots.com
  • Weedmaps- https://weedmaps.com

Cause and effect of marketing on sales: what is not known

Reluctance of Dixie customers to engage certain aspects of social media due to stigma of marijuana

Importance of listening to consumers and dispensaries in product development

How they test products in the market versus conducting market research studies to understand what consumers want

Delivery system, flavor profile, food type, and production as important product development factors

What Joe would really like to know about Dixie’s consumers

Media sources that he finds helpful:

  • Marijuana Business Daily: http://mjbizdaily.com
  • The Cannabist, Denver Post: http://www.thecannabist.co

Industry Groups:

  • National Cannabis Industry Association: https://www.thecannabisindustry.org
  • Cannabis Industry Alliance: http://cannabisalliance.org
  • Marijuana Industry Group: http://marijuanaindustrygroup.org

The elephant in the room: What Joe says to people who say his company is selling drugs. What is marijuana’s place in society?

The impact of legalization on Colorado

The overabundance of data in marketing and its limitations

How to reach Joe:

Email: JHodas@dixieelixirs.com

Twitter: @joehodas

Facebook: /joehodas

LinkedIn: /joehodas

Blog: http://thefutureofcannabis.blogspot.com

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