Cannabis

Cannabis Interview – Cy Scott – Co-Founder of Headset, Inc.

What does the future of big data look like in cannabis? Well, Cy Scott, Brian Wansolich and Scott Vickers, otherwise known as the creators of Leafly, decided to answer that question when they founded Headset, Inc., which turns retail data into real-time cannabis market insights.

Headset essentially helps companies in cannabis succeed by promoting better decision making via market intelligence offerings and operational insights in a sleek, intuitive and easy-to-use package.

Prior to founding Headset, Cy co-founded Leafly. Since Leafly’s inception in 2010, Cy helped grow the site into the world’s leading cannabis information resource, a model of a successful ancillary brand in this new emerging industry. Along with his work at Headset, Cy founded a monthly Cannabis Tech Meetup hosting cannabis entrepreneurs and technology developers, which has now expanded into multiple regions throughout the US

We had the chance to sit down with Cy and talk all things data and Headset. Here’s what he had to say.

Just as any other traditional vertical out there leverages data to inform their brand position and what products are brought to market, we thought why would cannabis be any different? Being serial entrepreneurs it made sense to tackle this new challenge.

 

Headset

 

Headset’s founders, Cy Scott, Brian Wansolich, and Scott Vickers, are also the creators of the largest cannabis website in the world, Leafly. Can you tell us a bit about what brought you from Leafly to founding Headset and why?

Cy: When we founded Leafly in 2010, the cannabis industry was still in its early days. Brands and packaged goods were more of the exception vs the rule.

Over the years following that began to change quite rapidly, as new brands and packaged goods products were brought to market and shelf space at retail became more limited. This trend, combined with our thesis that eventually cannabis will be a normalized CPG (consumer packaged good) product then there will be increased demand for market data to drive decisions.

Just as any other traditional vertical out there leverages data to inform their brand position and what products are brought to market, we thought why would cannabis be any different? Being serial entrepreneurs it made sense to tackle this new challenge.

 

How does Headset’s data help cannabis business owners?

Cy: We help in a variety of ways, first all of our data is derived from retail partners in real-time, and we are able to provide a variety of measurement and services from there.

We provide market intelligence data, which is aggregated and anonymized retail data, to help operators better understand the competitive landscape, find opportunity and track brand positioning primarily in adult-use markets but soon in medical markets as well.

We also enable retailers to share data directly with their vendors and suppliers on an opt-in basis. This data helps retailers and their vendors collaborate to ensure production runs meet retail demand, no more out-of-stock events occur and reordering is quick and painless.

Finally, we provide data back to retailers that is operational, designed to help streamline everything about their business, identify trends in sales data and better measure their sales staff to maximize their revenue.

You recently announced a partnership with Nielsen. Can you tell us a bit about the purpose of this partnership and what it means for Headset?

Cy: Nielsen is the global leader in market intelligence services and provide similar solutions to Headset, although in more traditional industries.

They are well known with consumers for their media analytics (Nielsen ratings for TV for example) but they have a robust market data business as well, where they track and report on CPG products by working with leading retailers like Walmart. They have many clients in the Beverage Alcohol, OTC pharma, Wellness and Health and Beauty space that were coming to them asking about the cannabis industry from a risk assessment and opportunity perspective.

Nielsen found Headset after looking at a number cannabis data providers and liked our approach, methodologies and services. For Headset, this unlocks a broader addressable market as previously we were focused on cannabis operators and now work with organizations from more traditional industries.

Nielsen also brings decades of expertise and a great suite of products from innovation work to their consumer panel services to compliment our capabilities.

 

Following your announcement of the Nielsen partnership, you also announced a partnership with Deloitte. Similarly, what is the purpose of this partnership?

Cy: Deloitte was one of the first of the big four professional services firms to jump in and support the cannabis industry. Their first mover advantage combined with their approach as data being one of their differentiators amongst competitors made a strategic alliance obvious for us.

Deloitte leverages Headset’s data with their analytics engagements with top-tier cannabis operators to provide their customers with accurate and actionable results. Similar to Nielsen, this gives Headset great exposure to a new client base and with Nielsen, Deloitte and Headset all at the table we are able to answer any question thrown our way.

Headset partners with Deloitte and Nielsen

What’s next for Headset?

Cy: So much! We’ll be launching our market intelligence product in Canada shortly, followed by continued expansion in the US and internationally.

Watch for incorporation of more CBD data, as well as behavioral and demographic data trends powered by loyalty programs that can really give you a good read on industry trends.

And this is just in the very near-term, we have lots more on deck for late 2019 and beyond.

 

Thanks for sitting down with us Cy!

Cy: Thanks for having me / us!

Cy Scott – Co-Founder and CEO of Headset, Inc

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