Marketing Veteran Brings Diverse Experience to New Role

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July 16, 2018

For more than 25 years, David Dancer has crafted his trade. He has honed it with scientific precision using data to understand what customers want and how to best serve them. Most recently, he was executive vice president and head of marketing for Teleflora, North America’s largest floral service provider. Before that, Dancer was a retail brand consultant for financial giant Charles Schwab, a marketing vice president at Visa and a senior marketing manager at American Express. So with all that experience, how will he approach marketing for a cannabis company? Dancer answers that and a few other questions.

How is marketing marijuana different from marketing other products or services?

The fundamentals of marketing don’t change because of the product or service, and marijuana is a product.  We must create a differentiated retail experience and must reach and engage potential and current customers much like any other retailer.  There are certainly challenges to marketing marijuana given the complex state-by-state regulations, but that is one of the exciting elements of this job and where we can gain a competitive advantage by being creative. We have an opportunity to set the bar, to pave the road for others. It is not often that you get the chance to be at the forefront of an emerging industry.

Why did you decide to join a marijuana company?

I have been a marketer for more than 25 years. There is very little that I have not done or experienced in my field, but this was an opportunity to be at the leading edge of something historic. MedMen is shaping perceptions and behaviors of consumers, and building a viable, long-term industry around cannabis.  I think the founders of the company, Andrew and Adam, are passionate and innovative leaders who understand that they are not just running a company but building a legacy. I am excited and proud of the opportunity.

What are your thoughts on initial marketing priorities?

The team has done an amazing job establishing the MedMen brand and creating a differentiated experience in the stores. As we grow our footprint with 45 U.S. stores planned by 2020, and potentially stores in Canada as well, we are going to need to capture brand ownership and customer loyalty market-by-market while maintaining a global brand.  This means finding further ways to generate store traffic, expanding our digital capabilities and offerings, and partnering with other key brands. Wrapped in all of that is our commitment to shepherding cannabis consumers through this new space. The cannabis industry is in transition from what was mostly a transactional experience for consumers to a true retail experience where customers expect, want and deserve more. More information, more service, more quality.

What are you most excited about with this role?

The story. This is a story of change and transformation, and as a marketer I thrive on stories of change and transformation.  I am thrilled to have found a role in something that is part evolution and part revolution.  It’s is energizing and exciting to see the possibilities.

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