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How Springbig Connects 33 Million Cannabis Consumers To Retailers: Q/A with Founder Jeffrey Harris

How Springbig Connects 33 Million Cannabis Consumers To Retailers: Q/A with Founder Jeffrey Harris

Bethenny Carl
In 2017, after more than thirty years of marketing, sales management, and client services and operations experience across a wide range of industries, Jeffrey Harris saw an opportunity with an emerging industry that was ripe for growth…
The cannabis industry has exploded in consumer popularity over the past decade, but various regulations and societal stigmas impede small businesses success and broader industry innovation.

Website interviewed Jeffrey , to learn how he developed Springbig to bring the same kind of advanced marketing tools to cannabis that virtually every other retail industry benefits from.

What you will learn in this interview:
  • How Springbig’s platform connects consumers with retailers and brands through loyalty rewards programs, text message marketing, CRM and other tools.
  • The differentiators that helped Springbig sign up over 33,000,000 consumers and administer over 50,000 campaigns
  • The two core changes marketers in the cannabis industry must keep an eye on

What problems are you solving for your customers and audience?

The problem we solve for our customers is around customer engagement and retention. We provide a host of loyalty programs that allow retailers to more authentically connect with their customers. That could be through reward programs that encourage consistent and reliable sales activity, referral programs that empower brand ambassadorship, or data and analytics programs that uncover the insights retailers need to make smart decisions.

Our marketing programs are especially beneficial to cannabis retailers that have to navigate various legal and regulatory hurdles. For one, many cannabis retailers cannot even offer credit card processing to their customers because at the federal level, cannabis is still an illegal product.

That is what makes our platform unique and beneficial to the industry. We offer a suite of digital marketing services – including subscription programs and gift cards – which allows customers to make purchases in a way that is seamless and convenient for them. Below is a breakdown of how this product works:


Which types of companies benefit the most from what you offer?

We serve a wide variety of consumer retail industries – everything from point-of-sale, e-commerce, payments, and digital marketing businesses.

Our largest client base is cannabis dispensaries and brands. For years, they have been underserved in capital funding and marketing innovation. Our expertise in loyalty marketing, data and analytics, and brand development allows cannabis businesses to survive and thrive in challenging business environments.

What makes them eventually choose you over your competitors?

Broadly speaking, our clients have expressed that our services enhanced their customer interactions, increased customer retention, created more brand ambassadorship, and secured consistent and predictable revenue streams.

Take Oasis Cannabis for example. Based in Las Vegas, they utilized our subscription loyalty service. As a result, they added 117 new subscribers and recorded a 42.1% increase in visits per subscriber. The service also led to a 30% average increase in total spend on the first visit. Overall, Oasis Cannabis achieved 339 subscriber visits, earning over $22,000 in subscriber revenue.

Since you started, what helped you grow and retain your audience?

At Springbig, honesty and transparent communication is at our core.

Our weekly email marketing materials deliver new features, updates, articles, and insights from Springbig University. Through strategic social media engagement, we remain not only relevant but also connected to industry trends and culture.Our SEO optimization strategy ensures our visibility in the industry, targeting specific keywords and crafting insightful blogs. At Springbig, we excel in addressing merchant needs by highlighting our successes, targeting lost accounts with innovative features, and actively seeking feedback to overcome challenges experienced with other providers.

What tools are you using to run your business and daily activities?

At Springbig, we use Salesforce and Pardot to power our sales and reach out to merchants effectively. Centralizing our data has smoothed our operations, learning from past experiences where using similar tools concurrently caused duplicated efforts and overlaps.Now, with Springbig University, we’ve transformed how we handle our merchants and our team’s training and development. Our platform makes it easy for customers to access all the information they need, empowering them to succeed.

What perspective do you have about where your industry is headed?

In the cannabis industry where we are most active, there are two main things we are watching – the rescheduling of marijuana at the federal level and the legalization of marijuana at the state level. Marijuana could very likely be moved to a schedule III drug this year, from schedule I. This would be transformative for cannabis retailers and dispensaries. Schedule III opens up tax relief and investment opportunities, as well as more scientific research into the drug.

On the state side, several states this year are planning to put marijuana legalization on the ballot or under a vote in state legislatures. Our home state of Florida is a good example, where the Governor confirmed that legalization will be decided by a referendum vote this year. Obviously, the more states legalize marijuana, the more opportunities open up for our clients to expand their businesses.

In the broader marketing and tech industry, we really see loyalty as a key differentiator for successful marketing businesses. There are so many data and analytic companies that have a loyalty aspect, but what makes us unique is we are founded by veterans in the loyalty space, and everything we do is with a loyalty mindset.

What’s in the roadmap for your future?

2024 is shaping up to be an exciting year for us. At the start of the year, we secured $8 million in funding, which sets us up for further growth and expansion into new sectors. This is coming off a positive EBITDA month of December 2023.

In the face of a strained financial environment for many in the cannabis space, we’re proud to stick out as a company that is spurring investor interest.

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