This September, the Fyllo Marketing Summit launched its inaugural event at the famed Gurney’s Montauk Resort and Seawater Spa, bringing together 80 executives and innovators to explore how cannabis is shaping the rise of the progressive consumer. Appearances from some of the world's most recognizable athletes, such as Mike Tyson and Ric Flair, also helped create memories, education, and relationships that last.
“This was an intimate, immersive event where you got to spend time with everyone,” said Jeff Ragovin, Fyllo’s Chief Commercial Officer. “We really wanted people to understand, this is an amazing data set that most people have never thought of as existing… Cannabis went from emerging to essential.”
Watch some of the highlights from the inaugural Fyllo Marketing Summit in Montauk, East Hampton:
What Is Fyllo?
Fyllo, a cannabis compliance and marketing/tech company, has been transforming national approaches to data and brand storytelling. Diverse industries now see what the firm believes: Cannabis consumers represent the most progressive demographics. They’re quick to adopt disruptive technologies, try new foods and experiences, and enjoy focusing their interests toward wellness and fitness-based lifestyles. This positions the cannabis community to unify groups from other interest areas, creating a dynamic future for how brands and consumers communicate. As Ragovin explained at the Marketing Summit, Fyllo makes it easy for companies to join the adventure.
Fyllo's Consumer Data Amplifies Conscious Marketing: BlueTriton Brands and Matterkind Case Studies
One of the Summit’s standout panels featured Ragovin in conversation with Christi Lazar, Marketing Director of BlueTriton Brands (a portfolio of leading North American water brands including Poland Spring, Deer Park and Pure Life). Lazar became what Ragovin calls “a trailblazer” for Fyllo’s journey into the mainstream. She pitched the BlueTriton team to test progressive audiences; with Fyllo’s help, their brands performed spectacularly among a variety of segments, including the custom “Runner’s High” data set. (Those are consumers who love cannabis, athletics, and nature.)
“Something really integral to the Poland Spring brand is connecting our customers with nature,” Lazar noted. “[Working with Fyllo], we weren’t departing from our brand ethos, book or messaging. But those audiences through Fyllo were super successful… With real-time measurements, we could optimize our media based on actual scans at the store. The proof is in the data.”
Numerous other speakers praised Fyllo’s methods. Nancy Hall, U.S. CEO of leading activation intelligence agency Matterkind, and Sean Muzzy, CEO of Matterkind's parent company Kinesso, demonstrated how conscious marketing – communicating to customers with empathy and well-timed messaging – fits the firm’s special data sets. They layer in a variety of qualities and attributes, like being a foodie or concerns about sustainability, that help identify the very precise audiences that brands are addressing.
In a retail case study conducted by Matterkind, Hall pointed out, Fyllo had exceptional retrade and conversion across multiple channels. A second retail study showed that Fyllo had an outstanding 91 percent video completion rate.
"Conscious marketing begins with empathy," Hall stated. "We have to know that the people in our data segments are real people... Fyllo's data is ethically sourced, exciting, and effective because [the team] understands the importance of empathy."
Cannabis Data And The Need State: Kristen Colonna Of Pernod Ricard Talks Value Of The "Why"
Kristen Colonna, Vice President of Marketing Accelerator at wine and spirits giant Pernod Ricard, discussed that the best thing companies can do is “understand the need state and what’s behind it… If we chase the ‘what’ alone, that’s a very short runway. We also need to chase the ‘why.’”
"We are always selecting for our own needs among many different options," she observed. "Understanding the need state [will] drive the need-swapping behavior between our different categories."
Colonna highlighted the very fact that Ragovin had opened the event with - that during pandemic-related lockdowns, 50 percent of consumers replaced their intake of alcoholic products with cannabinoid products. "Cannabis is a need segment," she asserted, and there are many ways in which conscious marketing can address that need to properly communicate with the consumer. Pernod Ricard hasn't gotten into the cannabis sector yet, but the company is aware of the growing popularity of infused beverages and is monitoring it accordingly.
"When you get a sense of who [cannabis consumers] are and... you look at the spectrum of cannabis data and the range of behavior within that data set, you can begin to hypothesize the 'why,'" Colonna said. "You can unlock a lot of growth that way. Whatever we as a company do or don't do with CBD and infused products, [there's] a huge value in that data."
Celebrity Marketing: Mike Tyson, Ric Flair And Tie Domi At The Fyllo Marketing Summit
Celebrity marketing became the highlight of the Summit when notable athletes and entertainers took the stage. Legendary boxer Mike Tyson appeared with financial wizard Jason Wild and Fyllo co-founder Chad Bronstein to discuss his cannabis brand Tyson 2.0. Bronstein helped Tyson launch the brand at the beginning of 2022, and Wild was one of its primary investors (as well as being Fyllo’s first investor). Tyson 2.0 has exploded onto the scene as a source for premium cannabis products and high-quality collaborations. The minds behind its popularity have also partnered with wrestling icon Ric Flair, who appeared in Montauk to discuss his Ric Flair Drip product line, which officially debuted just days after the Summit.
“Cannabis is like a family,” Bronstein commented of the Tyson-Flair venture. “Mike is the most authentic cannabis consumer in the space.”
The boxer spoke about his healing evolution with cannabis, exhorting that “Now, it’s no more Iron Mike, no more Baddest Man on the Planet. It’s Ganja God.”
Later, Tyson, Flair and ice hockey champion Tie “The Enforcer” Domi discussed what constitutes greatness. All three men claimed that their proudest achievements were becoming fathers. They also concurred that finding energetic balance is key to a productive life, and are excited about the mainstream future of plant medicine.
WWE's Charlotte Flair And UFC's Julianna Peña Knock Out The Topic Of Women's Athletics And Marketing Evolution
Ric Flair’s daughter Charlotte Flair, a 13-time WWE championship winner, had a fascinating conversation with Julianna Peña, the top-ranked fighter in UFC’s women’s bantamweight division. Analyzing the role of women in professional athletics and marketing, the leading ladies relayed how they’ve fought harder for opportunities to headline an event or be the face of a media campaign than men in their industry. Peña, known as the Venezuelan Vixen, observed that “a woman will let her arm break before she gives up a fight,” while men are more likely to tap out.
“Why can’t I be the face for 10 years when the men have been the face for 25?” Flair wondered. “I always want more and to be the best, which is natural [in this space]. But if I was a male, would people be asking me, ‘Why do you want more titles?’”
While not cannabis-specific, that important panel reminded everyone in attendance what the Fyllo Marketing Summit really meant: Marketing evolution. We are all living in a new ecosystem where, regardless of product, message and consumer must meet to have any true impact. Our values define what we buy and how we live, a dictum that Fyllo is sharing at every turn.
“We’re more than just cannabis,” Ragovin enthused. “We’re providing a value where people can actually take what they learned and apply it in their businesses. And we have spectacular clients who are proving the model right.”
For more on Fyllo, visit hellofyllo.com.
A version of this article was originally published in Honeysuckle's milestone 15th print edition. Click here to get your copy now!
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Featured image: Fyllo's Chief Revenue Officer Jeff Ragovin, Fyllo Founder/CEO Chad Bronstein (who is also co-founder/Chairman of Tyson 2.0), and boxing champion Mike Tyson at the Fyllo Marketing Summit (C) @sinematic.studios / Honeysuckle Media, Inc.