Welcome to Matters. v3.0

Many of you will know us as Confluence Digital from years ago – almost 12 years now – when we began. In 2014 we also launched Canna Ventures to provide data-driven branding and marketing to the emerging cannabis and CBD/hemp industry. Now we’ve consolidated both missions into one as – The Matters Group.  It’s been an interesting journey, to...
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Advanced Analytics - The Core of Marketing Decision Making

Advanced Analytics is an encompassing term that is used to categorize techniques and technologies that seek to understand what happened in detail or to predict what may happen with an unmatched degree of precision. We use the term to encompass services that include Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, or AI and related...
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Change Only Lasts - When They Think It Was Their Idea

Ask questions. Focus on strengths — not on what's wrong.  Build a "probability" of change, not a "possibility" In every Change Management scenario that I've been involved in.  The stakeholders who I interview are desperate to tell me what's wrong with the organization.  They are in so much pain that the...
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Digital Marketing Foundations for Cannabis Brands: S.M.A.C.

When it comes to establishing a digital marketing presence, companies in the cannabis industry can’t follow the typical route. Many if not most advertising channels are unavailable to reach a broad market. Sure, there are tons of cannabis themed websites that cover topics from culture to growing to the business side...
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5 Rules of Building a Brand for Cannabis Businesses

Before all is said and done, and you’re about to layout a roadmap for your cannabis brand, I believe there are five rules in building a brand you should know and, hopefully, follow.  I’ve listed them in order of importance, as follows, and while the rules are relevant for any-size company,...
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Leadership in 2021 Begins with Advanced Analytics

Since the advent of Big Data Analytics over a decade ago, the challenge has been to gather the data so that you can see the data and display it in such a way as to allow it to be useful in the day-to-day processes of a business.  Dashboards are very popular...
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The 8 “SIMPLE” Questions Every Brand Marketer or Product Manager Needs to Ask

The 8 “SIMPLE” questions every Brand Marketer or Product Manager needs to ask themselves about their strategy in order to build proper tactics.  When it comes to digital marketing & strategy - the best flashlight is a well-formed question. Below are a few “simple questions” that cross both product and business...
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Beware Using Tactics Without a Strategy for your Digital Marketing

Transactions Come in All Sizes & Shapes and Are All Motivated by Customer Pains and Where They Are in Their Buying Cycle Understanding the motivation of your most valuable target personas is essential to developing the strategies needed to define tactics to execute. Marketing or advertising without considering these crucial factors...
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Marketing AI Curious? - 7 Critical Questions to Ask

Artificial Intelligence(AI) has recently been integrated into marketing and is still in its early stages. It makes automated decisions based on available data and audience observations or economic trends that impact marketing. By doing so, it enables marketers to gain more insight and understanding of their target audiences.  However, a business...
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Digitally-enabled Business Transformation - The Process

There are many, many methodologies for Change Management out there — Clayton Christensen's - Jobs to be Done, Potter, Appreciative Inquiry, and more.  Literally, thousands of books have been written on the subjects of digital transformation. Despite what the pundits and large consulting firms might say.  No one size fits all....
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2020 Cannabis Industry Trends Recap

2020 was an unforgettable year in many ways but also in very positive ways for the cannabis industry. The majority of states have now legalized recreational use of marijuana by adults or medical use. The US marijuana business is worth billions of dollars with estimates as high as $30 billion by...
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Applying AI: Determining Packaging’s Impact on Sales

When we look at the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) landscape, we see nothing short of incessant shelf warfare. And few weapons are as critical to victory as package design. What catches whose eye? Is the reaction positive, negative, indifferent?  In the olden days, we’d wander alongside a typical shopper in...
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Latent Effects Modeling + ML for Deep Insights

We’ve been posting opinions and comments that urge marketers to “get over” artificial intelligence (AI). To dive into AI’s veritable treasure house of research tools and insights, instead of circling it warily, for fear of banging into a “disruption” moment.  So, we hereby plant the flag of AI for the regular...
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About AI: Let’s Disrupt your Idea of Disruption

The marketing industry has been bombarding itself  for years with ways to “manage” or “harness” the “disruption” brought upon us by artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the like.  What do we mean by “disruption?”  We mean “OMG, scary, out-there science that’s escaped from the lab and now everyone has to wear...
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AI Treasure House - What is Latent Effects Modeling

Let’s take a geek’s-eye look around the AI treasure house.  Oh, here’s a cool tool - Latent Effects Modeling.  Latent variables, as opposed to observable variables, are variables that are not directly observed but are rather inferred (through a mathematical model) from other variables that are observed (directly measured).  In short, Latent Effects Modeling takes what you...
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Developing A Content Marketing Plan For Your Cannabis Company

Content marketing is made up of two parts: content and marketing. Once you have developed original content and optimized it for search, it’s time to start thinking beyond inbound traffic to promotion and outreach for that content. Not everyone uses the internet the same way, and so while many people may be finding your...
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Leadership vs Management in Change and Crisis

There’s a fascinating emerging set of literature on true leadership (versus management) of crises. One of the signal books in this genre is Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen by Dan Heath. The author explains that true leaders are people whose names you don’t know. Why is that?...
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Truth to Marketers: AI is a Tool, Not the Solution

Our previous post urged fellow marketers to “get over” the artificial intelligence (AI) hype. To stop thinking it’s all about “disruptive,” high-tech tools on the bleeding edges of the frontier. The unfamiliar terminology. The unseeable interactions between variables lead to discovering solutions. The ridiculous and oddly human-like robots that always seem...
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Google Tools for Cannabis Businesses Beyond Adwords

Editor's Note: this article was lightly updated in May 2020. We hope Google sees the light and opens up more of its platform to legal cannabis, CBD and hemp companies.  Marketers in the cannabis industry have an interesting environment in which to work. The product is in demand and audiences want to...
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The 9 Acceptable Uses of Personal Data under California's Privacy Act

Digital marketing professionals who are using the personal data from California consumers need to make sure that they are up-to-date on the impending restrictions associated with the California Privacy Act of 2018 that went into effect on January 1, 2020. In many ways it makes Europe’s GDPR look tame! At its...
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