The Dreaded Affliction that is PDD

Do yoPDDu or a loved one suffer from the heartbreak of PDD? Millions of hardworking Americans are faced with a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound indifference. Symptoms affect several body systems and may include hollow eyes, a lack of desire to get moving in the morning, excessive clock-watching, lack of mental focus, and the general non-enjoyment of everything—all of which can lead to reduced participation in daily activities.

PDD is, of course, Passion Deficit Disorder. Too many folks are just punching life’s time clock and marking the days on a calendar without a joyful purpose.

Howard Thurman, an influential African-American author, philosopher, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader, definitely did not suffer from PDD; he once said:

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Mr. Thurman understood that people who have found their passion have a reason to get up in the morning to pursue what makes them “come alive.”

And those are the kind of colleagues and clients we want at Martino Flynn—people who want to pursue their passion.

I wish you all to find passion in your lives. And remember, PDD is curable. You can choose to find your passion.

Hark The Herald Angels Sing…Before Thanksgiving

I was walking through my local grocery store in mid-August and I couldn’t mask my surprise as I stumbled upon a huge selection of Halloween candy; this was right after I had tried a sample of the store’s newest flavor of Greek yogurt, pumpkin. I was still sporting shorts and shades, and though I wasn’t ready to kiss summer goodbye, I somehow made it out of the store with the pumpkin Greek yogurt and a handful of mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. As frustrating as the “creep” of seasonal sales may be for consumers trying to enjoy the current season, there’s no question that it can drive sales and result in profits for retailers.

Fast-forward a few months and consumers will be inundated by the phenomenon known as the “Christmas Creep.” In recent years, Christmas campaigns have kicked off earlier as retailers and marketers have leveraged shoppers’ willingness to start their holiday shopping well before December. According to Google’s Holiday Shopper Survey, 26% of all Christmas shoppers start looking for gift deals not only before Thanksgiving, but also before Halloween. Retailers are responding to these proactive shoppers by offering Black Friday-styled discounts throughout the month of November and before.

Though it has clearly escalated, the Christmas Creep has a rich history in the United States. Cable television emerged as king in the 1980s and according to Forbes, before Paramount and NBC reached the current agreement to air It’s A Wonderful Life twice a year, the black and white Christmas classic was on cable television constantly, paving the way for modern movie marathons and cable programming countdowns to Christmas. Forbes reports that as much as 60% of Hallmark’s annual budget goes to promoting its Christmas countdowns. All who turn on their televisions between Thanksgiving and Christmas know that they will be flooded with commercials selling Christmas cheer and the latest and greatest stocking stuffers. The ad-tech firm Viamedia recently found that 54% of cable viewers have their holiday shopping habits shaped by television ads.

And with the Internet constantly at consumers’ fingertips, the frenzied sales of Black Friday are pouring over into Cyber Monday, Super Saturday, and even Green Monday. Forget The Simpsons’ dog or the popular “Elf On The Shelf,” Santa’s little helper is a smartphone with a decent data plan. Google’s May 2013 Mobile In-Stores Study states that one out of every three shoppers prefers to use a mobile device to answer a question rather than asking a store associate. Furthermore, a November 2013 study conducted by Google and Nielsen reports that nearly half (46%) of the consumers who referred to their mobile devices while in-store completed a purchase.

Although I’m looking forward to enjoying the crisp air of autumn and pumpkin-spice-flavored coffees and yogurts, a part of me is even more excited for peppermint-flavored everything and the twinkle of Christmas lights in window displays. And like other seasonal shoppers, I’ll be scouring the Internet for deals and steals well before Black Friday. If you’re ready to leverage “the most wonderful time of the year” for your brand, email us at and discover what Martino Flynn can do for you.

Create Exclusive, Real-Time Periscope Content

Just over a year ago, Periscope launched an app allowing users to broadcast live video from anywhere in the world. Periscope broadcasts are pretty unique in the fact that each video stream isn’t just a one-way form of communication; viewers can engage with the broadcast in real-time by sending messages in a chat format or hearts to “like” the content that is being shared. Each broadcast can be streamed live or replayed on the application for up to 24 hours after the live broadcast ends.

Periscope’s relationship with Twitter—the startup app was acquired by Twitter in March of 2015—has allowed Periscope to expand its reach by seamlessly integrating with the social media platform. Users can either receive a push notification from the Periscope app when a broadcast is live or anyone can watch the broadcast from a link posted to Twitter.

Periscope is here to stay! Many marketers, both B2B and B2C, are starting to use the emerging social media platform as another real-time marketing tool to create and share exclusive content and engage with consumers—and brands are using Periscope to forge deeper relationships with customers by giving them real-time access to their brands.

Some of today’s top brands are using Periscope to create exclusive content, including:

  • Live product demos
  • Tutorials
  • CEO chats
  • Event keynotes
  • Product launches
  • Press events
  • Behind-the-scenes or sneak peeks
  • Meet the team
  • Exclusive interviews
  • Q&As

As we have mentioned many times before, and will continue to stress, the key to social media success comes down to sharing the right content and telling stories that will resonate with your audience. This statement also holds true for the evolving strategies that brands are using on Periscope.

As with any other social media platform, the best way to create compelling content is to have a strategy in place. Periscope strategy considerations include capturing a strong video composition, using a compelling title, promoting the broadcast to drive clicks on the broadcast link, monitoring comments, and engaging with any viewers. Being conscious of the technical details of broadcasting on Periscope (Internet connectivity, device memory, and battery life) is also essential to a brand’s success with this new social media platform.

Are you looking for a new way to engage with consumers? Get in touch with our PR and social media team to learn the best practices for creating and executing real-time content on Periscope.

Celebrity Ambassadors: Finding The Perfect Match For Your Brand

Celebrity ambassadors can help overcome a multitude of obstacles your brand may be facing. They can help build brand equity and awareness, and they can help give products more credibility in the marketplace. Celebrity influence continues to play an increasingly large role on behalf of brands from Beyoncé and Pepsi, to Ellen and Covergirl. Currently, Martino Flynn is working with Softlips to strategically manage a partnership formed with country-pop artist Kelsea Ballerini. While the partnership is still underway, Softlips is already experiencing positive results from the image that Kelsea lends to the powerhouse lip balm brand.

Prior to selecting Kelsea as a celebrity ambassador, Martino Flynn considered crucial factors that would ensure an authentic and successful partnership for Softlips.

Here are four questions you should ask yourself prior to entering a contract with a celebrity ambassador:

  1. Does the celebrity’s fan base align with your brand?

This is a crucial component to selecting a celebrity ambassador. Do the age range and interests of the celebrity’s fans match those of your brand? If the celebrity’s following is inconsistent with the audience for which your product is meant for, it can result in a missed opportunity to leverage his or her fan base due to lack of relevancy and interest.

  1. Is the product a good fit for the celebrity?

Is it likely that the celebrity would use your product regardless of a partnership? Selecting a celebrity that is aligned with your product will help ensure that your message comes across more sincere from both the celebrity and your brand.

  1. Does the celebrity have a reputation that professionally and personally aligns with your brand?

It is important to consider a celebrity’s character and the likelihood of negative press being associated with the celebrity. What do major media outlets say about the celebrity? Is he or she frequently the focus of tabloid drama? Does he or she receive predominantly positive feedback from fans? It is imperative to assess a celebrity’s reputation, as it will soon become a direct reflection of your brand if you agree to a partnership.

  1. Is the timing right?

It is often in the best interest of the brand to launch a partnership just prior to or in conjunction with new and exciting events in a celebrity’s career. In Softlips’ situation, Kelsea Ballerini was experiencing increased exposure from touring with CMT’s Next Women of Country Tour while her breakout hit song, “Love Me Like You Mean It,” was topping charts nationwide. Strategically launching a partnership on the heels of the exciting news surrounding Kelsea provides a great opportunity to leverage increased buzz and interest for both Softlips and Kelsea.

Selecting the right celebrity for your brand is no small feat. For more information or help with selecting, launching, or managing a celebrity ambassador program, call Martino Flynn at 585.421.0100.

What Physician Burnout Means To Your Marketing Efforts

Medscape’s 2015 Physician Lifestyle Report—which surveyed 20,000 U.S. physicians on topics from vacation time to marijuana use—revealed some interesting facts that may help to inform your marketing efforts to medical professionals.

Take, for example, the issue of physician burnout. According to Medscape’s data (which is supported by other studies), burnout is on the rise in the medical profession—up from 40% in 2013 to 46% in 2015. Perhaps not surprisingly, the highest percentages for burnout were reported in critical care (53%) and emergency medicine (52%). But those categories are closely followed by three others: family medicine, internal medicine, and general surgery, each with a 50% burnout rate.

Why do so many physicians have a loss of enthusiasm for work, feelings of cynicism, and a low sense of personal accomplishment (the definition of burnout)? No need to speculate; the report provides data-backed insights. “Too many bureaucratic tasks” was cited as the top reason for burnout, with related factors of “increasing computerization of practice” and “spending too many hours at work” also placing highly on the list. Contrary to popular belief, the pressures that physicians feel on the job are not balanced by the paychecks they bring home. In fact, “income not high enough” was the number three cause of burnout according to those surveyed.

How do physicians alleviate their high levels of stress? The stereotypical view would say outdoor sports, such as golf. Survey says? No! Physicians actually rate reading and cultural events higher. Even more telling is that 78% indicated spending time with family as their favorite pastime, putting it at the top of the results list.

So what does all of this mean to those of us who target physicians in our marketing efforts? For one thing, it means that physicians are people, too; they struggle with being overworked, underpaid, and overwhelmed by bureaucracy. Solutions that save them time—without compromising patient outcomes—and that can get them back to their families, will likely resonate well with them.

In our guts, we probably already felt that was the case. Now we have the data to substantiate it!

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