All posts by Katie Flynn

The Personal(ized) Side of Marketing: 3 Ways Retail Brands Are Using CRM Data to Their Advantage

We hear it all the time: data is yesterday’s “big thing,” today’s “big thing,” and—more than likely—tomorrow’s “big thing.” But how can a brand leverage its data in a way that is truly meaningful from a marketing perspective? The answer is personalization. Personalization is the practice of producing and delivering individualized content to people by using data collection, analysis, and automation technology. Though it has been viewed as “creepy” by some, the truth is that both brands and consumers alike are coming to embrace personalization—even the slow adopters. Why? Because it’s a very effective marketing tactic that serves consumers products or services that they were probably already thinking about purchasing anyway.

A recent article from Marketo stated that: “email personalization boosts open rates by 26%, and click-through rates by 97%”. Also, according to recent Epsilon research, “80 percent of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it offers a personalized experience.” So how can retail brands put this into practice using their own Customer Retention Management (CRM) data? Here are three ways:

Scanner Applications: Scanner data can be used to capture consumer preferences and buying habits. Many retailers use scannable cards, which are loaded with personal consumer data, to plan for and outline marketing strategies. For instance, a retailer could use that data to offer coupons that are specific to a brand that was purchased. One can also offer a percentage or dollar amount off of future purchases based on total dollars spent by that consumer. Scanner data allows you to reach a consumer when your products or brands are still top of mind.

Recommender Engines: Using the data you have access to by just doing business can be a simple way to implement personalized marketing. Let’s say you are a sporting goods retailer, and a consumer purchased a lacrosse stick from your website. A few days later, you could then use that information to generate an email to send that consumer recommending lacrosse balls. Generating recommendations based on purchasing behavior is one of the simplest and most effective marketing tactics, as consumers likely need or want what you’re recommending based on what they’ve already purchased. Segmenting your CRM data into lists depending on purchasing behavior allows you to remind consumers of items they likely need to complement past purchases or are clearly interested in based on those past purchases.

Subscription Services: This example is slightly different than the previous ones, in that subscription services provide a much more obvious way to encourage consumer purchases based on preferences that are directly provided. A subscription service, such as Stitch Fix, for example, requires consumers to fill out a survey that details their personal fashion preferences. Doing so very clearly defines what a consumer might buy, and, in turn, allows Stitch Fix to send 5 curated items to the consumer that they know they will like based on the data. In turn, that consumer is more likely to purchase those items because the items have been selected in response to the personal preferences data that was collected.

If you’d like to learn more about how to leverage your customer data, please call 585.421.0100.

10 Things Brands Should Know About Marketing to Millennial Dads

Who are “Millennial Dads”?

Millennials are one of the most highly researched and studied consumer groups in history; with nearly 100 million millennials and a spending power of $200B, brands should try to stay relevant to this consumer group. Interestingly, millennial behavior has changed as millennials have aged. Millennials today are between the ages of 24 and 38, and we’re seeing some of the biggest changes in behavior with Millennial Dads.

Why do they matter?

Dads are becoming much more involved in raising their children; according to the Pew Research Center, since 1965, fathers across the U.S. have tripled their time spent with their kids. Another Pew analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data shows the number of stay-at-home dads doubling in the last two decades. One of the biggest differences we see is that often Millennial Dads feel like “Super Dad” when they are spending time with their kids and family. Finding work-life balance is important to Millennial Dads, with more than half finding this challenging.

Top 10 Things to Know About Millennial Dads

1. 86% turn to YouTube for guidance on key parenting topics
2. 59% use their smartphone when searching for parenting information
3. 58% place family before work, most of the time
4. 1 in 3 dads says he is overwhelmed
5. More than half of dads are involved in shopping for groceries, personal care and baby products.
6. Compared to 50 years ago, millennial dads are spending nearly triple the time on child care
7. 52% find work-life balance challenging
8. 57% say parenting is important to their identity
9. 48% say that they spend too little time with their kids
10. 1 in 5 Millennial Dads handles everything from carpools to coordinating playdates

So, how can you reach the Millennial Dad?

Dads connect with brands that offer more products or services that will give them more time with their kids – whether it’s a product they use with their kids, or something that frees up their time so they have more time to spend with their kids. Emphasizing the experience of spending time with their kids and their family will help them connect with a brand. It is important to avoid stereotypical gender roles in advertising.

Content Millennial Dads are Looking for:
• 7 in 10 want parenting tips and tricks
• 6 in 10 look for answers for specific parenting questions
• 5 in 10 want to learn about others experiences

In an article by AdWeek, Alissa Fleck talks about how fathers are tired of seeing “doofus dads” in advertising. In a recent study conducted by MDG Advertising, it was found that dads do not like the way they are portrayed, especially millennial fathers. According to the study, 74% of U.S. Millennial Dads think advertisers and marketers do not understand modern family dynamics.

– 86% of Millennial Dads turn to YouTube for guidance on key parenting topics. Don’t assume that you are only talking to mom when you’re marketing to Millennial Parents.
– 75% of Millennial Parents say they have continued to pursue their personal passions since having children. Don’t reduce millennials to parenting alone.
– 3 in 4 Millennial Parents are open to videos by brands or companies on YouTube when seeking guidance on parenting topics. Be there for young parents when they are looking for help.

Brands Who Get Millennial Dads

Who has mastered the art of marketing to Millennial Dads? A recent article by MDG Advertising, explores 10 Brands That Get Modern Fathers. Here’s our top 3:

1. Delta: To All the Pilots on the Ground

Delta connected its audience with a nearly-universal moment between dads and their kids: the “airplane ride.” Ingenious! Not only does almost everyone know what an “airplane ride” is, but it smartly connects the airline with a dad activity for a great Father’s Day message. The final message perfectly drives the point home: “To all the pilots on the ground: Happy Father’s Day.”

2. Gillette: This Father’s Day, Go Ask Dad

The Internet is so easily accessible today that kids are turning to searching the web for answers to questions like “how to tie a tie” or “how to shave.” This ad shows what happens when sons ask their dads instead. It is such a simple, yet powerful concept that connects the growing use of technology and the lack of knowledge being passed on from parents.

3. Travelers Insurance: Growing Up

The importance of family and home is effectively communicated through this ad with a father taking his daughter through all the important milestones in life. Travelers was able to portray its brand message, the value of family and home insurance, in a subtle way that also pulls those heartstrings.

To learn more about Martino Flynn’s consumer research capabilities, contact us at 585.421.0100.


2018 Marketing Trends: Invest Your Dollars in Content Marketing, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence

Technology (both in the marketing and consumer worlds), online platforms, and marketing techniques are constantly evolving and changing. In 2017, we saw even more emphasis on content marketing and video, a booming influencer marketing space, and an unsurprising emphasis on data. So what should your business incorporate into its marketing tactics in 2018 in order to keep up with the latest trends and new techniques? Here are 3 areas for your brand to invest its marketing efforts in this year.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is slated to dominate in 2018, just as it did in 2017. In fact, 75% of marketers are increasing investment in content marketing in 2018. We’ve all heard the phrase “content is king”, and that may be true; however, as attention spans become increasingly shorter and people consume content using multiple platforms (think a phone, an iPad, and a laptop—maybe even all at once), shorter, more engaging content in the appropriate context should be the focus of marketing efforts. Robust, long-form content certainly lends itself to the appropriate audience if used in the proper part of the sales funnel, but in these changing times, where the average attention span is only about 8 seconds, it may be beneficial to use more concise content that packs a big punch in terms of engagement, sharing, and conversion.

Creating content for the sake of the audience, not to sell the audience on a product, will likely be a popular trend in 2018. This marketing strategy typically works best when companies develop an emotional tie with their audience, creating trust and brand recognition. Engagement will be sure to follow.

Big Data

The phrase “big data” has been buzzing around the marketing space for years now, but as more companies incorporate big data into their marketing plans, the implications of these data-backed techniques become more and more apparent.

One of the biggest areas in which we think big data will have the most significant impact—not only this year, but for years to come—is garnering consumer insights to inform relationship-driven strategy. Using data to find out what makes customers tick, how they’re engaging with your campaigns, and their user experience throughout, allows you to better understand how to grab your customers’ attention. Zeroing in on the specific attributes of the audience you should be trying to reach and how best to communicate with them will ultimately drive your brand’s goals forward.

Extensive consumer insights also lend themselves to aiding in strategies such as programmatic media buys and the increasingly popular idea of personalization that is becoming increasingly popular year over year.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning is an area considered to be the latest and greatest in the world of marketing, with ever-evolving and new technologies popping up seemingly daily. It is a space in which tons of excitement and anticipation are growing, but how can your company utilize it to achieve actionable goals? AI is really an offshoot of, and should be used in conjunction with, big data. AI-powered algorithms can help your company curate targeted content for specific consumers. For instance, by analyzing hundreds of data points that can be found in relation to a particular user (location, demographics, etc.), AI formulas can deliver a personalized website experience by serving up best-fitting content. This type of personalization serves up things such as best offers and relevant content based on location, demographics, and browsing history that will make users more likely to engage with your brand.

To learn more about Martino Flynn’s capabilities in these trending marketing spaces, visit or contact Kevin Flynn at 585.421.0100.

Six Best Practices for Influencer Marketing

It’s no secret that influencer marketing has become increasingly popular in recent years, but how does a company maximize its Return On Investment (ROI)? There are a few key strategies that will assist your brand in doing so. Check out our best practices for influencer marketing below.

  1. Do Your Homework

The first step in any influencer marketing campaign should be to find the right influencers. You want to ensure that you’re choosing influencers who fit in with your brand and align with your brand’s values. They are going to be ambassadors for your brand, so it is integral that you’re comfortable with their content and trust that they’ll do right by your brand.

2. Be Strategic in Choosing Influencers

It is important to keep in mind that a larger following does not equate to increased effectiveness in your campaign. In fact, it is recommended to choose a few smaller-scale influencers with a high engagement, as these audiences are more likely to click through posts or, ultimately, purchase what the influencer is promoting. Additionally, it is of course beneficial to choose influencers who have audiences in your target demographic, but be careful not to limit yourself. You can also utilize influencers with adjacent audiences and overlapping audiences. For instance, if you are a beauty brand, it may make sense to recruit a few lifestyle, home, and/or fitness influencers to help increase your promotions reach.

3. Build a Relationship

The relationship between a company and its influencer should be mutually beneficial. You want to add value to your influencers’ businesses and vice versa. Sharing their content (with expressed consent, of course) promotes your influencers and also helps to build upon your business relationship.

It is also important to listen to and collaborate with your influencers. They know a lot about their following and can likely add a lot of value to your business’ promotion if you take into consideration their insight into your target audiences.

4. Allow Your Influencers To Be Creative

It can be tough to let go of some of the control in any marketing situation, but remember: your have gained their audiences by being authentic and creative, so allow them to continue to be! Any influencer campaign should be aiming to generate organic, word-of-mouth marketing and in order for this to happen, the influencers need to be free to create unique content. You can provide information about your business or product, but, ultimately, you want your influencers to promote your brand in an authentic and creative way so as not to push away their audiences. Sometimes, even a well-placed item in the background of an Instagram photo is enough to convince a following.

5. Comply with the Federal Trade Commission

It’s extremely important for your influencers to comply with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) standards during your promotion. This means expressly noting in their blog posts, photos, YouTube videos, etc. that they are partnering with your company. It’s also important that the thoughts and opinions of your influencers are their own and that any free products they received are disclosed.

In 2015, the FTC cracked down on Lord & Taylor for a campaign in which 50 influencers promoted the same dress, but did not disclose their partnership with the company. The dress sold out in less than a week, but Lord & Taylor was under fire for non-compliance. Compliance can be as simple as putting: “FTC DISCLAIMER: This video is sponsored by <Company Name>, but my thoughts and opinions are my own.” in the description of the post, so be sure not to overlook this simple necessity.

6. Track and Measure

It may sound intuitive, but it is extremely important to track and measure your influencer campaign. Choose your metrics, set goals and KPIs from the beginning, and communicate those expectations to your influencers. Then be sure to track the effectiveness of your promotion both throughout and after it runs and bask in the glory of your ROI.

Here at Martino Flynn, we have worked closely with clients to execute influencer marketing campaigns to drive awareness and increase product trial and sales. Check out additional information on the effectiveness of influencer marketing. If you’re interested in leveraging social media influencers for your brand, you can contact us to learn more about our influencer marketing and social media capabilities.