A personal touch that understands a brand’s voice and delivers that message to the audience is crucial for businesses. In catching up with Lynn Montemayor, Partner and Chief Marketing Officer at fortysix/5, we quickly learned that with the team at fortysix/5, small businesses don’t have to choose between marketing that works and a helping hand that understands how important your brand, time, and money is to your bottom line.
Lynn and her partner are dedicated to helping small businesses thrive even when times are tough. “My business partner and I get gratification from seeing first hand the impact we have on our clients’ growth,” Lynn says. “In the past, I’ve worked with clients like Burger King but they’re not calling you at the end of the week saying, ‘Hey, thanks for your help, Whopper sales were up this week.’ But with a local business, they are saying, “our phones rang, our website visits have grown, this is working, we love what you’re doing.’”
A personal touch and understanding goes a long way
A strong understanding of small businesses’ needs, budgets, and pain points is the cornerstone for everything done at fortysix/5. “We do everything from beginning to end with the highest of standards but at very efficient pricing.”
Even before fortysix/5, Lynn always had a passion for working personally with her clients. Lynn enjoyed both the sales part and the creative part of advertising and that’s a unique skill set. “I was always a salesperson, but I also enjoyed using the creative side of my brain. I would write all of my client’s commercials, and that was not something many salespeople enjoyed doing. But for me, that was the fun part! I had the best time getting to know the client, finding out what they were proud of, what their passions were. It made me feel like more of a partner with my clients and not just another vendor.”
This close-knit strategy seems to be working. A client of fortysix/5’s, Blakes Farms, an apple orchard, restaurant, and hard cider production facility in Michigan, had their best month last July in the heat of the pandemic. “We are fortunate that many of our clients found ways to be strategic during the pandemic and not only, stay open, but thrive at the same time.”
Getting results fast – with quality and intention
With remote working and many restrictions in place, consumers had much more time available over the past year while many marketers and local business owners did not. Consumers spent a lot more time on their phones, iPads, and watching tv. Getting through the noise of digital saturation was difficult for small businesses that previously relied on interacting with their customer base through foot traffic, in-store sales, and live events. “At fortysix/5 we need to make sure every dollar is being spent as efficiently and effectively as possible in hopes that results are seen as quickly as possible. We found that the demographic and geographic targeting that digital can offer it makes targeting the clients’ customers a very effective choice,” says Lynn.
To combat that noise, digital targeting capabilities have been a direction Lynn and her partner guided their clients toward. While TV and radio commercials are still a huge part of what she does with her clients, Lynn is very aware that things are changing and even the most digitally-resistant marketers need to get on board in order to continue thriving.
“The way you can specifically target with digital has really made a big difference for us…we deal with a lot of business owners who don’t even use Facebook or Twitter. So we need to explain to them how targeted their ads will be. Sometimes small business owners can get overwhelmed, and they just want to do what they’ve always done with their advertising. We work to explain to them that traditional media can still be a good option but when every dollar has to have the best chance at reaching the right target, digital is likely the way to go.”
“Creating personal relationships with your clients is everything!” says Lynn, who has always valued traditional phone calls and in-person meetings. She can’t wait for there to be more in-person meetings and fewer Zoom meetings.
“Back when I started, you personally went and presented each proposal in person, there was no email, you presented it in person. I love to do that because I obviously believe in what I’m presenting and I want them to see my passion. But then over time, it turned into ‘Email me your proposal.’ Now the person is just looking at an email, they’re not seeing my excitement and there is no dialogue, having dialogue and brainstorming is when I am at my best!”
Despite her hope that meetings in person will get back to normal, Lynn is also very realistic and aware of how the pandemic-era work-life has benefitted the workforce. Efficiency and employee work-life balance improving is just a piece of this new way to do business that can’t be ignored.
“I know many of our clients are looking forward to getting together in person soon and that’s going to be great! But as I’m sure many people are aware, a lot of things are changing, and people have discovered how much more time they can get back in life. Companies who previously thought ‘people can’t work from home, are finding out they can.”
Understanding that more of our lives are being lived mostly online and digitally isn’t a new idea. Learning how to innovatively make connections and build relationships in the space is something that marketers, like Lynn, know we need to lean into.
The TV and radio world, in Lynn’s opinion, is the next channel that’s going to begin to change drastically to compete with the ever-increasing streaming services. “I have heard exciting things are on the horizon. “I think it’s going to be much more hyper-focused than it already is, “big brother” will literally know everything about you! Probably not something consumers like to hear but something advertisers love to hear!”
Getting back to normal
If it’s not already evident, the most exciting thing Lynn is looking forward to after the pandemic is getting back together with clients, in PERSON! “The one thing that’s still missing is definitely the face-to-face meetings. Seeing our existing clients in person, and meeting some new client faces is what I look most forward to.”
Get in touch with Lynn and the fortysix/5 team
If you’re interested in setting up a meeting with Lynn – in person or over the phone – you can get in touch with her at the fortysix/5 website or feel free to reach out to her at [email protected] or on LinkedIn.