Recent Posts

Ginger Reichl Completes Jim Moran Institute for Entrepreneurship Small Business Executive Program


Pinstripe president, Ginger Reichl, completed the Jim Moran Institute for Entrepreneurship’s Small Business Executive Program on December 5.

Provided by the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship at Florida State University, the program was created to be a world-class learning experience that accommodates the busy schedule of small business owners. The Small Business Executive Program (SBEP) participants emerge stronger leaders ready to capitalize on business opportunities, implement best practice management, and turn challenges into a strategic advantage.

“Pinstripe has been a full-time effort for nearly 14 years, and while I am fortunate to have other entrepreneur friends, it has been helpful to work through real-world issues in the safe space of JMI with other mature businesses. The Business Model Canvas and other tools are going to help us set the course for the next several years of the agency,” said Reichl.

“Through the visionary leadership and generous gift of Jim Moran, we are able to assemble an outstanding group of speakers and to facilitate valuable discussions with other local entrepreneurs,” said Shane Smith, PhD, Director of Central Florida Operations for The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship. “We know that the heritage and tradition of the Institute and The Florida State University inspires our participants to work more ‘on’ their businesses instead of ‘in’ them.”

Applications for the Tampa Bay Spring cohort are now open.

Zodiac Marketer: Scorpio

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by Nikki Devereux, Director of Account Management

Our next zodiac sign is Scorpio: birthdays between October 23 – November 21.

Scorpio is a water sign with the strengths: resourceful, brave, and passionate. Scorpio weaknesses are distrustfulness and jealousy. We’ll explore ways these positive and negative traits can be applied or avoided in marketing and business practices.

Resourcefulness in Marketing

Being resourceful is beneficial in any occupation, but let’s look at it from the marketer’s perspective. In marketing there are a lot of problems to solve, a multitude of creative and technical projects to execute. There are also many ways to tackle these projects, many types of software to choose from, and a host ways to organize and communicate during the process. Marketing changes with the wind; as quickly as new technology is released, marketing changes. A resourceful marketer keeps up with technology, but doesn’t have Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). This is when you try so hard to keep up with EVERYTHING (it’s impossible these days), that you end up spreading yourself thin and being a generalist at all of it rather than an expert at a few things. Make sure to be well-versed and keep up with cutting edge tech and software, but adopt only those that are essential to your business. You’ll get to know these quickly over time – ever-changing technology requires a rubric for assessment, and you’ll streamline this process according to your business’ needs. This is, itself, resourcefulness; being able to quickly assess whether or not a new gadget is going to benefit your business.

Bravery in Marketing

Creativity almost always involves bravery. When you’re presenting a new set of logo sketches to a client, you have to put on your brave cap, because you are attempting to define a business’ entire personality and mission/vision with a single mark and perhaps some words. Be bold, be brave, be confident! This is no time to have self-doubt or second guess yourself. Your client needs to feel your confidence. For some clients this is a huge decision in their business, so they really need you to be brave for them. Likewise, in any business, there are times when the stakes are high and you have to put on the brave face so that your clients can have confidence in you and thus their choice to hire you.

Passion in Marketing

Is your business thriving? If the answer is yes, chances are you are passionate about what you do. Even if you are not the business owner, being a passionate employee of a company means you take ownership of the company and your work. Make no mistake, passion is palpable and contagious. If you are pitching a new client, a project to your boss or even a logo like I mentioned above, your passion will infect the people to whom you are speaking. People will catch your excitement! If you are not exactly passionate about what you do or your company, find some element of your work to be passionate about. Not only will you be happier, so will your coworkers, your boss, and your clients.

Avoid: Distrust in Marketing

Now, we may have been burned a couple times in business and relationships, but let’s keep an open mind for our clients and colleagues. Distrust is such a negative state that it may affect many aspects of your life and business. For example, I was about to start a new project with a client who has proven to be slightly difficult in the past; I didn’t trust that they were going to be respectful of me or my team. Going into the project, I predicted all the ways the client would be difficult and kept practicing in my mind all the responses I would have to their negativity. It was so bad that I lost sleep the night before a big meeting and felt anxious the next morning. Well, we had our meeting that morning, and it went so smoothly that I had to kick myself for all the negative energy that I suffered through for the 24 hours leading up to the meeting. That was self-inflicted, and thankfully no one felt my negativity. Don’t make my mistake – try to give people the benefit of the doubt. It will be more pleasant for you.

Avoid: Jealousy in Marketing

Jealousy is such an unpleasant emotion and can stem from self-doubt. Steer clear of this one in all aspects of life, but I’ll tell you why it’s especially important in business. Jealousy can turn you into a petty person, and this will ward off clients, recruits, and even friends. No one wants to be around or work with a petty person. Find your niche, find your passion, and do the best you can in that. If someone is doing it better, study how they do what they do, and seek to improve. The only way to overcome jealousy and self-doubt is to work harder at what you do and when you’re on the path to be the best, you won’t have time to be jealous.

Have you ever experienced any of the above traits in your marketing campaigns or business? We’d love to hear your stories, the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Women’s Conference of Florida Recap 2019


by Nikki Devereux, Director of Account Management

I attended the Women’s Conference of Florida for the second time, and it was just as awesome as that first time two years ago. There’s so much energy, positivity and inspiration surrounding everyone in the room, it’s contagious.

Being general admission and going it alone, while it may sound frightening to some and boring to others, is actually a great way to attend this conference. There are lots of ladies attending solo, and the general admission tables are shared by all of the many solo conference-goers, those independent spirits. I sat at a table towards the back, and throughout the day, between the breakout sessions, lunch, and all the other activities, my table’s attendees rotated, so I was able to meet and chat with even more people of all walks of life.

The first keynote speaker (and for some, the highlight of the day), was Monica Lewinsky. She talked about the traumatic event in 1998 that skyrocketed her into infamy, and how it took years to recover. “I’m the only person over 40 who doesn’t want to be 22 again.” She lightened the mood with jokes like this and facts like, “there are about 125 rap songs that mention my name.”

After telling this heart-wrenching story (it’s so jarring to hear it come from her, the one who lived it, rather than via all the gossip and news and opinions from everyone else), she went on to discuss how words can be just as painful as physical violence. This led to her talking about the very real problem of cyber-bullying, and how it especially inflicts teens.

Lewinsky and advertising agency BBDO recently collaborated on a public service announcement that tells the story of a teenage girl being harassed so badly via texts from classmates that she attempted suicide. Warning, this video contains triggers for victims of cyber-bullying and suicide.

Lewinsky admits her life would have taken an entirely different path if she hadn’t fallen in love with former president Bill Clinton. She talks about how she earned a master’s degree years later, just trying to live a normal life, and when she tried to get a job, found that no one would hire her because of the scandal. She was a pariah, in a sense, and had to find a new direction for her life. Her first step into her passionate advocacy to end cyber-bullying was a presentation to a class of Forbes 30 Under 30 honorees. That speech launched her into a lifelong endeavor to prevent others from experiencing what she had, or at least help them to recover from the trauma of it. I have such a new appreciation for Monica Lewinsky!

My personal favorite was the brilliant and funny Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code. She talked at length about how we raise our girls to be “socialized to avoid tech and math, and to be perfect.” You know those shirts that say, “Allergic to algebra?” In Saujani’s eyes, these seemingly harmless shirts are part of what is wrong with society. They are the bane of her (and now my) existence, because they promote the idea that girls can’t do math or that it’s not “cool” to be good at math, or some other ridiculous assumption about women and mathematical intelligence.

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As a science person myself (I majored in engineering during college), and having been raised by a family that encouraged me to be my own person without promoting or implying strict gender rules, I have never understood the “pretty in pink” value system. I played rough sports, came home with black eyes, helped my dad build houses (having installed several hardwood floors and doors, helped frame a house, and painted countless walls and doors by the time I was 18), and took college calculus classes before I graduated high school. Certainly doesn’t sound like society’s image of a “pretty pretty princess,” and it’s how I’m going to raise my daughter too, always leading by example.

To Saujani’s point, “they watch us, follow us, mimic us,” so the best way to teach is to model the behavior. Yes, that girl is going to go fishing, learn how to lay wood floors, build things, while at the same time learning how to cook and sew. “We put our own unrealized potential into the potential of our girls, but we have to stop doing that, and we raise girls to be perfect and thoughtful, and boys to be brave.” Here’s to being and raising a brave girl, Reshma Saujani! We hear you!

One other speaker that I really loved and wanted to mention is author and host of “Terrible, Thanks for Asking” podcast, Nora McInerny. She was just hilarious! Her time slot was toward the end of the day, after lunch, which is a tough place to be (they really pack a lot in one day, so the eyes and brain start to weary after the delicious lunch complete with giant chocolate cake for dessert). Her energy and irreverence were the perfect cocktail to bring the audience back from nodding off.

McInerny’s talk was about grief, loss and suffering, and that benign, casually tossed question, “How are you?” which usually has a much more profound answer than “I’m fine.” Interesting that such a vibrant, bubbly person is a grief expert, but her experience has catapulted her into this realm. She starts her presentation with, “first, I had a miscarriage, then my dad dies, then my husband dies, all within six weeks.” That’s enough to stop anyone in their tracks and leave them crippled with grief, but McInerny used humor, family, friends, and in general, human connection and honesty, to not only overcome her losses, but build an empire of creativity around the topic of grief. She encourages us to offer compassion and support for those around us suffering from loss, but also to reach out when we are in need, for this is how you get through it. Not alone, but with a community. “It’s not my job to protect my children from the cold world, but to teach them how to get through it and be there for others as well.”

The variety of speakers this year, as always, was excellent, and I would be surprised if anyone, men and women alike, walked away without a spark of inspiration for their next project, their next educational endeavor, relationship, or just about any aspect of life. I certainly have a whole host of ideas and goals now!

Some Things to Know About Marketing Automation


by Michael Premo, Content Strategist

Marketing automation has been around for a while. There are a lot of platforms available, and it’s become more affordable for small to midsized businesses. And, we have seen a growing interest in these amazing marketing tools because they work really well, especially when you’re looking for more data on what your customers want.

This is not a review of automation platforms because there are so many available and each one has its unique characteristics at a wide range of price points. I want to focus on what you should expect when using marketing automation.


Believe the Hype

You’ve probably seen the numbers on marketing automation already, but here are a few important statistics if you haven’t.

  • When using 3 or more channels, marketing campaigns increased engagement and purchasing by 250% while earning a 90% customer retention rate.
  • Targeted campaigns have a 35% higher open rate.
  • Dynamic sign-up forms have a 25% success rate on landing pages.
  • Over 60% of companies outgrowing their competitors are using automation.

What this means is that using one channel of marketing is good, but coordinating 3 together is great. For example, a 3 channel campaign would use text messaging, email, and social media.

Channels also involve data collection so that a good B2B campaign would look like this: email, social media, and behavioral tracking. There are many more combinations and activities to have in a campaign. I think the biggest takeaway is that successful marketing is targeted-frequency.


Understanding Expectations

Naturally, you’re going to want to set your marketing on auto-pilot. That’s one of the reasons why automation is so attractive—it drives itself. Though this may be true, it’s also a bit misleading. Automation takes resources to strategically develop and implement a campaign.

Here’s a list of things you need to be aware of:

  • People – You’ll need someone to be in charge of managing automation. This can be a part-time or full-time job for one person or several, depending upon the workload. Or, you can hire an outside firm to handle it, which can save you money. Regardless, these people will be coordinating all activities and in direct communication with management and sales.
  • Content – Automation runs on messaging. Without content, there’s no message. A range of content is needed for a successful campaign: promotions, photos, video, thought leadership, etc. You get the idea. Plus, it has to be fresh and new. Of course, you can repurpose old content, and that should be done after a couple of years.
  • Segmentation – Targeting the right message to the right person is far more successful than throwing it to the wind and hoping they catch it. You should already have your customer segments, so the message should fit their needs. If not, they might get annoyed with your lack of knowing who they are and what they want.
  • Patience – Automation is not like a grand opening. It doesn’t start with a “Bang!” It’s more like a drip. The biggest thing to avoid is being spammy. It’s easy for your audience to opt-out, so decide what the frequency should be by looking at some averages for your industry and market.
  • Data – A huge benefit of automation is the data it can gather about customer behavior. The numbers can be granular, specific and complex. You’ll need to know how to analyze them and then interpret what that means for your future campaigns. Statistical analysis is not easy, but it will improve your lead generation and conversion rates.
  • Feedback – Automation is a great tool for gathering feedback through follow up surveys and reviews. But, when you ask for feedback, your customers will want to hear authentic responses. This requires a set of rules for responding:
    • Timely responses matter
    • Apologize when necessary
    • Be open to criticism
    • Don’t argue
    • Offer solutions


Test Through Trial and Error

Successful automation campaigns don’t just appear because they’re automated. The statistics I listed earlier come from an average of robust and informed programs. A lot of testing is involved in optimizing the performance of each campaign. To get there, you’ll be going through a lot of trial and error.

Pinstripe understands what it takes to run an automation team. We have helped local and nationally-based businesses with their marketing needs for over two decades. We specialize in discovering your traits—your corporate character—and putting them on display. Our creative team consists of listeners and discoverers that have an innate ability to help you achieve your vision. Contact us to tell us more about what a successful automation campaign looks like to you, and we’ll help you get there.

Marketing Checklist for 2020


by Nikki Devereux, Director of Account Management

Have you started thinking about your business in the new year, particularly from a marketing perspective? It’s definitely not too early to start doing so, because if you wait until December, it will be too late.

Now is a good time to come up with fresh, new ideas to promote your business. Planning ahead will allow you to seamlessly incorporate these ideas into your daily business activities. We’ve come up with a checklist to get the ideas flowing and get your 2020 marketing off to the right start!

  • Revisit your marketing plan – If you haven’t in a while, you’ll need to dust off that old marketing plan. Review the initiatives, goals, mission, vision, audience and strategy to see what’s changed and what’s stayed the same.
    • Audience – Consider how your audience may have changed and grown since the last time you really thought about them. What do they need now? What new technology has changed their lives? How can you better communicate with them? Are there any new audiences you would like to reach? Ask a lot of questions and add to your notes.
    • Goals – Consider some goals for 2020 and compare them to the original goals. Are they similar? Have they changed as the audience has aged? Take more notes!
    • Mission and Vision – Do these need to be rewritten? Who can you loop in to help you rewrite or reimagine?

During this process, gather colleagues and stakeholders and bring in your team . They all have something valuable to share and creative ideas you need. Remember to take lots of notes during your review and brainstorming.

  • Consider adding digital or social media advertising – If you haven’t already incorporated Google Ads or social media advertising, consider adding it to your marketing plan to supplement (or replace) print advertising. It’s measurable, inexpensive, and you can set and track goals easily.
  • Revamp your content marketing – Chances are you’ve been blogging and posting to social media as part of your content marketing. Rethink your strategy for the new year and bring video or even a podcast into your repertoire. Make sure you keep your clients and prospects in mind when creating any content. Give them useful information, tips and resources that they can actually use and apply. This infographic brilliantly demonstrates different types of content and where/how they affect your prospects on their buying journey.
  • Consider new giveaways – When was the last time you selected items to gift to your clients and prospects? There are so many creative, fun giveaways out there—be memorable in 2020! Check out some ideas like these sporty backpacks or this adorable foldable fan.

These are just a few ideas to get your creativity flowing for your 2020 marketing strategy. Get in touch with our creative team if you want Pinstripe to help rejuvenate your marketing plan for the new year!