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Rochester Chamber Top 100: Collaboration key as the industry changes

Rochester Business Journal
August 26, 2016

For advertisers, getting the attention of consumers has always been a goal, but in today’s world it is about sustaining that attention—a task that is much more complex than in the past.

“It’s an omni-channel kind of world,” said Kevin Flynn, partner at Martino Flynn LLC. “It used to be very much a monologue; there weren’t 100 channels or more, and consumers couldn’t really avoid us. And they couldn’t talk back to us really, but now they interact.”

The full-service agency plans to grow revenue by 5 to 10 percent this year. It employs 54 people and expects to add based on need.

“I think one unintended consequence of new media is it’s forced us to work more collaboratively,” said Raymond Martino, a partner. “When you got an assignment in the old days, the PR team would write a press release and send it out. Now we have to call in the creative team to generate the graphics, we have to call the digital and the media buying department to help; so everybody’s working together more collaboratively, and that’s a good thing.”

The company focuses on financial services, over-the-counter health care, medical device, telecommunications, technology and consumer industries. It is located at 175 Sully’s Trail in Perinton.

“We’re always looking to grow,” Flynn said. “So we try to balance servicing our clients and making our clients super happy but also getting more and more clients—you’ve got to feed the beast. Our business is changing quite dramatically, and it’s a more accountable world these days. It’s different from 15 to 20 years ago; it’s a little more forethought these days.”

Martino Flynn ranks fifth on the most recent Rochester Business Journal list of marketing communications firms, ranked by 2015 local gross income.

“Back in the ’90s, (the firm) could have gone either way, so (it’s about) staying in the game when it would be easy to quit,” Flynn said. “And I think most any reasonably successful small or medium or large business owner has gone through trials and tribulations. Everyone’s like, ‘it’s so great owning a business: you sleep like a baby—you wake up every two hours crying.’

“We control our own destiny and if we fail we own that.”

Last year the firm’s net revenue was $9.1 million. In May the company added a new strategy, planning and research department projected to add $1 million to the company’s revenues by 2017.

“I think relying too much on data can be misleading, because you still can’t get inside people’s heads,” Martino said. “You can track behavior. You can predict, but you still don’t know exactly what’s going to motivate a person. Is it quality? Quantity? The message? We’re constantly trying to figure it out, but in the old days you didn’t have the data (and) you were just guessing. Now we’re doing more than guessing.”

Added Flynn: “There’s an expression nowadays—you can fail fast—so if something is not working you can move along to something else. It’s really the consumers (who) are the ones with the power.”

Financial services and health care make up 65 to 70 percent of the company’s business. Some 80 percent of the firm’s clients are based outside of Rochester.

“The advertising business has always been about generating sales,” Martino said. “So we can identify marketing needs and sales needs, but it’s up to the client. They actually sell it but we set the table for them. It’s fun, it’s exciting but it’s challenging just keeping up with everything.”

The same spark that started the agency fuels its leaders today.

“I feel driven,” Flynn said. “I want this to go on; it’s really important that it lives on, and there’s a great succession. That’s another driving force: (to) make sure whoever we turn it over to leaves it in better hands than us.”

Rochester has had its ups and downs while Martino Flynn developed, but the leaders of Martino Flynn are happy to remain in Monroe County. The city is improving, they said.

“Twenty-five to 30 years ago, I probably would have apologized for Rochester, but I’ve stopped apologizing,” Flynn said. “I think Rochester is a great community.”

The Rochester Chamber Top 100 program is presented by the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and KPMG LLP. Launched in 1987, it recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in Greater Rochester. The 2016 Rochester Top 100 event will be held Nov. 3. For more information, go to

Martino Flynn LLC
Full-service advertising and public
relations agency
Year founded: 1997
Top executives: Kevin Flynn,
Christopher Flynn and Raymond
Martino, partners
Current employment: 54
2015 ranking: 78
Headquarters: Perinton

8/26/2016 (c) 2016 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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