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Agility, focus on relationships contribute to Flynn’s success

Pinnacle Awards won by the Flynn media team. (Photo by Kevin Oklobzija)

They have been creating marketing campaigns and helping clients realize peak return-on-investment potential for 55 years.

And like a fine wine, Flynn just keeps getting better with age.

The family owned, full-service marketing firm has maintained a keen focus on relationships — with both clients and employees — while enjoying significant growth. The agency was ranked No. 1,757 on the 2022 Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies after revenue gains of 350 percent over the past three years.

In June, Flynn was named to the annual MM&M (Medical, Marketing and Media) Agency 100 list of top North American health care agencies for the first time.

That type of growth wouldn’t happen if Flynn didn’t continually meet client expectations while at the same time ensuring employees felt appreciated and empowered, agency president Katie Flynn said. Maybe that’s why she said she often hears “I want to retire from here” in employee review meetings.

“We’re doing cool work and there is a really healthy work-life balance,” said Katie Flynn, who took over as president of the agency in January. “It truly is family first.”

The agency recently incorporated parental leave, profit sharing and flexible personal time off into the benefits package. There also are a variety of work areas within the office space off Sully’s Trail in Pittsford, from collaborative desks overlooking the pond outdoors to the comfy couches in a more quiet space downstairs.

“Culture has always been important to us,” Flynn said. “I feel very fortunate to be somewhere that people care about the company, the clients and each other.”

Katie Flynn is following family tradition in leadership at the agency. Her grandfather, Jerry, founded the firm; her father, Chris, is the CEO; and her uncle, Kevin, is the former president and remains executive advisor.

The Flynn Clan: Kevin (left), Katie (center) and Chris (right). (Photo by Kevin Oklobzija)

And while there has always been a Flynn at the helm, longevity within the workforce of around 48 is also a company trait. The average tenure with the agency is nine years, and some employees have been with Flynn for more than two decades, said Heather Riexinger, the firm’s director of relationship development.

Maybe that’s why so many clients in retail, direct-to-consumer sectors and the healthcare and medical device industries continue to rely on Flynn’s creative expertise. The agency was named winner of 2022 Pinnacle Award for Marketer of the Year by the Rochester chapter of the American Marketing Association.

“The average tenure with clients is over eight years and the industry norm is three,” Riexinger said. “We’re really proud of that.”

Dick’s Sporting Goods has been a client for more than 30 years. Flynn has worked with Canandaigua National Bank for 25 years.

“We truly understand their business objectives,” Flynn said.

They’re also nimble. When Dick’s needed a rush on back-to-school video a few years back, Flynn mobilized a crew, headed to Texas for the shoot and returned a finished product in 10 days.

“They know they can count on us,” Flynn said.

Which is why some clients, such as Jamie DePeppo, global customer experience lead for Pfizer, keep calling on Flynn, even as their jobs change. She has remained a client throughout professional moves from MetLife to Quest Diagnostics to Pfizer.

“Flynn goes well beyond how traditional agencies support clients,” DePeppo said. “Their approach is rooted in keen understanding of our business strategy, operations and financials. They start there; our business is their business.”

That is accomplished, Flynn said, by digging into analytics data and understanding consumer tendencies and desires.

“We try to skate to where the puck’s going to be,” Flynn said. “We read performance data and show the client everything from beginning to end. ‘Here’s what it cost, here’s what you got.’ ”

Flynn’s analysis of operational data will show what people are doing on a client website and the customer experience team can tell the client why consumers are doing it.

“We’re essentially in real time able to show the return on investment,” Flynn said. “The data we have helps us get to the things that work much quicker.”

Which is invaluable for clients.

“Data-driven insights coupled with deeply experienced team lead them to create programs and assets that can be iterated on, tested and improved,” DePeppo said.

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