The Blog and Pony Show

Archive for March, 2018

Schifino Lee - 5:52 pm March 15, 2018

Social Influencer Marketing: a Proven Recipe for Brand Success in 2018

influencer marketing

Influencer marketing was one of the top social trends last year, and it’s expected to pick up even more steam in 2018. It’s no surprise—research shows that influencer marketing can generate up to a 960% return on investment. But of course, that all depends on how well your influencer campaign is executed.

Schifino Lee has experienced great success working with influencers. For example, we leverage the power of well-respected recipe bloggers for Alessi Foods, a top consumer food brand. But before we break down our strategy, let’s take a step back to examine what exactly influencer marketing is, and why it’s such a powerful sales tool.

What is influencer marketing

As social media becomes saturated with advertising, platforms like Facebook and Instagram have recently restructured their algorithms to decrease brand visibility and increase person-to-person interactions. Influencer marketing is a strategy that circumvents these algorithm updates, utilizing key leaders to share a brand’s message with a larger audience. Consumers typically respond better to social media influencers because it’s like receiving a recommendation from a friend, rather than being targeted for an ad.

Influencer marketing case study: Alessi Foods

Last year, social media ad spends broke records with bidding wars driving up the costs on every single platform. To boost Alessi’s visibility without increasing the budget, we looked outside the box at an emerging trend with great potential: influencer marketing.

Our social experts carefully vetted food/cooking influencers from all over the United States, eventually settling on 30 well-respected bloggers to produce unique content for Alessi. By cultivating these relationships, we’ve been able to reach new followers and provide benefits to our brand’s loyal customer base as well. Each influencer puts their own spin on cooking with Alessi products; the influencer’s followers are enticed to make room for Alessi products in their pantries; plus, current Alessi fans are inspired to cook with their favorite products in a mouthwatering new way.

These tactics are really paying off for Alessi. Our latest influencer campaigns generated over 20 million impressions, nearly 120,000 reads, 14,627 likes and 23,183 shares.

Want to learn more about influencer marketing and whether it’s right for your brand? Reach out to, or pop in our office to discuss it over a beer. Our Social Media Team looks forward to sharing proven strategies for expanding your brand’s reach and maximizing ROI.


Schifino Lee - 9:50 am March 8, 2018

International Women’s Day: Q&A with Paola Schifino


Paola Schifino

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’d like to shine a spotlight on Schifino Lee’s leading lady, Paola Schifino.

Over the past 25 years, Paola has achieved many accolades, including her most recent honor of being named Business Woman of the Year for 2017 by Tampa Bay Business Journal. She has also been named a Tampa Bay Business Journal “40 Under 40” winner, a Tampa Bay Business Journal Business Woman of the Year finalist in 2008, and Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year finalist.

However, she considers her greatest business accomplishments to be growing our firm by increasing our clients’ businesses. We began working with a $60 million company called Network Liquidators and helped rebrand them into the $100 million+ success known today as Vology. Lifestyle Family Fitness was a business that was losing members faster than it was signing new ones before our campaign helped them grow over 20 percent annually and become an attractive acquisition for LA Fitness. Vigo-Alessi’s revenues increased millions only six months after our rebranding campaign for them launched.

Every strong and successful woman had to start somewhere; each with their own unique portfolio of experiences that make up who they are today. This year marks Schifino Lee’s 25th anniversary. Get a peek into what it was like to build a business from the ground up and what it’s like to be a woman in business with this quick Q&A featuring Paola Schifino.

Q: What does it take to run a successful company for 25 years?

A: Controlled curiosity. This is what feeds my passion for advertising and marketing as it relates to clients and their business, as it relates to innovations in the industry, as it relates cultural trends.  I preface curiosity with the word controlled because some entrepreneurs might display curiosity, but it might be unfocused, and as a result, they might be jumping from one unrelated endeavor to the next – building nothing.

Q: What’s the greatest bit of advice you could give to a budding female entrepreneur?

A: Success is 80 percent driven by intelligence, business acumen, hard work and the right advisors. The other 20 percent is swagger. Sometimes swagger comes naturally, sometimes it must be learned and sometimes it is earned. Either way: get it. And back it up with the 80 percent.

Q: What do you think it means to be an effective leader?

A: If the leadership scale ranges from zero to 10 with zero being a “happiness” style leadership (e.g. Zappos’ Tony  Hsieh) and 10 being a “dictatorial” style leadership (e.g. Apple’s Steve Jobs), I would say I run somewhere around a six.  I personally prefer a more democratic style of leadership, where I draw on peoples’ knowledge and talents to build consensus behind a particular goal.  But as you can see, any style of leadership can be successful as long as you surround yourself with like-minded individuals that thrive in that particular environment.

Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge women in business face today?

A: Women need to command respect. This type of respect opens many doors including the “money door”.

Q: What about our greatest strength?

A: In achieving their goals, I truly believe women are resilient and always have been. Except before, we were like water in a creek, softly flowing around obstacles in our path. Now we’re more like a class-five rapid, crushing it.

Q: What do you think the future of business looks like for women?

A: I think more and more women will establish their own business on their own terms, and hopefully some of these organizations will spin off into global companies. Then in ten years we will be chatting about the next round of remarkable founders and CEOs, and they will be female.

Amanda Koenn - 3:18 pm March 1, 2018

Six Ways Marketing Strategy Drives Enterprise Value

enterprise value, advertising agency, Tampa, CMO, marketing, digital

A recent article published by Forbes identifies the importance of marketing strategy and how it drives enterprise value. A clear marketing strategy is critical to the success of your campaign and overall growth of your organization. Every organization has their own unique set of characteristics that can determine their success. Organizations are growing by using strategies that utilize the value of their brands, customer networks, and digital assets. While no company can be great at everything, being able to identify and execute key marketing strategies can ensure growth.

To grow in the current environment, CMOs must work as a team with executive leadership and business unit leaders to impact six value drivers:

  1. Brand Value
  2. Customer Equity
  3. Organizational Competence
  4. Marketing Effectiveness
  5. Digital Growth Platforms
  6. Innovation

advertising, Tampa, marketing, enterprise value

Many CMOs are struggling to measure and optimize their marketing investments. This disconnect is damaging their organization’s ability to remain competitive in a changing marketplace. Businesses need to understand how to share the responsibility for growth so that goals are communicated thoroughly. The following questions give leadership a framework to determine which marketing strategies will provide the company with the most value:

  1. What is the brand contribution to current and future enterprise value?
  2. Customer Equity. Are we doing everything we can to preserve and expand our customer relationships?
  3. Can the organization support growth?
  4. For every dollar allocated to marketing investments and activities, are we getting more than $9 of top-line growth? Measuring your top-line growth shows how effective your initial marketing investments are.
  5. How much of our resources should we reallocate to digital channels to keep up with customers, competition and cost of acquisition? Reallocation of your resources to digital channels can be necessary to remain competitive in a marketplace that has customers spending more time on digital platforms.
  6. How important is innovation to growth in our industry and competitive set?

Credit: Forbes