Taryn Rayment (FTD & ProFlowers) - Always an Occasion

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This is a podcast episode titled, Taryn Rayment (FTD & ProFlowers) - Always an Occasion. The summary for this episode is: <p>Vincent and Ajay chat with Taryn Rayment, CMO of FTD and Proflowers. She talks about how using different social channels helps achieve better consumer reach. Vincent boasts about New York's pizza, and Ajay loads up on frozen shrimp.</p>
Taryn's role at FTD & ProFlowers
00:58 MIN
Learnings throughout Taryn's career so far
00:54 MIN
Marketing shifts during the pandemic
01:10 MIN
Being a CMO in B2B and B2C
01:10 MIN
Advice to those just starting off in marketing
00:39 MIN

Ben: Welcome to The Marketing Stir Podcast by Stirista, probably the most entertaining marketing podcast you're going to put in your ear. I'm Ben, the associate producer here at Stirista. The goal of this podcast is to chat with industry leaders and get their takes on the current challenges of the market, and we'll have a little fun along the way. In today's episode, Vincent and Ajay chat with Taryn Rayment CMO of FTD and ProFlowers. She talks about how using different social channels helps achieve better consumer reach. Vincent boasts about New York's pizza and Ajay loads up on frozen shrimp. Give it a listen.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of Stirista's, The Marketing Stir. I of course am your host Vincent Pietrafesa. We are recording this on a Monday. This is how happy I am on a Monday morning people. It's exhausting I get it, but I'm happy, I hope you're happy. We're trying to make you happy with these episodes that's why we do it. The Marketing Stir., Happy to have you here. Stirista, first of all, wait, if you're just tuning into the podcast for the first time and thank you we appreciate that, who are we? Well, we are a marketing technology company, we own our own data, business to business data, business to consumer data, we help people get new customers by reaching that data with an offer. We own our own email sending platform, our own DSP if you need to do connected TV, OTT, display, email me Vincent @ stirista. com that is how confident I am in our solutions. I just gave the world, we do have worldwide listeners now my email address. The other thing who I'm confident in and is worldwide himself loved in many countries, the US, India, Italy and Germany. I saw that firsthand people came up to him, they know him there. I was like, wait a minute, I thought people knew me, they don't, they know my CEO and co- host Mr. Ajay Gupta. What's going on, Ajay?

Ajay Gupta: Hey Vincent. I think I'm big in Japan too, but just throwing that out there.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Just adding that out there. Thank you for rubbing it in. Puerto Rico as well you were just in and people are like, wow, you're the co- host of The Marketing Stir. Awesome. And three people came up to me and said that one of them being my five year old son, who's not in marketing maybe he'll be inspired one day. But what's going on? How was the weekend? We're just coming off a great Mother's Day weekend.

Ajay Gupta: It was good. Well, I didn't realize how expensive the brunch was that we signed up for, but everyone had a good time and I had to go back and eat some more frozen shrimp just to get my money's worth.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Exactly. You got it. It was pre frozen. That's what happened. I bet you this weekend, that brunch is not that much money, it's probably less.

Ajay Gupta: No, I actually went and asked if there were lobsters included that I could order.

Vincent Pietrafesa: That's it. As long as you didn't bring your own Tupperware and try to take stuff out of the... You can't do that. I've seen that done before, you can't do it. Maybe I've done it, who knows? But it's awesome. You are coming up to New York City soon. We are going to meet with some of our amazing partners and clients and meet with some new ones and we're even having a small gathering of people. Maybe this next guest we'll invite. I like her already. We've talked to her so maybe we'll invite her if she is so grateful to accept. She might be busy though, because of amazing things happening in her life already. So, that's happening. Are you excited to come up to the big apple as they call it?

Ajay Gupta: I am excited. It's been a long time and I know used to come almost every couple of months so I'm looking forward to it and besides meeting you, New York City food is hard to beat so I'm looking-

Vincent Pietrafesa: Exactly. It's a big change from the pizza that you guys get us there in San Antonio. Nothing wrong with Domino's, I love Domino's and Pizza Hut, but now it's time for the real stuff. Speaking of the real stuff and speaking so many things, I think of this company for so many reasons, Mother's Day being one of them, but this organization and this person, I really enjoy talking to Taryn, it's a little preview there, but I really enjoy this company, FTD, ProFlowers. Think about the importance of that during the pandemic, just even pre pandemic, post pandemic, just the joy of receiving a gift basket, flowers, it brightens people's day. And obviously in the past few years we needed it even more than ever, but I wanted to welcome our guest, ladies and gentlemen, please a warm Marketing Stir welcome to the CMO of FTD and ProFlowers Taryn Rayment. What's going on Taryn?

Taryn Rayment: Hi, thank you so much for having me. I'm pumped to be here.

Vincent Pietrafesa: It's happy to have you. You are a fellow New York, New Jersey in. People think I'm from New Jersey all the time. I'm like, no, that was a TV show, the Jersey show and I know I look like most of the people on that show, but I am not from New Jersey, but I live right across from Taryn. But we don't know each other, we sought her out because of the amazing work that she's doing, that her organization is doing. So, Taryn tell us for people who've not heard of ProFlowers which that's ridiculous, you should have. And hopefully you made the right decision with your flowers this past Mother's Day, if you did not, well, frankly, you got some garbage and your mother's really mad at you, but FTD piece of it. Talk to us just about those organizations there at Taryn and then also your role within the organization.

Taryn Rayment: So Taryn Rayment, Chief Marketing Officer at FTD and ProFlowers. So, a couple weeks ago was actually my two year anniversary with the company. So, I lead all things marketing as well as front end website, so content and optimization on both of our websites. I also co on the consumer division PnL with our incredible chief merchandising officer as well. So, for those who aren't aware of the company, a little background. So, FTD actually started in 1910 as the collective of florist who wanted just change the floral industry. They wanted consumers to be able to send flowers and gifts to those who don't live near them. So, back then it was done by Telegraph. So now, if you want to do that, you go to FTD or ProFlowers. com so we've come a long way. But we have lots of handcrafted arrangements that are done by our local florists who just really run the show, they're incredible and then a variety of other different gifting items as well that ship directly to consumers.

Vincent Pietrafesa: That's amazing. And I've always known that ProFlowers and then FTD as well it's a certain symbol, wasn't there was always a symbol associated with the FTD?

Taryn Rayment: Yes. Our mercury man.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yes. That's it. The mercury man. I know that I think. So, that's amazing and then Taryn talk to us about... people love this question because there's so many people listening, either their entry level, their CMOs, CEOs, new students entering the field, how did you get into marketing? It's not always a clear path if it's... I studied marketing, I'm now in marketing. Well, that's unique based on the guests that we've talked to, but tell us your story?

Taryn Rayment: So, I guess I'm one of those unique ones. So, I majored in marketing in college. I just was always really drawn to it and had a bunch of internships and such when I was in school and then my first marketing role after graduating was in the B2B space. I learned a ton, but I just knew I wanted to get back into retail B2C. So, I started at a digital marketing and eCommerce agency, launched a bunch of well known brands first websites, first marketing campaigns. So, I was launching email for Tumi for example and it's crazy to think about that now, because it's just so ingrained in all of our lives. And then from there, I went on to the client side so to all these different retail partners. So, most recently I actually went to Tumi after working with them at the agency, I also was at Cole Haan previous to here and it led me to becoming CMO here at FTD and ProFlowers.

Vincent Pietrafesa: And tell us a little bit about your current marketing strategies, what channels you guys are active in and what's working for you?

Taryn Rayment: We're pretty much playing everywhere. I think one of the most important things that we're focused on is testing and learning as much as possible. So, you name a channel, we're in it, we're trying to figure out what that right creative is in that channel all the time, how to optimize them to really get to that right performance and so that's any new campaigns, legacy programs we've had on forever. It was really important for me to create a team that was focused on that consumer journey and testing into each aspect to really get that right mix. So, I think since I've been here we've been just speaking this really great story to our consumers. And I think a lot's been changing recently too just with the cookies going away and I feel like social media strategies have changed so much, not that we're spending less, we're just spending it differently. So, in these different like TikTok for example, it's something new that's actually been working really well for us, so it's been fun to watch that journey.

Vincent Pietrafesa: And you recently went through a rebranding so what did that entail and what made you go through that exercise?

Taryn Rayment: Prior to the rebrand, FTD and ProFlowers were basically copy paste of one another. It was really hard to differentiate the two, both from a consumer standpoint and then of course just on the websites alone. So, we knew we had to differentiate them, we really wanted the FTD heritage to shine through too what I spoke through and show that starting in 1910, this amazing local florist aspect that just wasn't present. So, we did that on the FTD side. ProFlowers is younger, brighter, we call it the fun side of flowers so we differentiated them in that way. The product is different and there's a lot more we're even working on how to further separate the two, which is really exciting. But we knew we had to just for a variety of reasons.

Vincent Pietrafesa: No, that's interesting. I didn't know that about the FTD brand at 1910, that's crazy, I love seeing that one. When you always say it had been around since 1891, 1910, I love seeing that because it's like, this is legit, this is real so I love that you've been telling that story and separating it. I want to talk about, you said two years, but how has the marketing mix changed since you started?

Taryn Rayment: So, it's changed very drastically. When I first started, our marketing was very much low funnel just in those highly profitable channels, so we've been doing a lot more new customer acquisition so playing in those upper mid funnel channels. It also was just very siloed, so it felt like the team was working their own little bubbles, so if you were doing display for example, they were only focused on how that was performing and weren't thinking about how it interacts with all of the other channels. So, I just restructured the team, what they owned, how they were thinking about everything so that way we could really think full funnel and again, implementing that testing and learn mentality too which was really important. So, it's changed a lot, like I said, it was just low funnel so very few channels and now we're everywhere and it's been really fun to do that.

Vincent Pietrafesa: And Taryn, talk to me a little bit about you mentioned some of those great brands that you were part of before and now at an amazing brand as well. What were some of the things that you've learned, some of the experience, some of the traits, skills that you took from your coming up in marketing if you will, from those companies to now that you want to share with people that really helped you?

Taryn Rayment: Being on the B2B side at the beginning of my career was really great because I think it helped to see the other side of the coin, especially now that I'm running both B2B and B2C aspects within the brand. I'd say my biggest learning experience was that agency life. I tell anyone starting in their marketing career, if you can work in an agency, you have to work in an agency. You just learn so much, it's so fast paced, but you learn so much, make all these great connections and it's just a really great experience. I'd say also I built the digital marketing team at Cole Haan and just building a team from scratch was just a whole nother experience too just learning or getting the right interviewing and candidates in and making sure there was a mesh just not only from personalities but also skills and it was fun to do that and see them thrive.

Ajay Gupta: And Taryn, how has the pandemic affected the flower sales?

Taryn Rayment: We were one of very few companies actually did really well during the pandemic. As was mentioned earlier, if you can't be with someone, you want to try to be there with them as much as you can so they were sending a lot more gifts. There was also a larger uptick in self consumption too where sitting at home, we were trying to decorate our homes with florals, plants, decorating their home offices we definitely saw our companies do really well which was nice.

Ajay Gupta: And how do you look at the marketing budget? Do you emphasize more around certain holidays or is the spend vary from month to month drastically?

Taryn Rayment: So, our biggest peaks are Mother's Day and Valentine's Day so I'm just getting out of peak season right now. Those are our biggest one and then holiday time of course is big for everyone, but Mother's Day and Valentine's Day are huge, they're very floral focused so a lot of our budget and our campaign running is happening during that time, but we use those off peak periods to get a lot more new eyes on the brand and then think about it there's always an occasion. So, there's always birthdays, anniversaries, anything else happening so it's just how we're shifting those occasion messages during peak versus off peak that we're focused on.

Vincent Pietrafesa: And Taryn, not sure how much you can talk about the nitty gritty of what happened during the pandemic as far as flower sales or I'm just wondering that time was so important for people to still like you said, celebrate and I didn't even think about decorating the home office, doing that to make it feel more comfortable, but after overhaul the whole shipping, was it an essential business were you classified as? I'm just curious to see... And that's right around when you started, it's like, Hey, welcome aboard, here you go. And so can you talk to me about what that was like for you and what the organization had a shift, like you said? We talked about flower sales, we talked about the great meeting behind it, but talk to us how you had to shift and the company had to shift during that time?

Taryn Rayment: So, we had to make a pretty drastic shift. A whole new executive team came in the middle of COVID. They started in March, I started in April so we came into a company that needed a lot of fixing so there was that while also trying to figure out how to redo everything not only are we fixing the company, but then we're also in the middle of a pandemic. So, messaging had to change, how we're spending our dollars had to change, it was just a complete re- haul of everything that was happening. I think it was really interesting to think through that messaging piece for the pandemic, it was being sensitive to the fact that people weren't able to be together so leaning in there and talking about how we can help them to be together from afar and then that self consumption piece was honestly a part of the business that wasn't really tapped into previously, we are much more known for gifting as opposed to self consumption, but it became such a trend that it was like, we should be leaning into this too. So, I'd say not only tactically changing everything, but mentally trying to get the team to think differently about how we run the business was huge during that timeframe.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Thanks for sharing that and I feel like we've had a lot of organizations on the podcast and we started this podcast in March of 2020, and there are organizations where they have on we're like, well, yes, our business picked up during the pandemic and that's great because you were serving a great purpose and I think people needed that. We talked to a variety of companies who said that and they almost felt bad saying it. I'm like, well, no, don't feel bad saying because you were there at helping people so I love hearing that. Taryn, I wanted to talk about the B2B and B2C aspect. You don't meet a lot of CMOs who are handling both or even organizations that deal with both. So, talk to us about that, talk to us about the difference is between the two, just love to understand how you're tackling that?

Taryn Rayment: So, the B2C is pretty obvious so the FTD and ProFlowers shoppers. On the B2B side so I mentioned, we have this collective of florist who are really doing the arrangements for the florals and they're hand delivering them to the end consumers. So, they're tapped into our network and not only are we sending them these orders, but we're also powering their business in every other aspect. So providing their websites, their POS systems, we actually do marketing on behalf of them. So, my team is doing that marketing on behalf of them, we're also doing marketing to them to keep them informed on what's going on in this space, different trainings, things of that nature and then also of course, to try to get new members into our platform as well. So on the consumer side, there's the ProFlowers FTD, we're testing, learning over there. So, think about it we've all of these different ways to get these learnings. We have XD, we have ProFlowers, we have the B2B, the B2C so it's like the teams are working really closely together to tap into what's working where and how we can translate that into the different areas, so I think that makes it a little more fun and a good reason for it all to sit in the same place.

Ajay Gupta: And one of our staple questions is around LinkedIn. Given your title and where you work I'm sure you get a lot of unsolicited messages. So, what's one that gets a response from you and more importantly, what's one that really annoys you?

Taryn Rayment: One that gets a response. I'd say when they're very clear about what it is that they're trying to sell and what they're trying to talk to me about, I'd say what's annoying is the opposite of that. I actually, read pretty much all of them that come through, but if it's very vague and just, Hey, let's set up a call and chat, I'm probably not going to do that. I need a little more information about what's going on.

Ajay Gupta: And what are some of the interesting new channels that you're seeing? Are you seeing direct mail? Is that still an important part for you?

Taryn Rayment: It is. I feel direct mail had this lull and it was one of those weird things that happened during the pandemic. It shot back up and direct mail does really well for us. It's something that we actually always have on. We do different types of targeting during different parts of the year, but we actually find it to be really important for us. I mentioned TikTok earlier. That's another one that we're leaning into that it's really interesting because it's just so different than all of the other social channels, so that's another one. And then we're really leaning into more well, TV and radio have always been around. I feel like there's all these different vendors out there now that have all these different offerings where you can track it more closely and just retargeting off of it and things of that nature that we've been leaning into a lot more lately too.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Taryn, I wanted to talk to you about something where you started like you said, two years ago, CMO your team. How has that been because you probably didn't see everyone so it's like, you're just getting into this role and it's video chats I'm sure. How did you handle that? How did you get to know your team during that time? How has that changed moving forward? I know where I feel like in New York City, our area, people are going out again, they're meeting people, conferences again, Ajay, can't go to a conference without 25 people coming up to him, talking about The Marketing Stir. Me apparently, people are put off by me, but Hey, I'll get over that. But Taryn talk to me about that. That must have been a challenge in itself.

Taryn Rayment: I would say that was probably one of my biggest challenges. This is my first C level role, I'm coming in the middle of the pandemic so I'm not meeting people in person. I'm in this company and I'm changing everything. I'm changing what they're doing, how they're thinking and they've never actually met me in real life so it's a weird dynamic to try to work through. Nevermind all the personal stuff everyone had to deal with too. So, I think that was a huge learning experience. Being able to bond with the team virtually, we just did everything on Zoom to try to be as much face to face as possible. I tried to do those infamous virtual happy hours with the team to try to get everyone to bond. I think we did a great job. I think everyone... We're very much mindful about trying not have Zoom fatigue and things of that nature too so that way kept everyone's spirits up, but we've started to do more in person so now I've seen the team a few times in person over the last few months, we've gone to a few conferences, we've met in the office a couple of times now which was really exciting and we plan to continue doing that. So, it was a challenge, but I think it was for everyone.

Vincent Pietrafesa: And is the office in New York City?

Taryn Rayment: It's in Chicago actually.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Wow, nice. So, got to see people. That's what we've been doing as well we've been getting together. I was just in San Antonio which is the time I like to go to San Antonio because it's freezing here in New York, so I'll go there. But Ajay tries to dragged me there in August and I'm like, wait a minute, it's like 111 degrees, but so that's been great. Now, FTD and ProFlowers did you attend conferences meeting? Did you ever exhibit? Is there a particular conference that is around your industry?

Taryn Rayment: There are a few. So, we do conferences again on the B2C so us going to learn about different new technologies and things like that, but then on the B2B side, there's a bunch of floral industry conferences that we make sure to be a part of and attend. We'll do different seminars during them, showcase the different technology we offer to florists and things like that. So again, there's that both sides that we're doing on the conference too.

Ajay Gupta: Taryn, tell us a little bit more about yourself. Have you picked up any new hobbies outside of the virtual Zoom happy hours?

Taryn Rayment: I love the Peloton. I'm a big Peloton writer. We were chatting before this call. I actually just had my son six months ago so there's been lots more baby things there has in the past, so that's been fun too.

Ajay Gupta: I actually had my first experience. We were at a party and there's a ping pong table in my friend's garage and there was a Peloton sitting there so turns out you can't even use somebody else's profile, you have to create a new one and it's all password protected so we had fun with that.

Taryn Rayment: It's fun. It's a nice way to relax or at least get out of work mindset at the end of the day.

Ajay Gupta: I know you guys just rebranded, but any big plans for the next 12 months for marketing or the company in general?

Taryn Rayment: I mentioned we are going to continue to differentiate the brands too over the next few months which we're very excited about. Just some new things coming out that I can't talk too much about, but maybe everyone will keep their eyes peeled and see it as it comes out over the next two months.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Taryn, I wanted to talk about getting more personal side, I want to know some more hobbies and interest, but I want to talk about in your career thus far, you mentioned some great things starting the digital piece there rebranding the websites, but what has been a shining moment thus far in your young career where you wanted to talk about? It was a campaign, maybe something you worked on and I would love to hear more about that.

Taryn Rayment: That's a tough one, In all of my different roles, I think there's been something that stood out. So, on the agency side, actually launching these campaigns for the first time for some of those brands it's been really nice. I launched a bunch of international stuff at Tumi, which was also a huge accomplishment. I'd say coming here in my current role and just flipping everything around in the marketing department in general, Bob being remote was quite a large feat and the rebrands have been really fun to work and see come alive too. So I don't know, I'd say there's lots of things within each of the roles that I've just been really proud of and it's helped me to get here which has been great.

Vincent Pietrafesa: And again, we have a lot of students who listen to this podcast and Ajay and I do a lot of work through The Marketing Club in New York and Marketing Edge which unfortunately just folded but did a lot of great work. What are some skills or what are some questions? What do you feel like is the best way to break into this industry? What's the some of the things that you would've done 10 years ago that you didn't? Just advice for those students coming in.

Taryn Rayment: I would say you have to be ready to take on a lot so that you can learn a lot. I think there's so many different areas of marketing and every brand has their own way of thinking about it too. As long as you're trying to get into all of these different aspects of it and learn as much as you can in every role that you have, I think that's so important. I'd say trying to be scrappy too. I think I find a lot of scrappy marketers are just amazing because again, there's so much going on and the industry's changing so quickly, you have to quickly pivot. So, being able to do that in a low lift way is also a great personality tactic too.

Vincent Pietrafesa: And I like what you said too before, said if you can get into an agency, you work at an agency, I feel like that is the best way especially in this area here in New York City I feel people work long hours, hard hours and I feel that's a great way to cut your teeth. I was just at an industry event the other day and it was media focused and I felt I was the oldest person there. I got to tell you, I was like, wait a minute, whether you just like these scrappy, people just networking and I think that's great advice there on the agency side. Talk to us finally, just so other hobbies. Are you into flowers planting? You have a GreenThumb? What do you do? The area we work in it doesn't really allow us to have a garden, but just what are your hobbies besides watching Cocomelon now I'm sure and all of the new mothers stuff that is fun?

Taryn Rayment: So, is there a level down from a GreenThumb? I think that's what I am. Plants I can keep alive for a decent amount of time, but not long enough. Actually, flower ranging has been... When I first started, they would send boxes of just stems of flowers for me to test and learn and learn what all of them were and are just designing different arrangements. And that's been really fun and I think I'm pretty good at that at least I think so and I can keep that alive much longer than a plant.

Vincent Pietrafesa: That's awesome. And for me, once I had a few, I grow basil. I'm Italian so I'm like, I have to have basil, but then when you have a plant and there's like 87 pieces of basil, I'm like, what am I going to do with this? But that's my extent of it. But Taryn, this has been awesome. Any closing thoughts? Any final remarks? Anything you want to add to again, more advice, just a closing thought?

Taryn Rayment: I'd say never be afraid to completely change things around. I think the pandemic helped teach us that we had to think differently about everything and just now again, as the world's changing and the inaudible world is coming or we're in it at this point, test, learn, do something completely different that you never thought you would do before and the worst thing that happens is you learn from it.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Exactly. Now, that's great advice. We always love to hear that the feedback we get from marketers is like, we love that. ProFlowers mentioned TikTok we didn't think that. And then TikTok and then direct mail, one would think it's such so different, but it's great advice that's why we do the podcast, we love sharing those ideas with our listeners. Taryn, this has been amazing. Keep up the amazing work the CMO of FTD and ProFlowers. Taryn Rayment, thank you so much for your time. I'm Vincent Pietrafesa, that's Ajay Gupta internationally known. This has been another episode of The Marketing Stir. Thank you so much, talk soon.

Ben: Thanks for listening to The Marketing Stir podcast by Stirista. Please like, create and subscribe. If you're interested in being a guest on the podcast, please email us at themarketingstir@ stirista. com and thanks for listening.


Vincent and Ajay chat with Taryn Rayment, CMO of FTD and Proflowers. She talks about how using different social channels helps achieve better consumer reach. Vincent boasts about New York's pizza, and Ajay loads up on frozen shrimp.

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