Meet the Mindstreamer – Ashlyn Wade

As a Media Analytics and Insights Manager, Ashlyn Wade works with clients upfront, before their campaigns even begin to gain access to critical first-party data like their CRM system, sales info, targeting lists, etc. Based on the business and media objectives and insight we wish to glean from the campaign, she sets to work determining relevant KPIs and benchmarks and the best way to measure against them. Once the data connections have been integrated into our reporting platform, campaigns launch and the data begins to flow, Ashlyn builds visualizations to highlight KPIs and answer key media questions. She works closely with Mindstream platform managers to gather insights and develop recommendations that are presented back to clients in monthly and quarterly reports.

Although she originally went to college with the intention of earning a management degree and eventually opening her own bakery, Ashlyn got a taste of marketing in a required class during her Junior year and really enjoyed it. The idea of helping companies put their best foot forward and tell their story led her to shift gears and seek further education in marketing. She says, “I’ve also just always liked to work with numbers and spreadsheets so the more I got into the data side the more I realized it was something I was interested in pursuing.”

Possessing an unusual mix of analytical skills and creativity, Ashlyn loves the opportunity to apply both in her daily job duties. She says, “I enjoy the problem solving we often have to do to clean and manipulate the data. The analytics team is a weird mix of data and creativity, which is how my brain works. The analytical side enjoys working with data and finding those key insights to share with the client while we use creativity to present the data in the best way and create visually appealing dashboards.”

Heightened awareness and concerns around data collection and consumer privacy have made a significant impact on the industry over the last couple of years. Ashlyn notes, “Consumers are becoming more aware of the amount of data that corporations have about them. This has not only impacted media through people opting out of cookies and tracking, but also on the data side and the steps we have in place to make sure any shared PII (personally identifiable information) is shared securely and stays protected. I only see this getting additional restrictions as time goes on especially with customers becoming more and more aware and concerned about the data that companies have about them.”

To stay sharp on all things analytics, Ashlyn reads Avinash Kaushik’s blog, Occam’s Razor, checks out Think with Google and follows Digital Chadvertising on Instagram.

In addition to baking, Ashlyn enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, music and hanging out with her dog, Levi (above). She plays the cello and is currently trying to teach herself how to play the piano.

Ashlyn credits her parents, owners of a Dickey’s Barbeque franchise, for instilling her passion for small business. She says, “They are a large portion of the person I am today and have given me an ideal example of work ethic and working to not just support yourself and your family but for the Lord. They showed me how to work hard and do the best you can, while showing compassion for your customers and coworkers, which is what I strive for.” You could say it’s like the icing on the cake!


An enormous part of what makes Mindstream Media Group successful is the collective talent and collaboration of its employees across the country. While we as an agency love to share stories about client successes, industry news and product updates on our MMG Blog, we also want to feature the actual people behind the work we are doing to grow client business.

Our recent video series, Fast-Forward the Conversation, discusses the HOW behind supporting client growth through media strategy, with topics like shopper marketing, franchise work, QSR challenges, agency partnerships and more.

 We’re also now featuring a Mindstreamer (as we like to call ourselves) periodically to share their stories and celebrate the diverse people, backgrounds, interests and qualities that make us unique.

Meet the Mindstreamer – Marti Janson, CCO

To commemorate International Women’s Day, Mindstream Media Group is celebrating women’s achievement by shining the spotlight on our very own Marti Janson, Chief Client Officer.

Marti provides the leadership, management and vision necessary for our team members to consistently remain ahead of the needs of our clients. She oversees media operations, media buying, account services and strategy teams and arms them with the proper tools and resources to provide agency clients with omnichannel media strategy and implementation. Marti also directs the IT and analytics teams to ensure our technology is assembled with scale and perspective, enabling the use of data to find the insights and opportunities to help drive better results for our clients.

Based in the agency’s St. Louis office, Marti has been in a leadership role for fourteen years, but her experience dates back 28 years. In true agency fashion with the constantly evolving landscape, she’s worked through eight different mergers and acquisitions. Having started her career making copies of print ads and sending tear sheets to clients, she worked diligently to develop her career, which led to an Account Executive role two years later, then progressed to Account Manager and Account Director.

Marti has worked with some client accounts for up to for 17 years and reflects, “My career has been focused on accounts and building relationships with clients. I have been a VP of Accounts and Chief Operating Officer and have filled the role of Chief Client Officer for the last year.”

To reinforce her client focus, Marti says what excites her most about her job is working as a team to provide results for our clients. “For me, it is that collaboration and brainstorming of ideas, playing off each other’s strengths and presenting a solid recommendation to the client and seeing those results exceed the client’s goals, that’s exciting.”

A few years out of college, Marti was inspired by working with an all-female leadership team. “I was fortunate to have this experience right out of college, because at the time in the early 90s, this wasn’t common. The remainder of my career transitioned to organizations that were primarily male-led organizations. I feel what I learned in those first few years from those women really helped shape me as a leader. I was fortunate to have those strong female mentors and colleagues. I remain in touch and continue to try to get together with them regularly.”

Although there have certainly been challenges in Marti’s path to leadership, she has witnessed positive changes in how women are represented in the workplace, and she hopes that equality will continue to improve.

Marti credits her work ethic and focus on personal growth for helping lead her career trajectory and evolution into a leadership role. She has definitely learned some lessons along the way and shares these words of wisdom in developing her confidence and leadership style. “Over the years I have worked really hard, but it took me a bit longer than it should have taken to become a leader. The advice I would give women aspiring to leadership is to be confident and don’t be afraid to speak up. It is okay if you are wrong, as long as you admit it when you are. Take a seat at the table and be sure to ask for what you want. It took me too long to get this confidence.”

For ongoing inspiration, Marti listens to audiobooks focused on leadership and career development, follows the Skimm for female leadership inspiration and, of course, reads many industry articles and publications to stay on top of the latest developments in media and marketing. One of her go-to references relating to leadership is the book Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel.

As an industry veteran, Marti has seen the evolution of technology greatly change consumer behavior. Starting out, she explains that consumers didn’t have as many avenues for research, which has changed tremendously with technology. The immense change in online spending has resulted in a large amount of data available. These consumer shopping patterns and data have made it table stakes to invest online. Marketing is no longer primarily based on awareness; it’s about narrowly targeting and getting in front of the consumer in the different phases of their consumer journey. She also notes, “it will be interesting to see how regulations change how far consumer tracking has come and how Google and other platforms will react to pressure from the regulations on data privacy.”

In her personal life, Marti’s two sons have kept their family busy playing several sports throughout their high school years, but now that they’ve both started college, she has more time for her own hobbies. Marti enjoys listening to true crime podcasts, audiobooks and playing sand volleyball. While competitive in her high school days as a three-sport athlete, and now in her business life, she notes that her sand volleyball league is just for fun. Although some who know her might find that hard to believe.

Another important lesson that Marti shares is, “Learn from your mistakes and move forward. I have made a lot of mistakes and will probably make a few more—the key is learning from them and changing. I feel my mistakes have helped me learn so much along the way. Sharing my mistakes is one thing I feel has also helped me to become a better leader.”

As a woman in a C-Suite role and an inspiration to many, Marti believes in the importance of eliminating gender bias, calling out inequality and creating a more inclusive world. She says it’s important to advocate for fellow women and foster those relationships, building other females up and not tearing them down. “It is easy to listen and give her advice on what you think she should do, it is another thing to advocate on her behalf, give her a shout out, put your name on the line and say, ‘you need to see her, look at what great things she is doing!’”

International Women’s Day is March 8, 2021.

“A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.
So let’s all choose to challenge.

How will you help forge a gender equal world?
Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.”


An enormous part of what makes Mindstream Media Group successful is the collective talent and collaboration of its employees across the country. While we as an agency love to share stories about client successes, industry news and product updates on our MMG Blog, we also want to feature the actual people behind the work we are doing to grow client business.

 Our recent video series, Fast-Forward the Conversation, discusses the HOW behind supporting client growth through media strategy, with topics like shopper marketing, franchise work, QSR challenges, agency partnerships and more.

 We’re also now featuring a Mindstreamer (as we like to call ourselves) periodically to share their stories and celebrate the diverse people, backgrounds, interests and qualities that make us unique.


Local Social Media Series from Mindstream Media Group

What is this series all about? Our Local Social Media Series will help multi-location and franchise brands improve their social media presence by engaging consumers at the local level.

Who should read this series? Multi-location and franchise brand marketers looking to boost their brand’s local presence on social media.

Part One: How Multi-Location Brands Can Engage Local Consumers on Social Media

Part Two: How to Create Social Media Content That Engages Local Audiences

Part Three: How to Create Engaging Local Social Media Content at the Local Level

Part Four: How to Manage Online Reviews at the Local Level (and Why You Need to)

Part Five: How to Use Facebook Boosted Posts to Increase Local Social Media Engagement

[Infographic]: 4 Reasons Why Multi-Location Brands Need a Local Social Media Presence

[E-book]: The Ultimate Guide to Local Social Media Marketing


Make sure to catch other helpful content pieces on local social marketing by subscribing to our blog.

Advertising and Amazon Prime Day 2019

Prime Day is here! This 48-hour sales event of summer is primed (see what I did there?) to eclipse past years’ sales and outshine Black Friday. As a consumer and marketer, I’m eager to explore both sides of the coin, and of course, add everything to my Amazon cart.

Let’s dive in.

Prime Day for Consumers

Some experts caution shoppers to jot down their needs (and wants) prior so you avoid impulse shopping, but know those coveted lightning sales and general sales may not be the best bang for your buck.

Consumers still value shopping around to find the best deals possible. While 68 percent of Adlucent survey respondents are planning to shop Prime Day, they’ll still comparison shop to find the best deal. Companies like Target, Walmart and eBay are eating up this opportunity to not only compete but take advantage of this shopping holiday. Walmart – the biggest Amazon competitor – claimed nearly 50 percent of online sales outside of Amazon, according to Marketing Land.

Prime Day for Advertisers

It’s easy to get caught up in the 48-hour window media planning frenzy by spending high dollars in paid search and social, but long-term ecommerce media planning is key. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Advertisers should examine their product listings to maximize Prime Day shoppers, but set themselves up for later back-to-school and holiday shopping. A Profitero study of more than 1,600 products on Prime Day 2018 found increases in sales were dependent on the sales discount.

Discounts of less than 20 percent delivered a two-time increase in sales, while not severely impacting profit margins – sales of 21-30 percent delivered sales gains of 493 percent, while 31-40 percent discounts generated a boost of 767 percent, according to eMarketer.  Some of this revenue and product movement comes from Lightning Deals, which is limited-quantity, limited-time offers that can give products a broader reach/exposure. Lightning Deal prep is a perfect opportunity for companies to gear up presence – both organically and paid – to participate in these coveted deals since they’ve since closed entry in May.

Joe Kaziukenas, CEO and Founder of Marketplace Pulse says, “The lift in sales you’re going to have by doing a Lightning Deal is obviously going to be multiple times greater than if you just expected an organic lift off a Prime Day. If you want a big increase in sales, and thus a big increase in popularity on Amazon, then a Lightning Deal is probably the best way to do it. Ultimately, you kind of give up the market for it.”

The Prime Day Halo Effect

Profitero conducted an analysis of “more than 13,000 products that grew traffic at least 50 percent on Prime Day 2018 vs. two weeks preceding the event to examine how the products performed post-event. The results found a strong halo effect where 66 percent of products analyzed had elevated sales levels two weeks after. And of those products experiencing a halo effect, there was an average traffic increase of 37 percent during the two-week, post-event period as compared with the two-week, pre-event period. Conversion rates declined from 24 percent to 22 percent during those times, but given the significantly higher traffic levels, brands still came out way ahead in driving post-event sales.”

Prevailing Beyond Prime Days

Prime Day is just two days in a long season, so what’s the big deal for your media plan? The estimated $5 billion in sales over the next two days should pique your interest, but your presence in the Amazon powerhouse can show long-term growth for your brand. (Learn more in our previous Amazon ad blogs.) An estimated 57 percent of brands utilize paid advertising on Amazon, and of those, 69 percent saw revenue growth over time. When talking dollars and sense when looking at Prime Day advertising cost on sales versus an annual (total) Amazon cost on sales, you’ll end up with the better deal long term.

You’ll see an incredibly high advertising cost on Prime Day, but simultaneously kickstart a flywheel effect that drives reviews and future organic sales. And everyone wins when my Prime packages arrive, and our clients see leaps and jumps when adding Amazon to their cart.

[FEBRUARY 2019] SMX Recap: Emerging Local Search Trends You Need to Know

The 2019 Search Marketing Expo (SMX) West was held in San Jose, CA at the end of January. The conference is known for touching on some of the hottest topics in search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO) and local search.

This year, some of the top minds in local search gave presentations to help multi-location brands and local businesses understand what it takes to improve their online presence. If you couldn’t make the conference, here’s a recap of a few of the biggest takeaways to guide marketers’ local search strategies for 2019 and beyond.

The most important local search ranking factor

The New Realities of Local Search session was particularly interesting as it broke down the main factors digital marketers need to consider in 2019 and how these have evolved over the years.

According to the most recent release of Moz’s Local Search Ranking Factors, Google My Business (GMB) signals are the most important ranking factor in local pack results (the map results that typically display toward the top of local search results). The significance of GMB signals increased to 25 percent in Moz’s latest survey, nine points ahead of the second most important factor.

Top 5 Local Search Ranking Factors - Local Map Pack and Organic Results

New ways to optimize GMB signals

GMB signals include several factors local businesses can control – like proper category association and including keywords in your business title – as well as some you can’t – like proximity to the searcher. Google has spent the last year adding more GMB features that local business can control as part of an aggressive growth strategy for the product.

As we mentioned last year, Google does not want GMB to be a static product. Google’s goal for GMB is to drive user engagement, and they’ve released or improved several features to help brands engage with local consumers. Here’s a look at a few features to help enhance your local search presence.

Google Posts

Recently, many in the industry have been skeptical about the reduced visibility of brands’ Google Posts. And many local businesses don’t even know about posts. If you’re still unclear, here’s how Google describes Posts:

Posting through Google My Business lets you publish your events, products, and services directly to Google Search and Maps. By creating posts, you can place your timely text, video or photo content in front of customers when they find your business listing on Google.

SMX West Recap - Google Posts

The main purpose of Google Posts isn’t necessarily to drive clicks, it’s more about gaining visibility in the local pack from consistent posting (although driving consumer engagement is a nice added benefit).

Google Q&A

Many brands are failing at monitoring and responding to questions in the Q&A section of their GMB profile, which is a big missed opportunity. At SMX West, Dana DiTomaso suggested possibly adding your own questions and answers that will offer useful information to the consumer. If you’re not sure what types of questions to add to this section, I suggest exporting a search query report from Google Ads and look for the most common questions consumers ask about your business.


The importance of review signals is on the rise – increasing almost 18 percent since Moz’s 2017 local search rankings. Mentions of specific services or products help promote your business and assist consumers looking at your reviews to make buying decisions. While I don’t recommend aggressively soliciting reviews, any business with a local presence should have a program in place that helps you encourage, monitor and respond to feedback from consumers.

Paid Local

For a comprehensive local presence, brands should consider paid search ads. Implementing a paid search strategy allows your brand to conquer more real estate in search results and appear in local, organic and paid results.

There are plenty of advertising features that are perfect for local businesses and multi-location brands. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Use every possible Google Ads extension like location extensions, callout extensions and call extensions to encourage online and off-line conversions
  • Use location-based (geographic) keywords in your ad copy
  • Implement pilots, or small tests, to identify which advertising campaigns work best for your brand before making a meaningful ad buy
  • Leverage “pin ads” on competitor locations for awareness and conquesting

Fighting local search spam

In another SMX West session, Conrad Saam discussed several ways businesses try to trick Google with tactics like photoshopped images, keyword-stuffed business names and fake reviews. For example, because data shows that consumers favor attorneys with offices near them, attorneys without physical locations provide spoofed information to Google to have their listing show as a physical location.

It’s crucial for brands with a local presence to fight back hard against these spamming techniques. If you experience local search spamming, there are a few ways to address the issue (Saam cautions to do so as anonymously as possible):

  • Report false addresses as spam on Google Maps
  • Suggest an edit to keyword-stuffed business names
  • Flag fake reviews on Google

Local search is as important as ever

Organic marketing efforts like local search optimization often take a back seat to paid media efforts. Local SEO is, however, a foundational component of any digital marketing strategy for multi-location brands and local businesses. If your brand needs help getting started, contact Mindstream Media Group today to learn how we crush the local search game for tens of thousands of locations across the country.

Traditional Media Group Adstaff Merges with Digital Agency Mindstream Media

Mindstream Media, a national marketing agency, announced its merger with Memphis-based sister agency, AdStaff Media, to create a full-service agency doubling the size of the two organizations.

AdStaff brings nearly 20 years of traditional media strategy and placement in television, radio, newspaper, out of home, magazines and sporting events for brands such as Subway, Ultimate Software, Blue Plate Mayonnaise, Fantastic Sams, Bellin Health Systems and Glenfiddich Scotch. These traditional services complement Mindstream Media’s paid search, social, display and video, content marketing and other digital capabilities, as well as yellow pages advertising.

Last year, Mindstream Media was named Trailblazing Agency of the Year and holds Google Premier Partner status for their impressive work in the search industry. This level of expertise, in addition to Mindstream Media’s solutions and client base, including brands like ServiceMaster, Samsung, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Bank of America, Roto-Rooter and The UPS Store, will only bolster the combined organization’s success.

“Mindstream Media’s expanded capabilities support the agency mission of connecting brands with consumers whenever and wherever they are in the buying journey,” said Terry Tanner, newly appointed president of Mindstream Media. “Across every medium, Mindstream amplifies results for our advertisers, whether their goal is increased brand awareness, reach, lead conversions or a long list of other KPIs.”

Billings for the combined agency ring in at $150 million.

All previous AdStaff locations, including but not limited to Memphis; Nashville; Ft. Wayne, Ind.; Columbus, Ohio; and Birmingham, Ala., will operate under the Mindstream Media brand. Mindstream Media locations in San Diego; New York; Milwaukee; St. Louis; Peoria; and Cedar Falls, Iowa will continue to operate as before.

Mindstream Media, along with 16 other agencies spanning media, marketing and public relations, is owned by Eastport Holdings, based in Memphis.

About Mindstream Media

Mindstream Media, a full-service media agency, designs and executes sophisticated traditional and digital marketing strategies that deliver sales for national brands by growing brand awareness and generating qualified local leads.

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