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Monday, Feb 25, 2019
WALL - Though he hailed from humble beginnings and lived and worked on his own since he was 17, Newark native Larry Bailin was always artistic and future-minded.
“In the 1990s, a friend gave me an AOL floppy disk and I was hooked,” said the 49-year-old Freehold resident and self-taught entrepreneur. Using the disk to access AOL and its global network, he said, “I remember thinking that the internet was going to change everything.”
While working for Atlantic Stereo in Freehold in his 20s, Bailin built a website for the business — one of the first websites in the world created for an audio-visual company — “and the phones never stopped ringing,” he said. “We started shipping products like crazy to customers all over the U.S.”
Intrigued by the power of online marketing and his own intuitive understanding of the then-emerging field, Bailin opened a small company specializing in web marketing and internet advertising in 1994, which was eventually acquired by a larger company.
“I worked for them for three years as director of e-business, helping large brands like Chanel and Hershey’s develop their web strategy,” he said.
Bailin and a partner ultimately opted to start their own venture, Single Throw Marketing (named after an electronics term describing a type of electrical wiring configuration) in a 700-square-foot office in Brick. But the timing of their launch — Sept. 11, 2001 — seemed anything but auspicious.
“Given the events on the day we opened, we thought that the business would be done,” Bailin recalled. “But we hung in there and started to make a name for ourselves,” ultimately expanding to larger space in Wall in 2003.
Fifteen years later, Single Throw Marketing has continued to grow, currently occupying 14,000 square feet of space in Wall, boasting 35 employees specializing in everything from digital strategy and search engine optimization to paid media procurement, email marketing, website development and more, and becoming known as a pioneer and leader in the digital space.
Power of persuasion
“A lot of other marketing agencies out there are struggling to understand digital consumers,” said Bailin, whose firm has worked on campaigns for such renowned clients as Gore-Tex, Sara Lee and Laughing Cow and is a premier agency partner to Google.
“Many of them were late to the game, didn’t know how to monetize digital activity, or were simply afraid of the measurements because you can quickly determine whether a digital campaign is successful or not based on the revenue it drives for the client,” he said.
“We do traditional advertising using print mediums, billboards and radio and TV spots as well, but we consider ourselves more like an ‘investment firm’ than an ad agency — our clients give us money and our job is to turn it into more money," Bailin said. "There are so many ways to measure the resonance of a digital campaign, which is why we ask our clients to demand more of marketing.”
“We harness the power of persuasion to create customers for our clients,” agreed Jennifer Obsuth, a Point Pleasant native and current Brielle resident who joined Single Throw’s social marketing department in 2009 and has since ascended to the role of chief operating officer.
“We tie all digital and traditional marketing campaigns together to match the client’s brand promise,” Obsuth said. “Afterwards, clients tell us that they not only feel more business happening, but more quality business happening.”
“It’s about evaluating what makes a client’s business different from their competitors and then taking that value proposition and evangelizing it to make them more visible,” Bailin said of Single Throw’s expertise. “We figure out the mathematics of their perfect customer and help our clients win by promoting their message where those customers are.”
Among their satisfied clients is Patty Youchock, director of advertising and marketing for Woodbridge-based Allegiance Retail Services, a co-op of over 90 independent grocery stores (including Foodtown) located throughout New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Since bringing Single Throw aboard in December 2016, “they’ve helped organize our store directories, optimize our keywords and enhance our positioning,” Youchock said.
“Larry is a wealth of knowledge and his team is professional, creative, structured, and leaves nothing to chance,” she said. “A digital presence has become a requirement of doing business — a must-have piece of the portfolio necessary to be competitive today — and since we started working with Single Throw, our internet scores and traffic are way up.”
'The next big thing'
Among trends in the industry, Bailin said that, with one in five people starting a search on their mobile device by speaking it aloud, digital strategies that emphasize natural language optimization are growing in importance, as is the use of online video, which will account for an estimated 80 percent of all internet traffic by 2019.
Being able to both capitalize on current digital trends as well as see the future of the industry has its challenges, however.
Among those, “we live in a fast-paced environment today where being continually connected has become the new normal,” Bailin said. “As a result, our team is always up at night thinking about what’s coming and what we can do to take our customers to the next level.”
But while this constant connectivity may cause other competitors to burn out, he said, “we thrive on it.”
Looking ahead, Bailin is excited about the field’s emerging virtual/augmented reality capabilities and the fact that ‘the next big thing is right under our noses.” He also continuously evaluates future growth opportunities for the firm.
“At some point, we may consider mergers or acquisitions and may expand to the West Coast or to Europe, as long as whatever we do benefits our whole team,” he said.
For Obsuth, the unpredictability of the business remains her favorite part.
“I love that I can say that there’s never a boring day at work, since things are constantly evolving, which allows for constant innovation,” she said. “I also love that we’re a full-service marketing agency located right here in Monmouth County. Our employees are mostly local and enjoy working for an agency that doesn’t involve a commute to New York City. We’re proud to partner with local colleges, universities and high schools to offer internships as well,” she said.
For Bailin, the opportunity for him and his colleagues to use their expertise to benefit clients is endlessly rewarding.
“It’s exciting to deliver a great campaign and help clients do things that had never been done before,” he said. “I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved here as a team,” he concluded, “and I’m always thinking about what’s next.”
SINGLE THROW MARKETING
Location: 1800 Route 34, Building 4, Suite 405, Wall
CEO and founder: Larry Bailin
You can read the original app.com article here.