Fluent reports revenue jump on marketing to college students

Photo taken from the website of L’Orèal, a Fluent client.
Photo taken from the website of L’Orèal, a Fluent client.

Fluent, a marketing firm with offices in Boston, said Wednesday that it posted $12 million in 2013 revenues, up from $6 million the previous year.

On its website, Fluent describes its specialty as “translating brands for the college world.” On behalf of consumer-products companies, Fluent conducts research, designs customized marketing programs, and then measures the effectiveness of those programs.

Clients have included Microsoft, Macy’s, Zipcar, Kotex, and Dove, Fluent said, and one factor behind Fluent’s revenue growth last year came from adding Kellogg’s, Skype, and Jack in the Box to its roster of clients.

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Fluent refers to its target audience as CMCs, or College Millennial Consumers.

“Brands are continuously looking for ways to connect and engage with this next wave of millennial consumer both digitally and in person, in stores and through experiential outreach,” Fluent chief executive Chip Rives said in a statement. “As seen from our growth year after year, Fluent is recognized by brands as having a deep understanding of this target audience from our ‘boots on the ground,’ peer-to-peer approach to research and insights that help brands gain a much richer knowing of the CMC’s POV and behavior. This allows them to then develop more targeted, relevant campaigns for success.”

One recent campaign from Fluent was for Healthy Look Crème Gloss, a L’Oreal at-home hair coloring product. As first time users, many college-age women are reluctant to give such a product a try. The goal of the campaign was to convince this demographic that they should make hair coloring an integral part of their beauty routines.

To that end, Fluent helped launch a campaign titled the “L’Orèal Healthy Look Crème Gloss ‘Play with Color.’” Part of the campaign involved “student promoters activating L’Orèal Healthy Look Crème Gloss brand experiences” at various college campuses, Fluent said.

Those brand experiences included hair coloring parties, digital photo app events, peer-to-peer interactions and collateral distribution, coupon incentives, grassroots marketing initiatives and events, and social media, the firm said.