Meredith Farley knows web content. She began her content marketing career producing it. Meredith started in Brafton’s editorial department six years ago before stepping into a product director role. She has spent the past three years overseeing cross-departmental collaboration to add refinement and sophistication to our offerings. In that time, Meredith played a critical role in Brafton’s shift from short-form articles to in-depth, multimedia content.
Now, we’re thrilled to announce that Meredith has been appointed VP of Product to assume overall responsibility for developing our offerings to keep clients ahead of the market.
She’s known at Brafton for her quick wit, quiet confidence and tenacious drive. Meredith has voluntarily served as a respected sounding board for countless custom projects over the years. In her new position, we’re excited to see her sense of marketplace demand, her command of digital media and her sense of humor carve a place into products that reach every Brafton client.
Q: Brafton’s product suite has grown exponentially in the past five years. Where do you envision it evolving to in the next year?
Meredith: We used to be a content vendor and we’re now a strategic partner. Our products and services have steadily evolved from stand-alone deliverables to symbiotic pieces of a holistic strategy. Our technology offering, our consultancy, our UX/UI work and our increasingly sophisticated content are poised to move us further in that direction.
Q: What trends are you seeing in content marketing that you think will shape product development in the upcoming five years?
Meredith: In an industry full of marketing experts, it’s easy to get caught up in the buzzworthy application or digital strategy thinkpiece of the month. As imperative as it is that we’re aware of and responsive to those industry trends, it’s equally important that we can separate the wheat from the chaff – for our clients and ourselves. I think we know how to take a few steps back and focus on crafting products and services that make us the smartest, most reliably informed and comprehensive marketing partner for our clients – right now, and two and three years from now. In that vein, I see our technology service offerings, our consultancy work and our premium content types having a meaningful trajectory over the next several years. I think our website redesign work will also be a keystone piece for many of our partnerships.
Q: How would you say Brafton continues to refine our legacy products?
Meredith: Our account management and creative production staff have more autonomy than ever when it comes to our legacy deliverables. The teams customize their approach to nearly every product type, arriving at a final result that maps to the client’s need, rather than a static product spec. That inherent flexibility is difficult to achieve at scale but something that we’re very committed to supporting and building on further.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges when creating products that need to be seamlessly integrated at scale?
Meredith: A product needs to be malleable enough to serve custom strategies but thoroughly specced in a way that gives our teams real comfort with the offering during strategy or production planning. Achieving that balance of freedom and internal parameters can be a challenge, but it’s one that we’re getting better at navigating. In my experience, a scale product works best when about 85 percent is defined and 15 percent is left up to an account‘s team for interpretation. It’s also important that we never consider a product sewn up internally – all of our offerings and processes benefit from consistent review and internal feedback. And, I should mention that as often as scale poses a challenge it provides a solution. We have a lot of smart people making good suggestions every day – and one good bit of internal product feedback has the potential to positively impact all of our clients.
Q: It’s been described as a fallacy that “The sooner the project is started, the sooner it will be finished.” Is this the case with Brafton products? Is there a similar timeline that’s followed every time we create a new offering, or has it varied?
Meredith: The product dev timeline is custom to the product or service that we’re working on. Smaller products can often be organized in a few weeks, while larger scale or more complicated services have taken the better part of a year to move from inception to point of sale.