There’s a new head honcho at North America’s leading content marketing agency. Brafton recently announced former Editor-in-chief Richard Pattinson is taking over as chief executive officer to fuel the next stage of the company’s growth.
Pattinson has more than 15 years of experience in business leadership and content direction. He started working on content marketing in the UK before the phrase was known (or understood) in the American lexicon. He’s been a critical leader in shaping the conversation on content marketing and has overseen some of Brafton’s greatest achievements during his tenure at the company. Industry-focus for every Brafton writer? Richard’s idea. Launch of video and graphic production teams to round out client editorial? Richard’s domain. (P.S. Brafton graphics are currently one the company’s most popular and most ROI-generating products.)
Under his new rule, everyone within the Brafton community is feeling confident that Brafton’s days as a content marketing leader are only just beginning. In this interview, Pattinson shares insights on how Brafton will fuel its next stage of growth by further fueling client results.
Q: Why now? How do you see this as the right moment for your leadership at Brafton and in content marketing?
A: The content industry is – and will always be – relentlessly dynamic. Brafton has achieved so much in the past five years. The challenge for the next five years will be to build on the great platform we’ve already established by delivering even more ambitious, more successful outcomes for our clients. My priority as CEO will be to ensure excellence in every corner of our business and excellence in every interaction with our client base.
Q: Can you explain your goal of excellence in every interaction with Brafton’s client base?
Through our one-team approach, our strategists, writers, designers and video producers work relentlessly to get our accounts into a position of strength. I intend to ensure all of our employees are supported in providing that level of service to customers.
A: As an agency, everything is about our customers and how we can better serve, understand and nurture each client into a trusted partner. I constantly look for examples of great customer service both within Brafton and outside our organization. These examples serve as my inspiration for how we can continue to build Brafton’s commitment to best-in-class service.
In many ways, we’re already there as an organization. Recently, one of our clients expressed dissatisfaction with our service. Everyone working on the account urgently pulled together – the content marketing strategist, the writer, the editor, the designer – and generated some superbly creative ideas for moving the account forward. The team went into overdrive – including a site visit to the client to outline the new strategy – to regain our client’s belief in our offer.
This is just one example of the numerous occasions in which our teams dig hard and deep to get an account into a position of strength. I intend to ensure all of our employees are supported in providing that level of service to customers.
Q: As former EIC, what is your vision for fueling “superbly creative” and results-focused content production?
A: One of my key priorities when we launched Brafton in North America in 2008 was to cultivate specialization and deepen subject matter expertise across all of the teams under my supervision. I look forward to applying this approach across the business more generally. As Editor-in-Chief, I worked hard to create close alignment between our wide array of production-facing teams. As CEO, I will be carrying this ethos across Brafton as a whole. At Brafton we take a one-team approach. Ensuring close alignment between Brafton’s strategists and content creators is essential to generating the best possible client experience.
Q: What do you define as the quintessential ingredient to content marketing success?
A: Agility. The capacity to quickly adapt to changing circumstances and to adjust with smart and creative content is what sets apart content production and results-focused content marketing.
Q: How will you translate agility into a cornerstone of Brafton’s service?
A: At Brafton, we will use our breadth of talents, smart analysis and expansive array of products to foster agility in our approach for the benefit of our clients. There are two other quintessential values that will ensure internally to make ourselves an agile content marketing partner for all customers:
Meritocracy. Ensuring everyone has an opportunity to flourish within the business in direct relation to his or her dedication, ambition and skill.
Accountability: As a company, each of us needs to understand the role we play in creating great outcomes for our clients. Whenever we fall short, we must hold ourselves personally accountable.
Q: What do you view as your most important role as CEO of the nation’s largest content-focused marketing agency?
The capacity to quickly adapt to changing circumstances and to adjust with smart and creative content is what sets apart content production and results-focused content marketing.
A: For me it’s about supporting the Brafton community to do what it does best. I’ll be working to ensure we have the policies and training in place so that every consultant can provide clients opportunities to gain the fullest possible traction out of the content we already deliver. Increasingly intelligent linking strategies, smarter site navigation and higher quality content layout will prove instrumental in achieving this.
Additionally, I’m working to promote greater alignment of teams across the business and creating more opportunities for all staff and clients to feel supported by the unparalleled knowledge we have as a business. We will be introducing a variety of social and networking events over the next six months to strengthen our community. Related to this, we will be increasing the amount of pro bono work we do for local organizations that might benefit from our services and expertise.
The Brafton community is our greatest strength. As CEO, I intend to push hard to support the development of our people, our clients and the places in which we live and work.