Ignite Social Media Opens Two New Offices, Deepens Team and Offerings

Since we opened in July 2007, we’ve grown very quickly; roughly 100% per year on average. And we get to work on fun stuff with a wonderful group of clients.

In order to keep them happy, and keep our capacity at the level it needs to be as we grow, we’re announcing some significant moves today.

We took a hard look at our organizational structure, what we were asking people to do, and how we were set up for continued growth. In most cases, we were thrilled with what we saw. But in some cases, we were asking people to do more than any one person could do well. They were getting it done now (and I thank them for it), but it wasn’t going to be sustainable as our client roster grows. So with our new structure and new teams, people are set up to focus on what they do best, and to make sure our clients stay where they’ve always been–solidly out in front.

Two New Offices

First, we’re opening two new offices–one in Detroit and one in Seattle–staffed by a team of 7 in a variety of disciplines. In addition to quicker access to our clients around the country, both Detroit and Seattle have a depth of marketing and technology talent that will enable us to continue to attract the very best people.

I’m grateful that I’ve been able to woo Deidre Bounds to become our new Chief Operating Officer. She has nearly 20 years of agency experience, most recently as managing partner of Brogan & Partners, the sister agency that Ignite spun out of in 2007. When we had three people, I was able to focus mostly on client work, but as we’ve passed 30 employees the business side of things commands a significant amount of my attention. Deidre is taking that over, focusing on process and business while managing about half the teams. That will let me focus much more attention on campaign development and execution for clients and prospects. Plus, she’s really smart and a great partner to lead the Detroit office.

Erica May will head our west coast office. Erica comes to us from REI, where she was responsible for managing the creative strategy behind their external social sites (Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube), and also helped REI launch the first iteration of their own internal branded community.  Beyond her passion for social, we are thrilled to add Erica’s mobile expertise to our team at Ignite. She helped develop REI’s first SMS campaign, a geo-triggered test in the Bay Area, winning her team an honorable mention at the Webby Awards in 2009. She also takes her mobile knowledge out of the office by teaching mobile/social strategy classes at the Seattle School of Visual Concepts.

New Metrics and Media Team

When we started, the campaigns had the lead and the data and analysis were secondary. We also decided initially that we weren’t going to buy any media to speak of. That was a function of the times, when social media marketing was largely a test-and-learn phenomenon, left to succeed or fail on the basis of its organic spread and ad buys were atypical.

Today, media buying (from Facebook Engagement Ads to media buys worth hundreds of thousands of dollars) is often part of jumpstarting a campaign. We’re adding two experienced number crunchers and media planners/buyers to our new Metrics and Media team. They’ve purchased hundreds of millions of paid advertising of all kinds, and bring a knowledge of data analytics that complements our social and search optimization skills, as well as our analytics team.

Other Talent

We’re also adding an experienced new account manager and an experienced art director to our creative team. We’ll be introducing you to them on these pages as they begin to share their favorite social media tips and campaigns, but each has excellent relevant experience that we’re eager to incorporate. My Ignite co-founder Marcie Brogan continues as CFO of Ignite and remains Chairman of the Board of Brogan & Partners.

I’m excited about the new team. Look for their posts on this blog in the coming weeks.

Ignite Social Media