Ryan Wofford is currently the Director of Digital Strategy at BFG, an independent communications company that tells company’s stories and helps build brands. Wofford was most recently a part of MELT, where he worked with leading brands and major sports properties. The Makegood recently spoke with Wofford about his new position at BFG.
The Makegood: Congratulations on your new job! The first (and obvious) question, why did you choose BFG? Was it the amazing new office space?
I’ve been in the agency world for quite a while here in Atlanta and know many of the players, so when I decided it was time to take the next step in my career, I started my search locally. I had conversations with most of the larger agencies here as well as some smaller shops—but struggled to find the right blend of clients, culture, philosophy and creative work that was driving me to look for a change.
Once I connected with BFG’s founders and dug into what BFG is all about, I knew I had found the right place for me.
I was sold on my trip to the HQ in Hilton Head—the whole place has such a creative feel —it’s decked out with custom skate decks all over the walls, concert posters and wine and spirits work everywhere. Being a former skater and a nightclub DJ, the culture certainly resonated with me, and they definitely did a good job of pulling that culture through to the new Atlanta office where I currently work as well. You have to check out the quarter pipe in the lobby! [Photos can be downloaded from this link, photo cred: Ron Hart]
The Makegood: You were previously at MELT, an advertising agency also based in Atlanta. What did you accomplish there that helped you acquire this new job?
While MELT was a fully integrated marketing firm, not unlike BFG, its main focus was experiential work within collegiate sports marketing. All of the work we did for Coke Zero and the many initiatives within The Coca-Cola Company certainly helped build my resume for what was to come. I also worked on smaller, scrappy brands, such as Cold Life Organics, a local organic produce delivery business here in Atlanta that I helped launch while at MELT.
I also helped MELT with its go-to-market strategies. This sort of thinking certainly helped me land with BFG. For example, upon arriving at MELT, I completely overhauled the agency’s website, updated communications strategy and reinvigorated their social profiles. These efforts, coupled with some of the business development experience I brought from previous companies, helped MELT win more business. A highlight was being part of the core team that won MELT the ESPN College GameDay activation business for Coke Zero.
The Makegood: What did you learn there that will help you excel at BFG?
I would say the biggest things I learned at MELT are to think huge and execute strong!
Also, working closely with my boss, COO Michelle Grech, I gained an even greater insight into the Coke “way.” Michelle was a former brand manager at The Coca-Cola Company and she really helped refine my understanding of what their senior management looks for and how to do business with them. That’s definitely important if you work in the agency world here in Atlanta—you will almost inevitably work on some piece of Coke business at some point, and I’ve touched my share of it over the years.
The Makegood: As a Director of Digital Strategy, can you speak on the growing importance of digital expertise in the marketing field over the last decade?
Digital expertise has really come a long way from being a lofty, nice-to-have requirement of the job to being an expected, almost assumed quality of any senior-level marketing executive today. More and more, I believe CEOs and CMOs tend to look, act and think like Chief Digital Officers than they ever have in the past.
The Makegood: How do you see digital advertising changing over the next 5 years? How will you keep BFG ahead of that curve?
Digital advertising and marketing will continue to become more personal and more mobile. Wearable technology and cool integrated devices like Google Glass will keep people more connected than ever before. As marketers struggle to keep pace, the smart ones will likely find a place in the grey area that lies between overt marketing and content that is so truly authentic that it might feel like just another message from one of your buddies.
BFG will remain ahead of the curve for two main reasons: we have an amazingly talented staff that lives and breathes digital—they are our clients’ targets; and we have a great client roster that trusts us to guide them through this fast-paced world and take risks.
The Makegood: Thank you, Ryan