Tracy Richards is currently the CMO at Organic, a digital agency connecting people with brands on every screen. Richards is the first-ever CMO at Organic, and brings previous experience as Group Director, Global Business Development at Organic. The Makegood recently spoke with Tracy about her new role and her goals for Organic.
The Makegood: Congratulations on being named the first-ever Chief Marketing Officer at Organic. Being an Organic veteran, this must be an exceptional step for both you and the company. What made the role of CMO necessary at the company?
Thank you! This is a really exciting time for me and Organic. I’ve been with the company for 13 years and I haven’t seen this level of talent, work, delivery and enthusiasm in a very long time.
Over the past 6 months, Organic has experienced tremendous growth. We started honing in on the types of clients we want to work with and the type of work we want to deliver, and the result has been several new business wins. But true growth doesn’t just occur from winning new engagements. You have to nurture your existing client base and we’ve done a great job of that over the past year as well.
Based on this momentum, it was important to create a role that encompasses business development for both new and existing clients, as well as a communications structure to let people know what an amazing company Organic is.
The Makegood: Prior to taking the role of CMO, you served as Group Director, Global Business Development. What experiences can you bring to the role of CMO from your previous position at Organic?
At the most basic level, my experience in winning new business will continue to be the focus of my new role. However, I’ve always considered business development to be much more than targeting new clients. It’s about partnerships with other agencies, internal and external communications, keeping up with what’s happening in the marketplace and having a real understanding of what we’re delivering for our clients. I’ll continue to do all of this as CMO.
And I suppose a more intangible benefit is that I know this company inside and out. I basically started my career here and am the human “Way Back Machine.”
The Makegood: David Shulman, the CEO at Organic, appointed you to CMO. Have you worked closely with Mr. Shulman in the past? Will you be working more closely with him in this position?
Shulman and I didn’t work together much in a previous agency life, but over the past 18 months, he’s been a great mentor and it became very clear that we share a similar view on what the future of Organic looks like. As we move forward, we’ll be working very closely to further define the marketing, PR and business development aspects of my role and our business goals and objectives for the agency in general.
The Makegood: What do you expect of Organic in the near future? Do you foresee notable growth occurring in the future now that the role of CMO has been created and filled?
I’m good, but I’m not that good. Growth won’t occur because of this position, it will happen because of the company’s shared belief in what we want to accomplish. It takes a team to drive true growth and we have the right people in place to drive that shift forward.
The Makegood: In this new role, will you continue working on some of the projects you worked on as Group Director? Will you maintain the relationships you developed with your clients, or will you appoint a trustworthy successor?
This new role definitely consists of managing many of the same projects I was working on as Group Director, but I will be working on them at a higher level – like continuing to manage our complex, cross-office and multi-agency pitches. In regard to the relationships I have created with clients over the course of my tenure, I will certainly maintain them and continue to nurture them. But I’m also working to restructure the business development and marketing functions of the agency which is completely new territory. Because this is team effort, I have appointed “successors” for certain roles. Like Rachel Bawin, a seven-year Organic business development veteran, who will be stepping into the role of managing our marketing and PR activities. And Kat Kerry, who has worked on the business development team for the past three years, and now will be taking on a leadership role in our pitch process. We have a great team in place and I’m incredibly confident in our ability to drive the business forward.
The Makegood: Thank you, Tracy.