Behind the Screen with 2060 Digital President Jim Bryant
2060 Digital President Jim Bryant believes in digital – so much so that he’d make the leap from a 40-year radio career to start up a digital agency. Here’s a look at what got him to this place, as the fearless leader of 2060 Digital, and why he’s happy to be here.
So, how did your career in radio start?
I was hired out of college as an Account Executive by a small station in Fairfield, OH. It was $3 for a commercial. I went to a few other stations before becoming General Manager of Q102 in 1987, in charge of managing programming, sales, the business department, traffic, and marketing. My responsibilities grew as we added stations, and I became Market Manager.
And after 40 years with radio, you decided to explore another path.
We formed 2060 Digital officially in 2012 as an agency, doing primarily social media management. Even before 2012, we started following the path of social media marketing, and forming the agency seemed like the next logical step down the path. But in 2014, we began broadening our scope beyond social, and I saw the opportunity for our agency to really shine, so I went to corporate and said I believe we can do this and do it well. I presented a business plan and they let me run with it.
So take us through the mental process of how you made the switch from radio to all digital, all the time.
Well, like I said, I’d been in radio for 40 years, and I was looking for a new challenge. I also saw first-hand what digital marketing can do for brands and saw us do a pretty amazing job of it, so I felt there was a great opportunity for us to be really excellent in this space. I wanted to be the leader that could take the agency in this direction. So it seemed like things were falling into place for me to make the move.
Was there something particular about digital marketing that got you really excited?
Digital has a great future path, and it’s rapidly changing all the time. And I think it pairs well with radio. I think there’s opportunity to have them work together and benefit a client better than having them stand alone.
What are some of the ways you’ve seen radio and digital work together?
They both work at a broadcast level and at a micro level. And there’s a really great push and pull between them: a radio station can push someone to a website, and then we can retarget someone off that site around the Web. There’s just a lot of ways you can get creative and highly customized with both of them to get some great ROI for a client.
What other kinds of things get you excited to come into work every morning?
I love to see a business grow – our clients’ and ours. We’re continually adding sophistication to our business, honing our skills, our processes, our people. There’s this entrepreneurial start-up spirit that really feeds my excitement for growth and improvement.
I also love gaining the trust of clients through our digital marketing efforts. The thing about digital is that in order to be successful, it has to be very open – open communication with clients, open information sharing. And we’re finding that clients want to share with us because when they do, we show them success. We really are in a partnership with them.
So, since becoming President of 2060 Digital, what’s been one of the most rewarding aspects of this career change?
Well, the grapes, the fanning, you know, being put up on the pedestal is very cool. I mean sometimes it hurts after sitting up there for a while. But….what has been the best part?
Or, the most rewarding – might be different than best.
I think our renewal rate is very rewarding. We obviously want to generate new business, but I think our incredible renewal rates are from following three basic tenants: One, we help our clients by giving them the best advice possible. Two, we give them holistic solutions that involve multiple channels of digital marketing – not just one – to help them touch consumers throughout the entire buying path. And finally we aren’t going to take business that we wouldn’t sell our grandmothers.
The word “partner” gets used a lot in this industry, and it’s generally not an accurate description of the relationship, but we really do have a partnership with a lot of our clients. Our Project Managers and our Social Media Strategists get hugs from clients. To see clients really be that close and enjoy working with our agency, that’s pretty rewarding. Our goal is to get everybody to want to hug us and we’re doing a remarkable job in pursuing that.