Peter Infante, president of Rochester, NY-based media shop Butler/Till, was named CEO of the agency. Infante succeeds the two founders and co-CEOs of the agency, Sue Butler and Tracy Till, who are stepping back from day-to-day roles and joining the shop’s board of directors as Chairman and Vice Chair, respectively.
Infante will report to the full five-member board.
Infante’s promotion follows an event-filled year for the agency, including double-digit revenue growth, strong new-business development, an expanded offering and a shift in ownership structure. Via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, the agency became wholly owned by employees last April. Doing an ESOP, the owners believe, is the best way to preserve the agency’s culture going forward.
Succeeding Infante as president is Kimberly Jones, formerly vice president of client services at the agency. Also promoted: Melissa Palmer, who was awarded EVP stripes after serving as vice president of finance and operations.
The agency’s revenue grew 23% last year to $10.9 million. The shop’s health-care clients account for nearly a third of its business, and it added to the category by winning the consumer launches of two new Valeant Pharmaceutical products: toe nail fungus medication Jublia, and athlete’s foot medication Luzu.
The agency also won the media assignment for Sentry Safe, recently acquired by Masterlock, which is undergoing a brand re-launch.
In addition, B/T won the agent-tagged business for an insurer with 18,000 agents across the country (by contract, the name of the insurer is undisclosed). The agency built a proprietary technology platform to develop and activate custom media plans for all 18,000 agents down to the Zip-code level. Plus, B/T built a website portal for agents, enabling them to select different media channels best suited to their individual markets and to look at reports analyzing results. That effort launched in January.
“That was a huge challenge logistically,” Infante said. But the assignment also played to the agency’s strength, which is placing local advertising on a multi-market or nationwide basis.
Separately, the agency is adding more resources to data analytics and programmatic buying—it now works with both MediaMath and Xaxis.
Infante said that clients are increasingly asking for help in the data analytics sphere—beyond just campaign reporting. The shop now has four staffers that comprise a separate data analytics department. Increasingly that team is utilizing client data and metrics to more efficiently allocate ad dollars and to develop social media strategies and other plans, while adding new revenue to the agency’s coffers.
Infante served as the agency’s president for three years before being elevated to CEO. Prior to joining B/T, the 27-year industry veteran served as marketing manager for Chase Pitkin and media director at Jay Advertising.
This year, said Infante B/T will continue to hone its data analytic skills but also work on maintaining the right balance of “high engagement” work such as customized marketing plans with “high volume” activity, where, increasingly, programmatic is coming into play.