ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — Rob Paterson, a longtime leader in classified advertising, has joined the AIM Group as a principal and senior consultant, joining Peter M. Zollman, Katja Riefler and Jim Townsend on the executive team of the world’s leading interactive-media consultancy.

Paterson will serve as the group’s director of consulting and events, and will strengthen the AIM Group consulting services and launch a new series of events in 2016 and 2017.

“Rob is one of the smartest guys in the world when it comes to the evolution of classified advertising from print to digital services, and we’re very lucky to have him join the AIM Group,” said Peter M. Zollman, founding principal of the 18-year-old consultancy. “He’ll help our clients build their businesses, while he’s helping us build ours.”

rob-paterson“This is an exciting transition for me,” said Paterson. “After more than 20 years with Friday-Ad in the U.K. and a few more great experiences building classified and marketplace companies, it’s a great time for me to join the AIM Group to work with their clients — and add a few more.”

Paterson has been involved in the classified advertising / marketplace business for almost 30 years. He led the transformation of Friday Ad, a regional shopper publication in the U.K., into a multinational publication and classified advertising house with more than 70 “super-niche” classified sites. He grew the multimillion-pound enterprise from a print-only business into a wide-ranging online-and-print group of publications and websites through new-product launches and acquisitions in Europe and the U.S.

After Friday Media, Paterson served as CEO of, the leading international online consumer marketplace for the hire and rental industry. He then worked as Head of Business Development and Internationalization for Russ Media, a multinational publishing and classified house in Europe with more than 1,500 employees. Paterson worked on strategic acquisitions for the group, advised on development of existing businesses and developed strategies for international expansion.

Paterson then crossed the pond to the United States, where he developed and launched Pantera Digital, a digital agency affiliated with EC Hispanic Media and the El Clasificado publications in southern California. Pantera provides content marketing, search-engine optimization, search-engine marketing and analytics to a wide range of companies seeking to reach the fast-growing Hispanic market in the Southwestern U.S. and beyond.

He joined the AIM Group as a principal in late 2015, responsible for expanding its consulting practice and developing a new conference business.

In addition to his full-time jobs, Paterson has been actively engaged in the International Classified Media Association, an Amsterdam-based organization of classified advertising publishers that holds two annual conferences. He served as Chair of the association from 2007 – 2011. When the ICMA was on the brink of collapse in 2013, Paterson stepped in as an adviser and active organizer of its conferences, to help stabilize the group and help it evolve with its members from its print-only roots. Paterson regularly speaks at conferences including WAN-IFRA, OnRec (an international recruitment conference), and IAEWS, the International Association of Employment Websites (now known as TA Tech).