Text 100: Agency Business Report 2011

CEO Aedhmar Hynes reports a "significant uptick" in the latter half of 2010 that continues this year. Though revenue was down 1% globally and 15% in the US, it improved compared to 2009 (down 22% globally and 29% in the US).

Principal: Aedhmar Hynes, CEO
Ownership: Next Fifteen Communications Group
Offices:
25 wholly owned offices; 4 in the US
Revenue:
Global: $46.7 million; US: $14.5 million
Headcount:
451 globally; 90 in the US

CEO Aedhmar Hynes reports a "significant uptick" in the latter half of 2010 that continues this year. Though revenue was down 1% globally and 15% in the US, it improved compared to 2009 (down 22% globally and 29% in the US).

Since the fiscal year began August 1, the firm has enjoyed 20% growth in North America, a trend Hynes expects to continue. In turn, 40 US hires have been made since last summer, but overall headcount remains flat (it was down 71 globally last year).
 
Digital dominance
Digital is driving growth in all regions. Social media demand is up 40% among existing and new clients, including British Airways and Facebook, and 80% of client work now includes social media.
 
Hynes sees the gap shrinking between traditional and digital work, with Text 100 evolving toward becoming a digital communications consultancy over the next three years. A 2010 restructuring included hiring new leaders in four of five global regions and removing a layer of middle management.
 
"Senior talent is overseeing smaller regions and is closer to clients and business," Hynes explains. "We also engaged the whole company in a process of how to become entirely digital. Task groups looked at services, products, clients, training, and types of hires. A key focus was leveraging our tech heritage to become a digital comms powerhouse."
 
Client-side improvements
As part of the restructuring, a global client innovation team was established to spearhead "innovation refreshes" for two to three of the agency's top 10 clients each year.
 
The roster of 200-plus clients is growing as companies outside the core tech business, including Food Network, the Cooking Channel, and American Express (all 2011 wins) continue to seek Text 100's expertise.
 
Hynes reports large global accounts, such as IBM and Cisco, have remained steady, even showing modest growth. US wins last year included Cognizant and Communispace. Asia-Pacific and European wins included eBay, Yahoo, Samsung, SafeNet, and Harman Kardon.
 
While Hynes notes all markets are growing, uncertainty around the euro is contributing to a lag in the European market.

"Overall, things are trending in the right direction," she explains. "It's just happening more slowly in Europe."

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