Text100: Agency Business Report 2015

Text100 had one of its best years of revenue growth at 13.7% globally and 20% in the US, respectively. More impressive, however, were its profit margins.

CEO Aedhmar Hynes
CEO Aedhmar Hynes

Principals: Aedhmar Hynes, CEO; Ken Peters, regional director, North America
Ownership: Next Fifteen Communications Group
Offices: Global: 23; US: 4 (Rochester, New York, Boston, and San Francisco)
Revenue: Global: $57,306,333; US: $24,852,174
Headcount: Global: 549; US: 133

Text100 had one of its best years of revenue growth at 13.7% globally and 20% in the US, respectively. More impressive, however, were its profit margins of 16% globally and 33.8% in the US.

"Driving profitable growth is a key emphasis," says CEO Aedhmar Hynes. "Instead of expanding geographically, we’ve been building revenue on top of our existing infrastructure, because we have well-established methodologies and IT and HR systems."

Next Fifteen sister brand Bite was integrated into the Text100 business in Asia-Pacific markets, resulting in the addition of 80 employees, as well as in Stockholm and Munich. In August, Text100 also acquired Republic Publishing, a content marketing agency in the UK and US, via parent company Next Fifteen. New business won in North America included Cimpress, Jive North America, and Pegasystems, and Amazon Web Services and Kickstarter in EMEA.

But the firm lost the $10-million BlackBerry account, which it won two years ago in partnership with APCO Worldwide, after new leadership made a shift in strategy to work with agencies at a local level.

"That kind of loss can be tough to manage," Hynes adds. "But it has been a gradual decline over the last six months. Fortunately, business was growing fast enough that we could replace it and there was no need to take any action with staff."

The core of Text100’s service has always been tech. To ensure it has the right skills and service level as it evolves into a fully integrated comms firm, Hynes says it is "looking at acquisitions for the first time."

"This route gives us the opportunity to hire teams of people who come with specific skill sets who might not otherwise join Text100," she adds.

Promoting from within
She says employee turnover is low, and the firm makes a concerted effort to promote from within. In January, SVP Ken Peters, an 11-year veteran of Text100, was appointed regional director, North America. He replaced Rowan Benecke, who departed after 14 years for Burson-Marsteller.

In August, Tara O’Donnell moved from New York – where she had established the consumer and entertainment practice – to the UK office as MD.

"The UK is our oldest office, but to some extent there has been a brain drain out of the market to our other offices," Hynes says. "We’ve been trying to bring people back with fresh perspective."

Text100’s client base includes technology and communication giants, media and entertainment brands, and healthcare companies. Now the firm is branching out into other sectors, given technology’s importance to seemingly every business.

"Our focus next year will be around automotive, energy, the home, and travel," Hynes says.

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