For the last 13 years, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) has honored 100 of the fastest growing inner city companies and this year, seven Vistage members made the list. Each of their companies succeeded in growing at least 15% from 2005-2009, but expanding profits weren’t the only things they had in common. The CEOs honored also invested in a positive internal culture, and showed dedication to the customer experience and integrity of their product.
This is the the first article in the series:
2009 Revenues: $1.7 million
5-year Annual Growth Rate: 41%
ICIC Ranking: 34th
Location: Chicago, IL
Industry: Digital Marketing
“Orbit [Media Studios] has been called a tight-knit group of interdisciplinary specialists [where] everyone communicates very closely to ensure the client always gets what they want,” CEO Andrew Crestodina. If you are lucky enough to have Orbit Media Studios as your outsourced digital marketing department, then you are lucky enough to have him as your trusted advisor.
“Andrew is a lifetime learner and extremely talented. Learning is what Vistage is all about for Andy and his value add is his insight. [Orbit]too is all about insight. It is in a business with many competitors, yet they’ve been able to differentiate themselves because they are truly web strategists,” Elisa Spain, Chair of Andrew’s Trusted Advisor Group.
From the beginning, Orbit has focused intensely on customer relationships and on the evolving dynamic between marketing and technology. They have developed interactive tools and honed internal processes and organization so that there are no missed client expectations.
“We spent thousands of hours building platforms for project management. Our industry is ‘fixed fee for custom work,’ so everything needs to be well-documented and tracked so that you can communicate in a bullet-proof way.”
But their 41% growth wasn’t built on project management alone; they also practice the tactics that they teach.
“One of the reasons we’ve had such rapid growth, where others haven’t, is that we’ve always dedicated time and resources to Social Media, SEO and email marketing. We did this earlier than most, and companies that do this, tend to grow.”
Andrew has been involved in a Vistage Trusted Advisor group for about one year and he’s already seeing the benefits.
“Joining Vistage was a tactical decision for me because I meet senior people, smart people, and it’s a great place to learn, bring ideas and get feedback from seasoned veterans…[Through my Trusted Advisor Group] I have been able to directly address fundamental issues at critical times, and receive invaluable feedback from someone who had been through them before.”
Though continuous learning, growth and development are important to Andrew, the experience of his clients remains paramount.
“The most important thing is that our customers know we care about them as much as we care about ourselves.”