Inc. Magazine Names ICS as One of the Fastest-Growing Companies For the 5th Consecutive Year

Added: 9/14/2011 2:39:45 PM
Contact: Ken Orr, President
ICS Marketing Support Services
Phone: 517.394.1890, ext. 115


Inc. Magazine Names ICS as One of the Fastest-Growing Companies
For the 5th Consecutive Year

Qualifications for the
2011 Inc. 500/5000 List

The company must:

  1. Have generated revenue by March 31, 2007;
  2. Have generated at least $100,000 in revenue in 2007;
  3. Have generated at least $2 million in revenue in 2010;
  4. Be privately held, for profit, based in the U.S. and independent (not a subsidiary or division of another company).

Lansing, MI – September 15, 2011 – INC magazine ranks ICS Marketing Support Services on the 5000 Growth Companies List of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies for the fifth consecutive year.

“With this accomplishment, ICS joins the rarified company of enterprises that have appeared on the list multiple times, many of which have grown to become national icons,” said Inc. editor-in-chief Jane Berentson.

Out of the 124 Michigan companies to make the list, Inc. ranked ICS as 95th and published the company’s three-year growth rate at 29%. Ten of the Michigan companies were listed in the advertising and marketing sector, among which ICS ranked eighth.

In the following Q&A with InTouch, Ken Orr, President of ICS, gives his take on how the company earned an INC ranking for the fifth time… and what he forecasts for next year and beyond.

Ken Orr
Ken Orr, President
ICS Marketing Support
INTOUCH: Let’s set the scene over the last five years. The US economy continued to struggle. The marketing industry experienced upheaval among the “big players”. Meanwhile, marketers’ tools evolved with new social networks, data sources and technologies. Plus, the domestic auto industry (one of ICS’s key vertical sectors) fought to redefine itself. Yet, ICS continued to grow and remain on INC’s list every year. To what do you attribute this success?

Well, it’s been several things really.

First, I can’t overstate the importance of diversifying our services and our client sectors. More than ever before, marketers have so many channels and tools to connect with their customers – especially with the latest social networks, mobile platforms and so on. We’ve always stayed ahead of the technology curve. It’s a fact. You get more ROI from a multichannel strategy. Our strength lies in not just being able to provide all channels, but also strategically picking the right channels and tools to help our clients’ grow their business. We’re also not dependant on one industry sector. So when one sector may be a little slow, our whole book of business doesn’t suffer.

Next, I’d say the quality and depth of ICS’s data. No matter what marketing strategy you’ve developed, success lives or dies on the quality of your data. We have a unique approach to diversified list strategy, quality check points and access to the broadest scope of data in the auto industry. This year, we also launched an e-newsletter data source which is brand new in the marketing industry. The bottom line is that all of our data expertise ensures that our clients are sending the right message to the right customer via the right mix of channels at the right time.

And of course, our success in large part is due to our team and processes. We have a great group of people who really listen to our clients and care about their work. That, combined with our quality control processes, really hits it out of the park every time. When you consider the volume of work running through here – that really says something.

INTOUCH: Where do you see ICS and the marketing industry in general heading in the next five years?

Marketers will continue to be more integrated, targeted and specific in their multichannel strategies. “One-to-one” marketing is an over-used term, but every tool and every channel will get specific and tailored to each prospect, each customer and even each experiential event. This migration to micro-marketing suits ICS well because we’re very nimble, provide quick turnarounds with quality and we’re experts at data-driven, multichannel integration.

We also see the use of mobile devices becoming common place – just like the PC. We’re already creating content and systems for communicating on-the-go which is a different approach both in technology and content. You can’t just create something for print and slap it into email and mobile devices. We’re also seeing growth in all digital communications. In fact, we do more digital than print communications. But I believe print will always have its place, especially with PoD technology. We’ve recently invested in software that further expands our customized print-on-demand capabilities. So, even printed communications – from the words, visuals and layout – is tailored to the customer. And it always comes back to our data. We know what the consumer wants to see and how they want to receive it based on our data and analytical insight.

INTOUCH: What is the plan for continued success at ICS? Do you see a six-peat in the Company’s future?

We will continue to develop our systems and make the necessary investment to address the challenges in mobile marketing communications. We’re also excited by the data end of this… because we’ll be collecting data in these programs that gives insight on what type of devices are retrieving the messages and how this plays into more customer intelligence.

We will also continue to develop and bundle our products and services around client brands, experiential events and deep analytical insight on targeted customer profiles. We’re also committed to developing our team to stay ahead of the game. This is an interesting twist as we add younger professionals who grew-up with these technologies and communicate in these channels just as part of their culture. We plan to balance this team development approach around stable, quality delivery processes.

I’m sure other changes will come up, as they always do. We’re always modifying, adjusting and adapting. I can’t be more proud of our team’s drive to stay relevant. They’re great problem-solvers, always coming-up with new ideas and approaches.

That’s what it all boils-down to, isn’t it? It’s not a matter of “Here are our products and services. Do you want to buy them or not?” It’s all about solving problems and growing our clients’ business.


About ICS
As integrated, direct marketing experts, ICS...

  • Finds & converts clients' best sales leads
  • Integrates online & offline marketing
  • Enhances Customer Communication Relevancy
  • Reduces marketing costs & management time
  • Measures & Optimizes marketing efforts &
  • Proves increased sales

ICS offers eight primary service and proudct areas: