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ABR 2011: Accent Marketing Services & Communefx

Principals?: Tim Searcy, CEO (pictured); Chris McDonald, CEO, ?Communefx?
Ownership?: MDC Partners?
Offices?: 12 wholly owned globally; ?11 in US?
Revenues?: $88.6 million globally; $85.8 million in US ?


Accent Marketing is building up two distinct shops under the same roof. Last year, it divided the business into performance marketing and engagement management units, with the Accent Performance Marketing unit joining with sister MDC company Communefx to deliver data-driven performance marketing programs, while Accent Engagement Management executes customer engagement services, including customer care and technical support functions. Building such a capacity to develop turnkey customer services is critical as the recession forced companies to farm out increasingly complicated digital marketing efforts, says Accent CEO Tim Searcy. ?

Communefx also added more data and analytics capabilities with the acquisition of Infolure in April. ?


Although it lost a high-profile client in Humana last year, Accent added Vizio, Sharp and Samsung as clients that same year. A larger share of its work came from clients expanding existing accounts, says Searcy. Clients include BJ’s Wholesale Club, Best Buy, Sprint and Verizon.?


Accent had 2,546 staffers in 2010, slightly lower than the prior year. Searcy says he expects to increase those numbers again in 2011. Searcy himself is a new hire. He replaced Kevin Foley as CEO in January.?


Accent’s US revenues topped $110 million in 2009, but at the close of last year it was down 21% to $85.8 million. At the same time, the company invested in new international operations for clients, such as a customer care center in Jamaica, and its non-US revenues ballooned nearly 300% to $2.75 million by the end of 2010. ?

Searcy says “we expect to double over the next three years in size and revenues, and close to that in personnel.”

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