After weathering the pandemic-induced economic crisis of 2020, agencies experienced a new year that saw many shops returning and surpassing their pre-pandemic revenues in 2021. But a new threat looms in 2022: Inflation and a potential recession are driving brands to cut marketing spend—even when most experts recommend increasing ad spend during economic downturns. As budget cuts trickle down to agencies, they get a smaller piece of the pie (if they even get a piece at all), which can potentially initiate layoffs. This year’s Fastest Growing Agencies are in a unique position to use their rapidly scaling businesses to come out of economic turbulence with their staffs intact and ready to pick off business from agencies that are struggling to get by. —Jameson Fleming

HOW WE CALCULATED OUR LIST: To be eligible for Adweek’s Fastest Growing Agencies list, agencies provided three years of earned revenue, from 2019 to 2021, and had at least $250,000 in revenue in 2019. Participating agencies were required to certify the accuracy of their reported revenue figures, and Adweek performed additional auditing to determine the accuracy of the submissions. Due to privacy, figures are not disclosed. Agency descriptions are based on submission forms.

Top Large Agencies: Adweek’s top large agencies think big and do big work to prove it. These shops represent both U.S. and international regions and speak to worldwide audiences. Here are the Fastest Growing large agencies (more than 200 employees) by percent change in revenue.
Top Medium Agencies: This year’s batch of burgeoning mid-sized shops comprises some big-name brands that nonetheless maintain a leaner workforce. Here are the Fastest Growing medium agencies (51-200 employees).
Top Minority-Led Agencies: If the past year has proven anything, it’s that diversity matters—a lot. As DEI officers are hired around the industry, more marginalized people are heading up agencies, truly making a difference. Here are Adweek’s Fastest Growing minority-owned agencies.
Top Midwest Agencies: The Midwest is known for its hardworking roots, but over the past few years, the region has also made a mark for its creativity and innovation. Here are the Fastest Growing agencies in the Midwest by percent change in revenue.
Top Women-Led Agencies: Women are increasingly better represented in C-suites across the country and globally than they were just a few years ago. Women are also running some of the top shops in Adweek’s Fastest Growing agencies list, and we hope this portion of the list keeps growing each year. Here are the Fastest Growing women-owned agencies.
Top International Agencies: Adweek’s readers are all over the globe, and as the agency world continues to become more global, shops are continuing to grow in every region, from Europe to South America to Asia and beyond. Here are the Fastest Growing international agencies by percent change in revenue.
Even as other regions boast great agencies, New York is still home to some of the world’s top shops. There are also plenty of great shops all over the Northeast, from New Jersey to New England. Here are the top fastest growing agencies in the Northeast by percent change in revenue.
Top Southeast Agencies: The Southeast continues to grow, and with that growth comes more prominent agencies in the region. From Richmond, Va., to Atlanta to Baton Rouge, La., the agencies on this list are helping bring more prominence to the area. Here are the Fastest Growing agencies in the Southeast.
Top West/Southwest Agencies Agencies in the thriving West and Southwest regions are gaining more national attention. The shops in this wide swath of land span from the shores of California to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to the big cities of Texas. Here are the Fastest Growing agencies in the West and Southwest.

Growth

Name

Category

Location

Size

1482727

4,007%
Movers+Shakers
Digital
United States
51-100 Employees

The quarantine TikTok boom of 2020 made every brand realize they needed to get on the platform. And while many have improved their ability to candidly connect with TikTok consumers, cringe-worthy dance challenges with outdated viral sounds still run rampant.  

However, from its inception, Movers+Shakers has produced TikTok messages that feel more like organic entertainment than ads. An early example is its 2019 creation of the song #EyeLipsFace for beauty brand e.l.f, a disguised jingle that became the most viral campaign in the platform’s history, racking up to 7 billion views and 5 million user-generated videos. This year, the agency has garnered 250 billion total views on all social campaigns for its clients, which include Nerf, Neutrogena and Netflix.  

As an early adopter of TikTok, its shift into creating BeReal strategies for brands comes as no surprise. The agency has a way of taking uncool, unsexy brands and helping them find their footing on social media and in culture, according to a spokesperson.  

Movers+Shakers has also always put diversity and inclusion at its forefront. The agency was founded by two members of the LGBTQ+ community, is made up of 60% women, and 40% of employees are from ethnically diverse backgrounds. In the past year, all the agency’s campaigns have racked up more than 10 billion media impressions, scoring appearances on Stephen Colbert and Drew Barrymore’s talk shows. —Emmy Liederman 

Growth

Name

Category

Location

Size

1482757

3,037%
Alto
Full Service
United States
21-50 Employees

Alto founder Hannes Ciatti looks at the agency’s story a bit like a “phoenix rising from the ashes” after he split with JohnXHannes co-founder John McKelvey to form his own agency in 2019. Ciatti and his team have found quick success, first with clients from their JohnXHannes days, but also winning business like Ketel One and Upwork, the latter of which the agency retained following a CMO transition.  

“There’s just this virtuous cycle that we’re creating at the moment,” Ciatti said, “where we do great work, we get great talent, and we also attract new, great clients that want to do the same work. That’s how we grew to the size that we are.” 

Being independent has allowed Ciatti’s team to be selective about who the shop works for; Alto values clients that are “good for the planet or people” and those that let the agency connect with key decision-makers. In 2021, Alto created the “I Want to Live” campaign, which included a platform to guide people to sign up as living donors for organ transplants. The campaign has led to more than 1,000 people beginning the journey to becoming living donors. 

“At the partner level, we all love actually still doing the work ourselves,” said Ed Rogers, managing partner at Alto. “The clients that are attracted to that are also still really passionate about being part of the process in some way, no matter how busy they are.” —Jameson Fleming 

Growth

Name

Category

Location

Size

1482760

952%
The Stable
Full Service
United States
201-500 Employees

The Stable was on an acquisition streak of its own when holding group Accenture Song acquired it earlier this year. The Minneapolis-based commerce agency is focused on helping consumer brands build and operate their own digital commerce channels, and Accenture Song got an agency that is helping build the future of connected commerce. 

The agency has grown by helping clients throughout their brand journeys, especially on the ecommerce front, “from developing a brand identity, getting a product on the shelf at a major retailer, building a DTC website from scratch or learning from our advanced analytics capabilities,” Chad Hetherington, founder and CEO of The Stable, told Adweek, which he attributed to being nimble enough to invest heavily in his team and adding new capabilities to drive value for clients. 

“Now, as part of Accenture Song, we look forward to accelerating this growth and commerce transformation for clients even more,” said Hetherington.  

The Stable serves as an omnichannel partner for emerging, mid-market and enterprise retailers, growing and optimizing brands across all channels of commerce, including WD-40, emerging oral care company Quip, plant-based food company Califia Farms and active apparel brand NoBull. —Kyle O’Brien 

Growth

Name

Category

Location

Size

1482774

917%
The MRN Agency
Full Service
United States
11-20 Employees

Los Angeles-based MRN Agency has a commitment to three C’s with each of its campaigns: creativity, competitiveness, compelling. Founded by Rebecca Nuñez, who also serves as CEO, The MRN Agency specializes in campaigns that are designed to be as representative and diverse as possible, with a special expertise in U.S. Hispanic and LATAM audiences. “At our core, we are cultural intelligence experts, anchored by the fact that our agency, as a collective, is a representation of the faces, skin tones, languages, ethnicities, backgrounds and identities that our clients are aiming to reach,” Nuñez said. 

The MRN Agency is female- and minority-owned and has a 75% diversity and inclusion rate. It has worked with clients such as AT&T, HP and Nutanix. Some notable campaigns and activations include an “autonomous store” for UST Global where customers could walk in with their IDs, shop and leave without checking out; a grassroots marketing campaign with AT&T Mx to support small-business owners across Mexico by providing PPE during the pandemic and other essentials; and a slate of more than 600 fully integrated virtual experiences and events for a variety of clients.  

“We believe in replacing random acts of marketing with data-driven decision-making. As a result, we’ve been able to strategically use our creative superpowers to bring to life award-winning campaigns for domestic and international clients, who have entrusted us to be dreamers and calculated risk-takers,” Nuñez said. —Chloé Harper Gold 

Growth

Name

Category

Location

Size

1482780

797%
Headlight
Digital
United States
21-50 Employees

Headlight is a growth marketing agency for challenger brands across mobile, digital commerce and consumer technology. The agency attributes its rapid growth to addressing what it sees as an underserved part of the industry: high growth, internet-native consumer brands. Headlight’s longtime clients include Calm and Tidal, and since 2021 the agency has added telehealth company Ro, ADT, Uber, online art marketplace Artsy, car insurance provider Metromile and IAC, among others.  

“Dynamic companies that are trying to scale new markets or disrupt legacy ones can’t just ‘outsource’ their paid media,” Grant Harbin, CEO at Headlight, said. “They need deep product, business model integration and a highly collaborative relationship with whoever is in the driver’s seat on media.” 

Harbin said that Headlight has grown exclusively through word-of-mouth and referrals since it started by doing rigorous, strategically focused growth marketing. 

Staying at the forefront of performance marketing requires conscious effort and a culture focused on learning and discovery. “Delivering those learnings at scale to clients requires a highly collaborative and long-term-oriented service model,” Harbin said. —K.O.

Growth

Name

Category

Location

Size

1482782

775%
Socium Media
Digital
United States
21-50 Employees

When a client increases its investment with performance marketing agency Socium Media, its agency account team gets a cut. Socium’s profit-sharing model bases a portion of employees’ pay on client fees, keeping talent invested in the business’ growth and attuned to clients’ media performance. For Socium founders Sam Sherman and Owen Loft, running a successful agency is all about performance.  

“As long as people are advertising on Google or on Facebook, which is really where the lion’s share of the funds go, we want to be the ones that manage it for the long term for our clients,” Loft said. 

The duo grew Socium from seven employees in March 2020 to 44 as of August 2022 in its New York office. Sherman and Loft attributed the swift uptick to Socium’s healthy working environment, a claim backed by recent survey results showing all its employees find the agency “a great place to work.” 

Retaining passionate employees is key to getting great results for clients, according to Sherman, and those results make Socium popular with its brand-side partners. Loft said he can trace up to 40% of Socium’s client base back to relationships he made while visiting a single client’s office one day each week. When employees left Socium’s existing client and joined other businesses, they brought the agency along with them. 

The founders partly attribute their agency’s stark 775% revenue growth it experienced from 2019 to 2021 to the digital marketing wave catalyzed by the pandemic. It lost 30% of its revenue following March 2020, when many nonessential businesses operations came to a halt and slashed their marketing budgets. Socium’s business turned around quickly when marketers started to prioritize digital media investments to push Covid-wary online shoppers toward purchases. “Our accounts that did stick around were spending more than they ever thought possible and getting the best results,” Sherman said. —O.M.

Growth

Name

Category

Location

Size

1482785

675%
The Snow Agency
Full Service
United States
51-100 Employees

In 2022, it’s nearly impossible to grow your business without digital marketing, but given the constantly changing landscape, it can be difficult to stay on top of current trends and guidelines. The Snow Agency specializes in digital marketing, especially within the ecommerce sector. The agency boasts comprehensive services, free consultations and effective, data-driven strategies.  

Co-founded by brothers Daniel and Jonathan Snow, the agency prioritizes growth, transparency, innovation and teamwork. Across its roster of more than 70 clients, it has generated more than $250 million in revenue and has certifications and partnerships with Facebook, Google, Forbes and more.  

In addition to traditional digital ads and email campaigns, The Snow Agency offers influencer and TikTok marketing, media buying, and web design and development. One of the agency’s success stories is how it helped temporary tattoo brand Simply Inked grow its business by analyzing and adjusting its website, increasing the conversion rate and average order value by 15% and 18%, respectively. The Snow Agency also helped the brand expand by taking part in a beta test for TikTok’s value-based optimization to find high-value consumers. 

Beyond providing customized marketing services for its clients, The Snow Agency supports veterans and is a five-star National Corporate Partner with the charitable organization Toys for Tots. —CHG

Growth

Name

Category

Location

Size

1482788

488%
Refinery89
Digital
Spain
11-20 Employees

Refinery89 operates under the motto #ForPublishersByPublishers to provide the best possible ad-tech solutions for publishers. The agency developed what it calls a single tag programmatic solution that simplifies a publisher’s tech stack because Refinery89’s tag is just one line of code instead of hundreds, like a typical solution. 

The results are two-fold. Publishers aren’t burdened by a bulky ad-tech solution that takes months to implement, and Refinery89’s tech allows publishers to maximize their inventory and increase their revenue from display, native and video advertising. 

The solution has been so effective that the agency won an IAB award for the best innovation in programmatic tech and measurement. Following the introduction of the tag, Refinery89 has seen significant growth, with revenue soaring 488% over the past three years. The agency, which has offices in Amsterdam, Milan, Madrid and Paris, counts Microsoft, Sony, Netflix and PlayStation as some of the biggest brands it works with. Refinery89 also partners with some 600-plus publishers to improve their inventories. —J.F.

Growth

Name

Category

Location

Size

1482789

424%
Media Matters Worldwide
Media
United States
51-100 Employees

Founders Josy Amann and Taji Zaminasli attribute Media Matters Worldwide’s growth to 2021’s converging industry trends. Performance media returns had slowed, financially strapped marketers demanded pliable scopes and more work went in-house. To contend with the circumstances, pandemic-era clients craved an agency with a unique set of skills: flexible, analytics-focused and collaborative. 

“It was like a fast-forward,” Amann said, with “really quick growth because of all those things coming together.”  

Some brands went all-in on performance media investments in 2020, such as campaigns designed to drive immediate sales. But those brands hit a metaphorical wall by 2021 that resulted in “diminished returns,” according to Amann and Zaminasli. 

“If you’re in such a performance mindset, it’s really hard to get out of it and figure out [how to reach new consumers],” Zaminasli said. 

For answers, brands turned to analytics-savvy MMWW, which monitors a campaign’s metrics while it’s “in flight” so buyers can adjust future activation strategies. To do this, the agency built its own tool that analyzes budget and performance scenarios, helping buyers determine which media investments will be most effective. The tool makes it possible for MMWW to alter media plans as frequently as every week to improve results. 

The agency landed notable clients including grocery delivery service Shipt in 2020 and soon garnered more RFPs from brands including Proactiv, financial services company Chime, Glassdoor and software companies Alteryx and Nutanix. Its analytics specialty was its boon, but MMWW’s independent status also meant it offered a simpler alternative for clients that usually partnered with holding companies.  

The agency has a flexible model, according to its founders, with “plug and play” options, meaning it would take on a performance or brand-specific purview, project-based work or a traditional AOR relationship.  

To that end, it’s not exclusively after AOR relationships. MMWW’s “time to shine” is when it joins forces with other agencies or clients’ in-house teams to knock down the silos to craft integrated campaigns, Amann said. For instance, it manages its DTC food delivery client’s brand planning and measurement, but partners with the client’s in-house performance media team and runs analytics across both disciplines. This way, MMWW draws insights that both teams can base strategic decisions on, such as what kind of brand campaigns contribute to performance growth. —Olivia Morley 

Growth

Name

Category

Location

Size

1482794

339%
Bray & Co.
Full Service
United States
1-10 Employees

Peter Bray is not afraid to turn down client work. As the founder and executive creative director of Bray & Co., he built the independent agency to help companies launch or relaunch their products and services, which might look like a rebrand or an early campaign to establish a client’s brand identity. This has included creative and strategic transformations for brands including Tide and evaporative cooler company Portacool. According to Bray, holding a specialization while maintaining full-service options for clients allows his agency to “exceed expectations.”  

“When it comes to 98% of the work out there, we’re not the right agency,” he said.  

Bray and his team are also pioneering mental health action and awareness through its “Dear Mark” campaign, an in-house grassroots initiative that is pressuring Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to label filtered photos across Facebook and Instagram. It was inspired by a 2021 survey from ParentsTogether, which found that 61% of young adults ages 13-21 believe that filters on social media contribute to negative thoughts about their appearance. 

The team is differentiating itself from other shops when it comes to client relationships; Bray & Co. does not subscribe to hourly rates and has a zero-day notice period policy, which doesn’t trap clients in a working relationship. The agency takes a creative-first approach to its work, which Bray said is a rarity in an industry that is presently fixated on performance marketing and analytics. The agency, which uses a fully remote business model and combines six full-time staff and about 15 freelancers, flexes the effectiveness of its small team, though Bray worries too much employee expansion will dampen the shop’s intimate relationship with clients.  

“Bigger can be better, but it also creates more layers,” Bray said. “With too much growth, we create more complications and lose being personal.” —E.L.