Top Line Growth Rate for High-Growth Firms Soared Above Pre-Pandemic Levels 

RESTON, VA–January 10, 2022: Four key factors explain how some B2B services firms grew 4x faster and were twice more likely to be highly profitable than their slower growing peers, according to the Hinge Research Institute’s High Growth Study 2022. In 2021, high-growth firms grew at a median rate of 34.5%, exceeding pre-pandemic rates. 

“You either grow or whither in today’s highly competitive digital marketplace,” said Hinge managing partner Lee W. Frederiksen. “Years before the pandemic, high-growth firms understood two things. One, transforming into a digitally mature firm is a matter of survival. Two, best-in-class talent is crucial to a successful digital transformation. By 2020, these firms were well-equipped with experts and technology to raise their visibility, engage their audience, and serve their clients online. This early start will continue to extend their lead in the race for market share.”

The success of these high-growth firms stems from: (1) greater use of expert talent, (2) highly automated core, general business, and functional business processes,(3) advanced marketing techniques, and (4) data-driven strategies. 

Expert talent increases ROI in technology. Amid a tightening labor market, high-growth firms have the talent to boost organic growth. Their teams are more highly skilled than those of no-growth firms in critical marketing and business development techniques, such as SEO, research, strategy development, and data analytics. When talent is in short supply, high-growth firms have a secret weapon: they use more outsourced resources for critical initiatives, such as website improvements, graphic design, SEO, and video production. 

Automated business processes put firms ahead of competitors. High-growth firms are more advanced than most in core business process automation related to service delivery. They are also more sophisticated and frequent users of business development technologies, using such tools as CRMs 50% more than no-growth firms. They are also at least 40% more likely to track ROI metrics.

Advanced marketing techniques give revenue and profitability a lift. With access to skilled talent and higher levels of automation maturity, high-growth firms achieve more impact from their digital marketing strategies, using a broader range (10% more) of techniques, while spending 6% less. Enjoying higher SEO maturity levels, high-growth firms generate more digital leads while enjoying greater profitability. In fact, no-growth firms are overlooking three core digital marketing techniques: SEO, original market research, and social media. 

Data-driven strategies help focus on what matters and what’s next. Market research and advanced digital marketing techniques are paying dividends. Fewer high-growth firms are concerned about the unpredictable marketplace than no-growth firms (a difference of 23%). Fewer are concerned about competition (a difference of 26%). And only one-third as many worry about shrinking demand for their services. 

The largest study of its kind in the world, High Growth Study 2022 surveyed 1,150 professional services firms with a combined revenue of $216B and almost 1.9M employees.

Access the study here: 

About the Hinge Research Institute: We conduct and publish independent research on professional services firms to uncover the marketing strategies of high-growth firms and give B2B companies and associations the data and insights they need to understand and profit from the professional services industry.

Contact: Rowena Figueroa