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I-COM: 28% Growth in Revenue and 50% Growth in Fee Income


The I-COM accounts have been finalised and the Manchester-based company is pleased to report its revenues are up by 28% on last year to £1.45m.

In the current economic climate I-COMís figures look great but they hide an even better story.

Online marketing firms are required to report as revenue the money spent on behalf of clients with search engines. This includes paying for such things as pay per click advertising. However, this is not really revenue for them, their true income being the fees charged for managing the accounts, a fraction of the total spend.

Over the last year I-COM has made changes to the charging model it uses for pay per click services, which has removed the majority of their pay per click activity from the financial results; despite this the companyís growth has been great. By contrast, other online marketing companies currently reporting strong growth could be doing so on the back of rapid growth in this low margin Google pay per click spend.

I-COM prefers to measure its performance on actual fee income coming into the business, i.e. revenue, less pay per click costs. In I-COMís case fee income has increased by over 52% on the previous year, to in excess of £1.23m. This growth helps the business to offer its clients higher levels of service, as it allows for the employment of more people with specialist skills.

Whilst I-COM provides online marketing services for a wide range of businesses, its target market is the medium enterprise that requires a one stop shop for their online marketing requirements. Historically, this market has been served by smaller independent website developers. However as the market matures and clients become more aware of the potential of the web as a business tool, a more sophisticated offering is required.

I-COM has always maintained separate design, development and search departments, which means that specialist skills can be applied, ensuring that clientsí sites deliver results.

Operations Director Mike Blackburn said, ďThe online marketing sector is very fragmented and changes in the marketplace over the next few years are likely to drive restructuring and consolidation. Our core strategy centres around delivering great a service to clients that will help their, and our, business grow. We believe growth and scale is very important as it provides us with the platform to take advantage of opportunities that restructuring of the sector might offer.Ē

The dramatic growth is also creating opportunities and I-COM is currently looking to add new web developers and search engine optimisation specialists to its permanent staff. Anyone out there with appropriate experience who would like to join a progressive Manchester agency should apply to


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