Two Ann Arbor businesses ranked on Inc. Magazine list of fastest-growing Midwest companies

Two Ann Arbor-based companies, Metric Marketing and RXA, were recently included on Inc. Magazine’s list of 203 companies "Making an Outsized Impact in the Midwest."
Digital marketing agency RXA, which provides project-based consulting and staff augmentation, was ranked No. 86. 

RXA founder and CEO Jason Harper says his company "help[s] clients make better use of data to drive better decisions."

"We use a lot of machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques," he says, noting that the company focuses on how customers are engaging with RXA clients' brands and how clients' products are selling.
Metric Marketing was ranked No. 168 on Inc.'s list. The company focuses on "everything that gets someone found online," says Hannah McNaughton, Metric's founder and CEO. "We’re not a [public relations] agency, but we do everything from website development to graphic design, paid advertising, and search engine optimization."
Both McNaughton and Harper credit a portion of their success to their businesses' location.
"Being in Ann Arbor is helping," Harper says. "I don’t believe there’s a better spot on Earth for me to be doing this."
Harper says RXA is "growing at a pretty rapid clip in a very competitive marketplace. And it’s not just competitive on the sales side — it’s really competitive on the labor side, because data scientists, data engineers, [and] business analysts are [in] extremely high demand."
McNaughton says she learned a great deal from another Ann Arbor-based company, Zingerman’s, which offers business visioning courses through its training division, ZingTrain.

"Going through that business vision course was really instrumental in starting off in a good direction," McNaughton says.
Likewise, both Harper and McNaughton attribute their rapid growth to their company culture.
"We are unashamedly Midwest," Harper says. 

He says that means RXA is "very competitive. We want to win. We want to do the best." But, he adds, "we’re also highly collaborative. We also are very quick to share credit."
The result, Harper says, is a competitive atmosphere "that really encourages cross-team collaboration."
Similarly, McNaughton says Metric employees "really only succeed by helping others succeed."
When she started the company, McNaughton says, she placed great importance on values like joy. The work environment "should be something that is as joyful as it possibly can be," she says.

"When you have a team that all has that same vision and goal, you can really absolutely do anything because everyone is there supporting each other," McNaughton says.
Both companies anticipate more growth in the future.
"[RXA is] in rapid high-growth mode," Harper says. "For the next three years, the plan is [to] continue to invest in adding additional resources [and] investing in our products."
McNaughton says Metric’s "big focus right now is really growing more." But, she adds, she’d also like to see Metric "continue to spread a culture of positivity."
"At the end of the day," McNaughton says, "what is most important for me is to be able to uplift and help others."

Natalia Holtzman is a freelance writer based in Ann Arbor. Her work has appeared in publications such as the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Literary Hub, The Millions, and others.

Photos courtesy of RXA and Metric Marketing.
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