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Aug. 17, 2016


AE Marketing Group
Brian Walker
Ph. 312.858.6500

CHICAGO, Aug. 17, 2016Inc. Magazine today named AE Marketing Group to the 35th Annual List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies—the Inc. 5000. AE Marketing Group began inside a small walk-in closet and has since rocketed to multi-million dollar growth and 22 consecutive quarters of profitability.

“Our company exists to elevate brands beyond just marketing,” said AE Marketing Group Founder and CEO Brian Walker. “Seeing the company’s growth and the marketplace adopting that mindset is incredibly gratifying.”

The Inc. 5000 is the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.

AE Marketing Group helps F2000 companies operationalize their brand to create stronger customer experiences, boost employee advocacy and identify consumers’ unmet needs to improve loyalty, product development and performance.

“Executives must understand that today’s consumers don’t care about a company’s advertising if its products, services or employees create a bad experience,” said Walker. “Technology has shifted power to the consumers and many brands struggle to adapt quickly to this new reality.”

In 2013, AE Marketing Group launched The CoCreation Lab Series™ to provide brands the opportunity to design new products, services and experiences with consumers by giving everyone a seat at the design table. “AE Marketing Group puts customers at the center of all they do and they help us do the same,” says Network Health marketing executive and AE customer, Melanie Draheim.

The Inc. award comes on the heels of the 2016 launch of the Brand Lab Series™, the company’s media platform. AE Marketing Group is also a Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business and an 1871 Chicago Member Company.

“It’s exciting to see companies like AE Marketing Group thrive in our 1871 community,” said Howard A. Tullman, CEO of 1871. “The recognition from Inc. further reinforces the company’s financial performance and strong growth.”

The 2016 Inc. 5000 is the most competitive crop in the list’s history.

“The Inc. 5000 list stands out where it really counts,” says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. “It honors real achievement by a founder or a team of them. No one makes the Inc. 5000 without building something great – usually from scratch. That’s one of the hardest things to do in business, as every company founder knows. But without it, free enterprise fails.”

About AE Marketing Group

AE Marketing Group regularly advises F2000 executives on how to build brand beyond traditional marketing. Since 2011, the company has fueled growth and strengthened customer relationships for over two-dozen brands. Branding Magazine, The Huffington Post, CustomerThink, the Insight Innovation Exchange, the American Marketing Association, MSNBC and more have featured their expertise on brand, co-creation and customer experience. For more information, visit aemarketinggroup.com.

About Inc. Media

Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today’s innovative company builders. Winner of the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in both 2014 and 2012. Total monthly audience reach for the brand has grown significantly from 2,000,000 in 2010 to over 15,000,000 today. For more information, visit inc.com.


The 2016 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2012 to 2015. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2012. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2015. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2012 is $100,000; the minimum for 2015 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at inc.com/inc5000.

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