The Bright Side of Business: inMotion celebrates 40th anniversary

Video marketing agency marks milestone with move to well-known Civic Pharmacy building on Carling Avenue and sweeps up another award
InMotion - Jamie McIntosh
InMotion president Jamie McIntosh says he has three short-term business priorities: "get through the rest of COVID-19, continue to grow, continue to do good work for clients." Photo by Mark Holleron
Editor's Note

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The Bright Side of Business bimonthly column is presented by Star Motors.

One of Ottawa’s largest video production and marketing companies is celebrating a landmark anniversary with a move to a prominent new location and a plan for further expansion as it positions itself for a wave of post-pandemic growth.

Founded in 1979, inMotion officially marked its 40th anniversary last year by moving into the iconic Civic Pharmacy building on Holland and Carling avenues, known for its highly visible multicolour letters. 

After several construction delays due to COVID-19, “we now have 90 per cent of our staff coming back into the office on a daily basis,” says president Jamie McIntosh. “It’s wonderful.” 

InMotion office
InMotion’s new location at the corner of Carling and Holland avenues features an audio room for podcast recordings, a soundproof film and photography studio and “better suits the current corporate culture,” president Jamie McIntosh says. Photo by Mark Holleron.

Before the move, inMotion was located on Boyd Avenue, surrounded by other offices and industrial buildings.

“The new location provides better visibility, and better suits the current corporate culture,” McIntosh says. It also features an audio room for podcast recordings, a soundproof film and photography studio, as well as plenty of collaborative spaces.

A new vision 

McIntosh took over inMotion in 2016, self-funding the acquisition and bringing years of international business experience.

“I saw video becoming the centerpiece of all marketing communication,” he explains. “I reached out to inMotion to discuss taking over the company, with the intention to turn it into a full-blown digital marketing agency.” 

And that’s exactly what McIntosh did, recruiting a creative director, graphic designers and copywriters. He also shifted the agency to cater to professional associations, medical and healthcare organizations, as well as clients in agriculture and technology.

“(Our staff can) help our clients much quicker, and in most cases more efficiently, than if we hadn't specialized,” McIntosh says. 

Just two years after McIntosh came onboard, inMotion won the award for Ontario’s Best Digital Agency. Today, the agency has approximately 50 clients, including Canadian Blood Services, National Research Council Canada and Bank of Canada. 

A united front

As with any other business, inMotion initially saw its operations grind to a halt during COVID-19, with many clients asking to postpone projects. But before long, the agency was once again on the upswing, surpassing its pre-pandemic revenues by approximately 35 per cent.

McIntosh credits that success to inMotion’s team, as well as its decision to offer pro-bono work to its top 25 clients at the start of the pandemic.

“We knew that to come out strong at the end of the pandemic, we had to look after our clients and our staff.”

“There was so much uncertainty at that time,” he says. “We knew that to come out strong at the end of the pandemic, we had to look after our clients and our staff.”

The majority of inMotion’s pro-bono work was for industry and professional associations that needed to share COVID-19 information with their members.

The move generated a significant amount of goodwill that’s since helped fuel business growth as some industries stabilized over the past year, McIntosh says.

InMotion has also been working on a national campaign with 24 local hospitals and healthcare providers, aiming to attract nurses to the Ottawa region, and with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, helping to keep parents and students up-to-date with COVID-19 information.

“There are some really important, meaningful and timely projects that our team is working on right now,” McIntosh says. 

At a time when many businesses have struggled to stay afloat, inMotion has been hiring new staff, and even bagged its second Ontario’s Best Digital Agency award in 2021.

Despite this momentum, McIntosh says he’s taking a diligent approach to expanding the business.

“At this point, I've got to think short-term: get through the rest of COVID-19, continue to grow, continue to do good work for clients,” he says.

The Bright Side of Business is an editorial feature focused on sharing positive stories of business success.

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