We help small B2B companies grow

Consulting, planning, executing — and everything in between.

Simple Machines is a marketing agency that provides the plan, the processes, the time and the talent that B2B companies need to achieve sales and marketing success.

Ready to start seeing results from your marketing?

 
$50,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2012
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • 330 N Wabash Ave 23rd Floor
    Chicago, IL 60611
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

We help small, B2B companies, with a focus on technology, manufacturing, consulting and professional services.

Reviews

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Digital Marketing for IT Managed Services Provider

“Simple Machines Marketing helps us remain at the cutting-edge, which is so important in the technology industry.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Aug. 2013 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Simple Machines Marketing provides digital marketing services. They initially developed a website and integrated it with HubSpot; now, they do SEO, content strategy, market research, and site maintenance.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Tim Schmitt
VP Sales & Marketing, Switchfast Technologies
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Simple Machines Marketing’s work has spurred first-page keyword rankings and lead generation. Their wide-ranging expertise, particularly in market research and HubSpot, supports a long-term engagement. The team is professional and organized.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the VP of sales and marketing at Switchfast Technologies. We provide outsourced IT consulting, strategy, and planning services to small-mid-sized firms in Chicago. I’m responsible for growing our company through sales, business development, and marketing of existing and new services and products.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Simple Machines Marketing?

Before working with Simple Machines Marketing, we didn’t have a marketing strategy or an in-house marketing team. Our goal was to develop a complete and professional marketing strategy with a budget and measurable goals that we could track and determine ROI from. In particular, we wanted to increase our inbound lead generation.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Since we began working with Simple Machines Marketing in 2013, our overall strategic goals have stayed the same, but the scope of their work has changed. In the beginning, they developed and designed our website. Now, they continue to maintain our site. They also do SEO on our website to make sure it ranks in organic searches on various platforms, such as Bing, Google, and Yahoo. They’ve targeted the keywords that we told them we wanted to optimize. Their team tracks the various metrics that impact our ROI, such as keyword rankings and different types of lead generation. They also integrated our site with HubSpot to monitor and automate our marketing activities.

They also provide market research. For instance, my company was interested in entering the managed securities service provider (MSSP) space because an increasing number of businesses are interested in these heightened levels of IT cybersecurity. However, we didn’t know much about this emerging market. Simple Machines Marketing used their analysis tools to compile comprehensive reports on the market and the best approach to entering it.

Simple Machines Marketing also manages our content strategy. They recommend topics and create engaging, relevant, and current content for our site’s blog. They often interview members of our team to collect information, and they have the copywriting and authoring skills to compile content. They either ghostwrite or write on our behalf, then publish the content on our blog. Besides website copy, they develop other marketing materials, such as flyers and tailored messaging. Simple Machines Marketing also helps us with event planning and webinars.

What is the team composition?

We usually work with 3–5 marketing team members, including a marketing director who is our primary contact. We don’t meet with the marketing director as often now, but we used to have weekly meetings to review performance and goals.

My team also works with several marketing strategists and analysts. A marketing specialist does all the website analytics and SEO work. We also engage with the content team.

How did you come to work with Simple Machines Marketing?

I’m not sure because Simple Machines Marketing began working with my company before I was hired, but I believe we had a previous business relationship that evolved into our current one.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent around $550,000. Our annual costs are around $30,000–$50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The collaboration began in August 2013, and it’s ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We consistently rank on the first page of Google for all of the keywords we’re most interested in. Their work has also increased both inbound and qualified sales leads.  

How did Simple Machines Marketing perform from a project management standpoint?

Simple Machines Marketing does very well in this area. They’re organized and professional. They use some type of project management tool.

What did you find most impressive about them?

When we need information, such as on a new market segment, Simple Machines Marketing does a great job collecting market research and delivering reports.

As a HubSpot enterprise, Simple Machines Marketing’s staff is certified in various areas of marketing and marketing automation. Their knowledge has been very useful, as they’ve helped us set up HubSpot and automate much of our marketing platform and program. Their team attends an annual HubSpot conference each year, and they always return with innovative ideas. Simple Machines Marketing helps us remain at the cutting-edge, which is so important in the technology industry.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Their higher-level strategy could be slightly improved. They’re great at planning the day-to-day, month-to-month, and even quarter-to-quarter. However, they don’t always plan year-to-year. When my team asks for it, they deliver, but I think there could be a little more structure in this area.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Marketing & Branding for Insurance & Risk Management Firm

“They’ve helped us to find our voice, setting design and verbiage standards across the whole company.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
May 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Simple Machines Marketing plays an important role in the marketing strategy for an insurance provider. They've created cohesive design and verbiage, write content, and find ways to boost site traffic.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
St. Charles, Illinois
Susan Oswalt
VP of Human Resources, IPMG
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

A site refresh and new language have had a major impact on leads. Simple Machines works quickly and stays connected. They understand the intricacies of the field and know how to communicate with a diverse audience.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

For over 20 years, IPMG has proven to be a committed partner to independent agents, brokers, and their clients. Building trust, delivering on promises, and achieving optimal results have placed IPMG in the very fortunate position of being a go-to resource for those who do business with us.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Simple Machines Marketing?

We wanted experts in marketing to help us with our marketing redesign, restructure, and strategy.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We wanted to achieve a cohesive message that reflected the voice of IPMG. Simple Machines Marketing helped us integrate all our services to provide uniformity and interconnectivity. They’re helping us improve our market visibility at trade shows, boosting our social media presence and helping with blog content and calendars.

What is the team composition?

Our initial point of contact operates almost like our creative director and VP of marketing. We also work with a few additional team members on a regular basis.

How did you come to work with Simple Machines Marketing?

A valued client referred them to us.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together around May 2014, and work is ongoing. We just launched a new website and are crafting our marketing plan for 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Their work on the website has had an impact. They’ve freshened and modernized the look and are assisting with proposals and presentation templates. They’ve helped us to find our voice, setting design and verbiage standards across the whole company.

How did Simple Machines Marketing perform from a project management standpoint?

They are incredibly timely. I have never had an issue with them, and they’re faster than we are ready for them. They provide comprehensive information and are great to work with. We have a weekly huddle where we speak on the phone for 15–30 minutes with the whole team. They prepare the agenda beforehand and cover everything we’re going to do in the coming week. Afterward, they follow up within minutes so that we always stay on track.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They really understand what we do. Insurance is hard to explain, but they connect to what we do and are able to discern the different communication methods we need for all of our services as well as for brokers, agents, and direct-to-client marketing.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. When our internal marketing person left us, they filled the gap and are now helping with the recruiting process to make sure we get the right person.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

They are fluid and flexible. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or give feedback. If they provide something you don’t like the first time, you can be honest and straightforward with them. They take the time to understand your needs.

5.0
Overall Score We’re lucky to work with them, and I’m thrilled by what they produce.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They stay ahead of schedule and never need reminders. They’re very timely.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We recently did a little bit of shopping in the industry to check comparable companies. Simple Machines is very well priced.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They always give us what we ask for and are very proactive in identifying areas of need.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I've already recommended them, and so has our company president.

Marketing Strategy & Branding for Osteopathic Education Association

"They listen very well and are very organized."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Mar. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Simple Machines Marketing was hired to provide market research and branding services to help inform the client's direction into the future.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Cleveland/Akron, Ohio
Erin Sernoffsky
Director of Communications, ACOEP
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client has seen a 25% increase in business from this time last year as a result of the work Simple Machines Marketing has provided. They have received a lot of very positive feedback from their clients regarding the direction the company is taking. They appreciate their ability to maintain a high standard of communication and organization.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the director of communications for the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians. It is a national member-based association providing educational and career opportunities for osteopathic emergency physicians, from medical school all the way through retirement. We are also able to offer educational credit to MDs [medical doctors].

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Simple Machines Marketing?

We were concerned that we would lose our members to other associations, so we looked for someone to help us with whatever we needed to get back on the right track. The industry was going through a change where osteopathic physicians were trained the same way MDs were trained. However, DOs [Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine] had an additional component to their training, which meant that our college is significantly smaller than MD colleges.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We hired Simple Machines to help with the big picture planning. Initially, they did a lot of investigation and market research for us. They helped shape and strengthen our messaging nationally and then branched out from there. They actually recommended a different direction than what we were planning to do. We took that to our board, but the board decided to keep going the direction we had planned. After listening to our concerns, Simple Machines went back to the drawing board and gave us something workable that made smart marketing sense. Also, we recently acquired a smaller college. We’ve been working on rebranding with Simple Machines. It’s been a long process, but they’ve remained professional and optimistic.

How did you come to work with Simple Machines Marketing?

We reached out to five or six companies in Chicago. What I liked about Simple Machines is that they’re a full-service firm. They can help us with graphic design, social media, and the website.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in March 2016, and the work is ongoing. Our relationship with Simple Machines has evolved a lot. We have really come to rely on Simple Machines, and I’d like to continue working with them indefinitely.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

A lot of their work has been around raising the profile of our conferences and helping us with advertising. For our spring seminar, we’re 25% over what we were this time last year. All of the feedback from our members has been overwhelmingly positive. We put out a magazine for each conference, and there’s been an incredible increase in the quality of that and the website. Their work is of high quality.

How did Simple Machines Marketing perform from a project management standpoint?

We work with Brittney, and she’s amazing. She keeps everything on track, which means there are no delays in their work. If they provide us with something that’s not quite what we want, they don’t hesitate to come up with something different. They listen very well and are very organized.

What did you find most impressive about Simple Machines Marketing?

If there’s something the board doesn’t like or needs to be changed, they don’t waste any time in finding something that will work, which I really appreciate. Last summer, we had five members of our staff leave and our biggest conference of the year was coming up. I was also getting ready to go on maternity leave. We would never have never gotten the project accomplished without them, much less on such a high level.

Are there any areas Simple Machines Marketing could improve?

None.

5.0
Overall Score They have made my job so much easier and satisfying.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Any delays have been on our end. They are usually ahead of schedule.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We have them on a retainer basis and they keep us updated as to where we are. It’s been worth every penny.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They have elevated everything that we have asked them to work on. All of our materials have been vastly improved, including the website.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I was talking to a colleague last week about how great they are.

Market Research & Web Design for Pool Service Company

"I have also gotten positive feedback on the design and navigation of the website."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Nov. 2010 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Simple Machines Marketing was hired to help the client with their marketing efforts. They first did market research and then developed a strategy with which to deploy an SEO campaign around.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Wheeling, Illinois
Pat Downes
Owner, AAA Pool Service
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client is considerably busier since they have begun working with the agency. They have received positive feedback on the redesign of the website and its improved navigation. They particularly appreciated the agency's ability to maintain good communication and the level of care that they put into the client's success.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the owner of AAA Pool Service, a swimming pool service company. We provide weekly service maintenance, seasonal work, major renovations, repairs, equipment installation, and anything else related to swimming pools.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Simple Machines Marketing?

My father and I are partners, and we don’t have any knowledge about marketing or websites. We tried doing it ourselves and using local people who were cheaper, but we weren’t getting results.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Simple Machines started out by doing research on my company and my competitors. They came up with a plan and made suggestions on what we should do and why we should do them. They also completely redesigned our website from start to finish. We had an idea of what we wanted the company to look like to others, but the way the website had been done by the previous developer wasn’t reflecting the image we were trying to portray. We worked closely with Simple Machines to describe our vision—what we do and who we want to be. From there, I gave them complete control over the process. The SEO part of the site was completely overhauled as well. Over the years, we’ve continued to change things about the website and advertising.

How did you come to work with Simple Machines Marketing?

I got a cold call one day. It was right when we were discussing the fact that we don’t know what we’re doing with advertising. Jill Wilson came in, talked with me, and sold me on their process. I believed that what they had to offer was what we needed.

How much have you invested with Simple Machines Marketing?

We spend $20,000 a year on their services.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in November 2010, and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

They send me reports on the metrics, but all I know is we’re a lot busier and the phone rings more often. I have also gotten positive feedback on the design and navigation of the website.

How did Simple Machines Marketing perform from a project management standpoint?

One of the things that I first liked about them was that they were prompt to return phone calls. We have a couple of in-person meetings every year, but mostly we’re communicating via email and phone.

What did you find most impressive about Simple Machines Marketing?

For a small company like us, we’re experts at what we do but that doesn’t mean we know everything about advertising. I really enjoy the fact that I’ve got two or three people regularly worrying about my business. It’s like having someone in the same office, but I’m not paying them what I would a full-time employee.

Are there any areas Simple Machines Marketing could improve?

No, they’ve met all my demands.

5.0
Overall Score Everything was great. We didn’t have any problems.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Punctuality is a big thing for them.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It seems expensive to me, but I don’t know if this is a going rate for other firms.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They’ve delivered everything I’ve asked them to do on time. They worked with me to come up with the best solution.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve already referred them to different people.

Marketing Development for Printing Company

"They were always very good at finding solutions."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
n/a
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jan. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Simple Machines helped the client improve their website and devise a complete marketing strategy to capture new vertical markets. 

The Reviewer
 
11-50
 
Chicago, IL
Jim Vozzella
Business Manager, Aloha Print Group
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client found it easy to work with Simple Machines and build a strong relationship with them. As a result of their efforts, the client's website has experienced more traffic, and the company has been able to diversify their business opportunities. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the business development manager. 

Aloha Print Group is a 15-year-old digital printer in Chicago. We do printing for business cards, marketing materials, banners, etc. We also attack vertical markets along with architecture printing, litigation, and e-discovery. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Simple Machines Marketing?

Aloha used to heavily rely on referrals, but they wanted to use a different strategy to grow. They hired Simple Machines to put together a marketing plan for both internet and other approaches.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

One of the vertical markets we wanted to attack was the hospitality industry. Simple Machines helped us with proper keywords and a layout that would give us higher success with email blasts and Google. Another example of Simple Machine's involvement was with our concierge stand collateral that they helped us build. This was created for guests of the hotel that couldn't fly with their marketing and print materials. So they would be able to get printing done quickly at Aloha. Simple Machines also reinvented our website from top to bottom and helped us usher in a name/identity that better defined our capabilities. 

How did you come to work with Simple Machines Marketing?

I was hired on after they were brought in.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Simple Machines at the beginning of 2015, and we continue to work with them.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Simple Machines was easy to work with and build relationships with. We have had an increase in responses from Google and Yelp reviews. There has been an array of business that we’ve been able to work with together. We’ve seen an increase in traffic on the website and have received positive feedback from the users.

How did Simple Machines Marketing perform from a project management standpoint?

I thought they did a great job. I worked with 4 to 5 different people from their team who were extremely responsive.

What did you find most impressive about Simple Machines Marketing?

They were always very good at finding solutions and had different options if an issue came up.

Are there any areas Simple Machines Marketing could improve?

I enjoyed everything about working with them.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • N/A Cost
    Value / within estimates
    [I don’t have the information to be able to rate that.]
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Their service was great. They were always responsive. I saw a higher rate of response just off Google and Yelp.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

SEO Campaign for Printing Company

"They’re very responsive and open to hearing my feedback."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Feb. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Simple Machines Marketing was hired to develop an SEO campaign.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Lori Nelson
VP of Marketing and BD, BFC
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client has seen increased activity on its website since partnering with the agency. They are also seeing visitors staying on the site longer than they had been previously. They appreciate that the agency is responsive and open to feedback.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the vice president of marketing and business development of a mid-sized printing company. We provide printing and mailing services along with the technology to manage and implement printing.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Simple Machines Marketing?

We needed an agency that could help us with digital marketing and other marketing plans. These are meant to increase awareness and hopefully drive new opportunities to our company.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Simple Machines Marketing updated our website and made it SEO-friendly. They have written and developed content for us. They’ve also cross-posted blogs. In order to make us rank higher on Google pages, they have posted us on numerous sites for referral. They have recommended and implemented PPC Google campaigns as well as LinkedIn and Facebook ads.

In the beginning, we met and I provided them with examples of material that I liked for our content. We brainstormed 6 to 8 topics because they weren’t familiar with our business. As they become more familiar with us, they’re generating content on their own. I review content before it’s posted.

How did you come to work with Simple Machines Marketing?

I was searching for agencies online and found them. I called Jill Wilson, the president, and explained who we are and what we’re trying to do. She seemed to be very approachable and willing to help us where we needed it. I decided to meet and interview them. I felt very comfortable with her and her team.

How much have you invested with Simple Machines Marketing?

That is confidential.

What is the status of this engagement?

We are currently working with them.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Customers are able to find us now, so we’ve seen increased activity on our website. People are also staying on the website longer. We’ve been doing inbound marketing efforts since April and just in the last month we’ve seen an uptake in inbound marketing. We’ve seen increased calls requesting information that we were not receiving before. For example, we’ve received 2 new clients since April.

How did Simple Machines Marketing perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re very responsive and open to hearing my feedback. They’re easy to talk to. I requested that I have a summary report instead of all the reports I was getting, and they accommodated that request.

Are there any areas Simple Machines Marketing could improve?

I am more familiar with traditional marketing and I would say their strengths are more in digital marketing and execution rather than traditional marketing and strategy. Other than that, I don’t have any complaints and we plan to continue working with them. 

4.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    The majority of the time, they meet deadlines.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They were competitive in most areas and haven’t charged more than what their estimate was. When I look at the ROI, we still have a way to go on opportunities, but that’s starting to change.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I think they do a good job and they’re very responsive.
  • 4.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    It depends on what that person is looking for in an agency.

Web Development for Construction Company

"Simple Machines is extremely knowledgeable about their products and services they provide."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
Oct. 2018
Project summary: 

Simple Machines Marketing updated an existing website. Their team hosted the site and optimized the website for mobile.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
St. Charles, Illinois
Marketing Manager, Construction Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The website garnered positive attention from customers. Traffic and leads benefitted from Simple Machines Marketing’s user-friendly design work. Their communicative team demonstrated skilled expertise.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I’m the marketing and sales manager at a full-service design and build room addition company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Simple Machines Marketing?

We hired Simple Machines to update our website.

What were your goals for this project?

We needed a modernized site.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

Simple Machines was referred to us.

Describe the project and the services they provided in detail.

Simple Machines designed and hosted a website for our business. Their team made the site mobile-friendly.

What was the team composition?

I worked with a team of four.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any information that demonstrates the impact that this project has had on your business?

We’ve received positive feedback from existing and new customers. As a result of the updated website, traffic and lead generation has increased.

How was project management arranged and how effective was it?

We communicated through phone calls and email. Effective communication benefitted the engagement greatly.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

Simple Machines is extremely knowledgeable about their products and services they provide. Their team was clear about how their work could benefit our business.

Are there any areas for improvement?

There are none that I can think of.

5.0
Overall Score Simple Machines Marketing delivered a fantastic website.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    All meetings were scheduled and carried out as planned.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They came in under budget.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We were pleased with the results.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer