*inspired interactive

Sparkfactor is a boutique advertising design and production firm located in Chicago. We have made a name for ourselves as an agency promoting Chicago businesses large and small, while also working with national brands. We create strategies to optimize a company’s marketing program. Utilizing web, print, video, email, social, content, photography, and inbound, we create messaging and materials that get noticed and connect with consumers. To keep ROI a priority and campaign engagement trending up, we are constantly measuring and tracking campaign progress. To see how we can work together, visit us at sparkfactor.com, or send us a note at [email protected]

 

 
$10,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
1996
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • 943 W. Randolph Street
    Chicago, IL 60607
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Siemens

BioTissue

Prevent Blindness

Special Olympics Illinois

Beechworth Windows

Fidelity Title

On Devon Neighborhood Branding and Ad Campaign Image

On Devon Neighborhood Branding and Ad Campaign

Devon Avenue, located in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, was looking to promote the diverse area and its local businesses. We started by interviewing business owners and collecting data via a survey to get to know the neighborhood, its residents, and local business owners better. The area is affectionately known throughout the city as Little India, for all the Indian restaurants and clothing stores on Devon.

We wanted to play on the well-known aspects of the area, while also letting the audience know that there was much more than meets the eye. We created an identity around the phrase OnDevon and the tagline, “Down the Street and Around the World.” 

The focus of the ad campaign was to showcase the businesses in the area. We spent a day photographing business owners, employees, and others in the various shops along Devon and Western to visually communicate the warmth of the neighborhood and the various cultures represented.

We created a logo and identity for OnDevon along with brand guidelines for the campaign. The guidelines include colors we used for the logo and ads, the correct spacing for various elements in the ads, and a little background on why the guidelines were created and are important. We created print ads, social media ads, and street pole banners. To get more information on us, click here

First Financial Credit Union Branding and Ad Campaign Image

First Financial Credit Union Branding and Ad Campaign

We partnered with First Financial Credit Union to update their brand by revising their logo and creating a brand guidelines document. We then redesigned their website. They were looking to drive new membership. We created print, web and billboard ads foor the campaign. We then managed their geofenced digital campaing, ran billboards and print ads in local newspapers, along with creating an instore video for their anniversary. To learn more, click here

Bio-Tissue Digital Marketing, Email Marketing, Monthly Campaigns and Infographics

Sparkfactor and Bio-Tissue work together to manage their monthly digital marketing and yearly special projects. We would post approximately 3 blog articles per month with corresponding landing pages for lead generation, create a monthly email, do quarterly infographics for download. We also work on their website, video, brochure and national sales meetings. To learn more about Sparkfactor - click here

Reviews

Sort by

Web Maintenance & Email Marketing for Fragrance Company

"Sparkfactor has been instrumental in helping us continue to grow our business."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
2004 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sparkfactor has maintained an ecommerce website over a 13-year engagement, providing upgrades and mobile accessibility updates.  The team also assists with email marketing, for provide 4 e-blasts per month.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
President, Fragrance Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Since the engagement began, online sales have increased without requiring a major focus. Open rates and email conversions are also satisfactory. Sparkfactor performs very well in project management and plans in advance for e-blasts. 

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a manufacturer and seller of fragrance products. I’ve been the president of the company for the last 15 years. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sparkfactor?

We first engaged Sparkfactor around 10–15 years ago, so I don’t remember the exact need. Over the years, they’ve done a number of different things. We had opened a website for which we needed help. We were new at ecommerce, and we wanted to have an online store. We also have an internal phone system they monitor for us. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The website was already functional when our engagement began, and Sparkfactor has been taking care of the maintenance. They’ve done various upgrades to our site, including a mobile accessibility update. They also help us collect transactional data on the site and have grown into assisting us with some marketing as well. They do some graphic updates and post weekly specials for us.

Sparkfactor also provides our email marketing, sending out e-blasts 4 times a month. We create the content, and they do the programming, development, and the creative work for it. We give them the promotion and copy materials, and they create it visually. They also handle our Google Analytics.

How did you come to work with Sparkfactor?

One of the partners at Sparkfactor was also our accountant. We had previously worked with a different agency, but we were dissatisfied with their service. We were looking for someone who knew more than we did about our own systems.

How much have you invested with Sparkfactor?

We probably spend between $30,000 and $40,000 a year with them.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our partnership began around 2004, and the relationship is ongoing. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We do not aggressively grow our online business because we sell to people who have websites. Sparkfactor has been instrumental in helping us continue to grow our business without interfering with those customers. Our online sales have continued to grow quarterly. It’s not our main market, as we deal mostly in mass merchandising. However, in the time that we’ve been with Sparkfactor, we have increased our online sales quite a bit.

We have access to information about our open rates and conversions for the email marketing, and we meet quarterly to review that. We’re satisfied with the numbers we’re seeing in this area. We’re completely satisfied with what Sparkfactor is doing and the level of achievement. Before we had Sparkfactor, we weren’t getting enough from our vendor. When we got Sparkfactor, however, we were satisfied with the level of service and cooperation.

How did Sparkfactor perform from a project management standpoint?

They perform very well. We are satisfied with the level of their production for us. They have met every expectation that we had. Last year, we were more ahead of the ballgame. About 6 months in advance, we started planning the e-blasts and everything. This year, we’re working more month-to-month. Generally, that’s on my end. Sparkfactor produces their work in a timely manner, and they’ve hit all the deadlines. We haven’t had any issues. We use email and phone calls to communicate.

What did you find most impressive about Sparkfactor?

They provide us with excellent service, and we’re happy month-to-month. We don’t have many things to compare to otherwise.

They do offer us services that we decline from time to time. They’re more full-service than our total requirements. It’s not that we don’t like what they’re offering us; it’s that we don’t find a need for various services they provide. They are proactive and are constantly telling us about projects they’re accomplishing for customers. We’re satisfied, and we’re not looking around. We’ve got our nose to the grindstone, and they’re doing what we want them to do.

Are there any areas Sparkfactor could improve?

There’s a comfort level with the success we’ve been receiving, so a lot of the creative work tends to fall into a similar pattern. If you’re doing something well, you don’t necessarily want to shy away from it too far. However, I think sometimes we do struggle a bit with getting outside of that creative box and finding new content and ideas. 

5.0
Overall Score Everything is fine.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I create the deadlines, and they stick to them, but they don’t create a proactive deadline.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I don’t give anyone a 5 unless they’re perfect. That’s an exceptionally good rating, as far as I’m concerned.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’m sure I’ve recommended them to a number of people over the years.

Development and Marketing for Optical Biotechnology Company

“…they are always looking for ways to help us with other projects.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sparkfactor was hired to help better utilize HubSpot’s functionality, developing and utilizing the backend tools the CRM offered as well as integrating email and blogging functions. 

The Reviewer
 
50-200 Employees
 
Miami Metro Area
Director of Marketing Communications, Optical Biotechnology Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

As a result of Sparkfactor’s work, organic searches, page views, and social media hits are all growing steadily. Sparkfactor adhered to budgetary guidelines and provided industry insight that helped the company.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We're a biotechnology company that makes healing contact lenses for ocular surface conditions and disease as well as a lid cleanser product for lid hygiene and lid margin diseases. I'm the marketing and communications director.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sparkfactor?

We brought HubSpot into our marketing communications initiatives, and we were inexperienced in operating the backend and wanted to make sure that we were using it appropriately. We brought Sparkfactor on board to help us with developing and utilizing the various tools, including blogging and emailing capabilities. They have also helped us with a number of things in terms of our communications and educational efforts.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The primary goal in engaging Sparkfactor was for them to help us implement the backend of HubSpot.

How did you come to work with Sparkfactor?

We had a personal relationship with Sparkfactor's CEO, George Lowe, because several people from our team had worked with him at previous companies.

How much have you invested with Sparkfactor?

We have a retainer for management through the year [2016] at $3,000 a month. During the course of our relationship, we've spent $50,000 to $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We've been working with Sparkfactor for two years, and we have an ongoing working relationship.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Some of our goals were to increase organic search, number of page views, and number of social media hits, and all of those are growing steadily.

How did Sparkfactor perform from a project management standpoint?

They complete their assignments on time and on budget.

What did you find most impressive about Sparkfactor?

We had trust in them because of working with them on other projects previously.

Are there any areas Sparkfactor could improve?

Something positive is that they are always looking for ways to help us with other projects.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    If there's been a missed deadline, it's been because of our team.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    If we go beyond the scope of our retainer, we ask for an estimate, and they stay within the estimate.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Website Development for Member-based Nonprofit

"We love the website. They listened to our input and ran with it."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Feb. 2016 - Oct. 2016
Project summary: 

Sparkfactor developed a new website for a nonprofit using HTML, integrating data from an existing website and their CRM. 

The Reviewer
 
Small Nonprofit
 
Chicago, Illinois
Marketing and Events Manager, Member-based Nonprofit
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The feedback received from members has been strong, noting the site’s easy to use features. Sparkfactor displayed strong project management skills, emphasizing contact with their client. 

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We're a nonprofit organization that does community development. We work with business owners and are membership-based. We organize several events throughout the year. I am the marketing and events manager.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sparkfactor?

We had a website that was not fulfilling our needs, so we needed a new website.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The website was done in HTML. They met with us several times to see what our goals were, who the audience was, and what the needs of the website were. Because we're member-based and work with business owners, we also needed a very strong component for our members. We had a contract with a CRM [customer relationship management] software company, and they needed to get the ChamberMaster into our website. They were able to do everything seamlessly. We are very happy. They did both the front-end and the backend.

How did you come to work with Sparkfactor?

We had an RFP [request for proposal] out, and theirs was the most competitive. We had worked with them in the past for branding for a commercial corridor. The person who was working on that project was very happy with the content and the results.

How much have you invested with Sparkfactor?

The project was $10,000 to $50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project started in February 2016 and ended in October 2016. Anytime I have questions about updating the website or SEO [search engine optimization], I email my contact, and she responds promptly.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I don't have any metrics since it's been less than a month since we launched it. We had an event to unveil the site and the ChamberMaster for our members. Many of them are very happy about how easy it is to enter information and how great it looks. So far, we have had really good feedback.

How did Sparkfactor perform from a project management standpoint?

They were great. My contact kept me on track. We met several times, and she was always available for questions and concerns. It took longer than we thought it would because we didn't realize how content heavy our website was.

What did you find most impressive about Sparkfactor?

They had experience working with ChamberMaster, so that was a plus. We had visited other sites they created, and we liked many of them. We had also made phone calls to other people who used them to see how easy they were to work with. All of those things came together to make them a great choice.

Are there any areas Sparkfactor could improve?

I don't have anything to compare it to. They did the best they could with the help we had.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Trying to get all the content and images together was a longer process than we expected. That was a combination of both them and us.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We're very happy with the results.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We love the website. They listened to our input and ran with it.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    A couple of people have called us, and we have referred them.