Sell more stuff with Symbiont

In a world where sales and marketing work together, you make more money. 

Symbiont Group is a B2B sales and marketing agency that helps companies engage their target customers, generate quality leads and close more deals. 

At Symbiont, sales and marketing combine to form one super team. They communicate. They work together. They help achieve your objectives (like selling more stuff).

 
$10,000+
 
Undisclosed
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2014
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • Symbiont Group
    175 N Franklin St, Suite 401
    Chicago, IL 60606
    United States
    312.757.5066

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Barnsco, Czarnowksi, CultureFactors, EAL Mfrg, Fruition Partners, Sasser Family Holdings, SW Anderson, Union Leasing

S.W. Anderson - Website Redesign

Czarnowski website redesign

We worked with Czarnowski’s internal marketing team to establish
their marketing objectives: increase awareness of Czarnowski’s fullservice
capabilities and expansive industry knowledge. With the objectives defined, we identified key marketing activities to support their
achievement.

Once the marketing strategy was in place, we developed a corresponding
content strategy. This included defining the buyer journey, developing
buyer personas and conducting a content audit—which was used to
pinpoint and fill existing content gaps.

We also performed a detailed keyword audit to determine which long-tail
keywords would improve SEO. Those keywords were incorporated into
targeted content designed to pull prospects thorough the sales funnel by
displaying Czarnowski’s creative philosophy, demonstrating their multi- industry experience and promoting their core capabilities.

The content was organized into a content...

reologie website redesign

With the foundational elements in place, we developed a site structure that balanced the users’ desires with Reologie’s needs. Each page was carefully designed to support the website’s overall goal: validate Reologie’s breadth and depth of experience.

 

 

To showcase Reologie’s expertise, we created interactive infographics to incorporate throughout the site. We also designed an interactive map listing all of Reologie’s commercial real estate transactions to demonstrate their large footprint throughout the U.S.

reologie collateral

We worked with Reologie to put their brand house in order. This included developing a new logo, evolving their visual brand identity and shaping their tone of voice. The design components we created were also incorporated into Reologie’s offline collateral, including advertisements, stationary and business cards. 

Reviews

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Digital Marketing Campaign for Construction Materials Company

"They bring a sense of truthfulness, objectivity, and pragmatism to the digital marketing concept."

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

Symbiont Group provides ongoing digital marketing strategy expertise and content creation. Their activities include analyzing customer personas, campaign planning, consultation, etc.

The Reviewer
 
51- 200 Employees
 
Dallas, Texas
Marcus Miller
VP, Barnsco Inc.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Symbiont Group’s first campaign generated a lot of activity by using Twitter at an annual trade show. They also created a content library and a template-like approach for each campaign, which saves time. The team is transparent, communicative, and they invest time in getting to know the company.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the vice president of Barnsco Inc. We are a distributor of concrete-related construction materials to sub and general contractors.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Symbiont Group?

We’ve struggled with the concept of marketing for 33 years and have had a very good experience with an outside sales force over that time span. We are seeing some changing trends in our industry, and our goal was to really give digital marketing a fair shot.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We initially took a more pragmatic approach to developing our digital marketing program and department in general. Our objective, to begin with, was to understand digital marketing and find resources that could help us in our education quest before actually deciding to implement any campaign.

At the moment, we have in-house resources, but also use Symbiont for content creation and to further develop the strategy around our campaigns, personas, and customers. I’m involved in the process, but there are other people in our staff working with Symbiont Group directly. They will be kicking off our first actual campaign put together by Symbiont for our Austin location.

Deliverables are in the form of customer personas and a better understanding of the buying process and its different stages. Our content is also made for external media like billboards, radio spots, and so on. Symbiont is helping us define scripts and providing consultation on these.

With our in-house people, Symbiont’s main strategy is to come up with a planned campaign and the evolution of it. They are focusing on the cadence and tone of our messages, and so on. They’re also helping define what our material looks like to a substantially greater extent than what we’re providing them.

How did you come to work with Symbiont Group?

Insite Software is the commerce platform we use. One of their account reps had contact with Symbiont and referred them to us. When we had our initial interviews, the thing which really sold me on Symbiont as a group was the relational side of their business — they weren’t pushy and knew that we had more of a long-term strategy. They bring a sense of truthfulness, objectivity, and pragmatism to the digital marketing concept. Also, they didn’t seem like they were just trying to line their pockets.

How much have you invested with Symbiont Group?

The cost of their work has been between $35,000–$50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Symbiont Group in November 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Two things really stick out to me: the educational focus of their staff (Symbiont has grown tremendously in a short period of time) and the content itself. Having a content library of reusable resources was a great advantage. We had nothing, to begin with, but in a short period of time, we had a fairly substantial library of things to pull from. The repeatable process which Symbiont is helping us develop from campaign to campaign is the most applicable thing.

We’ve only done one campaign with Symbiont so far, and are rolling out another one this month. For the first one, we weren’t very good and Symbiont helped us a lot through it. It was a campaign related to a trade show which we attend every year. Our industry is pretty old school and there isn’t a lot of emphasis on technology — or at least I thought so. What we learned was that Twitter was a substantial channel for that trade show. The amount of activity, visits, and hits we saw from Twitter on that particular campaign was greater than I could’ve imagined.

How did Symbiont Group perform from a project management standpoint?

Mandy Lewis, their head of client services, is very open to sharing information about where we are in the process, what the expenditure is, and so on. Our other contact acts very much the same way. We haven’t had a single problem meeting deadlines or sticking to the budget.

What did you find most impressive about Symbiont Group?

The other marketing company we’re using has gone through several transitions since we’ve been with them, and they’ve come to realize that their focus should really be in developing the platform they have from a tech perspective. We didn’t have a bad experience, but they simply passed us to Symbiont. The thing which really sets Symbiont apart for me is the long-term partnership concept, which I assume is something that other companies are looking for as well.

The thoughtfulness that was put into our business is astounding as well. Symbiont really took the time to get involved with our personnel, the sales staff, and the key leadership. They bring in objectiveness to our business and help us understand how the digital marketing concept fits in.

Are there any areas Symbiont Group could improve?

There’s something that every company or person could do to improve, but I can’t think of anything for Symbiont. It may be contradictory to what I’ve been saying, but I don’t think that they’re good at selling their services. They’re excellent in terms of performance, but they shy away when it comes to selling additional services. A customer like us, which is looking for a long-term partnership, will want to be sold everything there is to offer.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It’s hard to be objective here. Symbiont is a little on the expensive side.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Content Creation & SEO for Event Company

"They [Symbiont Group] do great, are very organized, and always show up on time."

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

Symbiont Group was hired to do web development, design, and content creation.

The Reviewer
 
500-1000 employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Dillon Nagle
Director of Marketing at Czarnowski
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Due to Symbiont Group's work, the client's website bounce rate has decreased significantly. The client felt that Symbiont Group did a great job with project management and were always very organized.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Czarnowski is an exhibit and event company. We design, engineer, build, fabricate, install, and set up events and exhibits for primarily B2B [business-to-business] companies. I am the Director of Marketing.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Symbiont Group?

A whole bunch of stuff. It was mainly to build the brand of Czarnowski from a digital perspective.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We’re a pretty decentralized company. Not only did they help us with our identity and make our online presence look good, but they helped define our identity to our target audience.

They started with content analysis and creation. They help with front-end design, back-end development, analytics, writing - pretty much everything. The content is built into our four primary channels: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and they’ve helped a lot with YouTube. They cleaned our YouTube channel up a lot, organized it, and gave it a lot of structure.

With regard to content creation, they do a few things. We get at least one post a month minimum on the blog. We’ve had a couple of landing pages and guides or thought leadership pieces that they helped develop. Those usually end up on LinkedIn. Since we have been doing trade shows and events lately, I’ve been asking that they help with live tweeting during the events. That’s been really helpful. We did the keyword research with them and reviewed the branded versus non-branded terms.

How did you come to work with Symbiont Group?

They are friends of the digital community. We are a family owned company and therein value companies with a family culture. I met Mandy, Davin, and JBB, and they’re pretty amazing people. They’re good people to know in the digital world.

How much have you invested with Symbiont Group?

The relationship has cost over $200,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The engagement is ongoing. This is now our third year together.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our bounce rate decreased pretty significantly. One of the issues I had when we first started with them is that we didn’t have a lot of content, good design, or functioning navigation. They were able to approach those at the same time.

How did Symbiont Group perform from a project management standpoint?

They [Symbiont Group] do great, are very organized, and always show up on time. Every time I need an Excel sheet to explain something, they’re happy to do it. They’re well-balanced and I like their discipline.

What did you find most impressive about Symbiont Group?

I wouldn’t work or pay anybody if they weren’t willing to be severely challenged. I’m a pretty nice guy and we’re pretty easy-going, but we’re extremely demanding. They do a good job as far as that’s concerned. I’m pretty proud of them.

Are there any areas Symbiont Group could improve?

No. When I met them it was three people. Now they’re up to seven or something. They’ve really evolved since they hired the first guy. I’ve seen the way that team has grown up, and even one of my team members has kind of grown up with them. It’s a truly symbiotic relationship.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    For better or worse, I’ve forced them to be as flexible as I need to be.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We demand an insane amount of quality at our job regarding architectural fit and finance and pretty much everything else we do.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Digital Strategy for Holdings Firm

"They’re very focused on project management, technology, and processes, but haven’t forgotten the human side of any of it."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

Symbiont Group created an inside sales program that will contribute to the corporate marketing, sales, and technology of the company. They recognized opportunities that might lead to a more efficient workflow.

The Reviewer
 
501-1000 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Kelly Pronek
Senior Director of Marketing, Sasser Family Holdings
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Symbiont Group was innovative and detailed in its project management, training, and implementation. It provided work efficiency to both external and internal sales representatives, leading to a positive response from the client.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I work for Sasser Family Holdings. We are a family owned holding company in the Chicago area. Our core businesses are in transportation asset services and management. That includes fleet and rail. We’ve been in business since 1928. I am the Senior Director of Corporate Communications and Marketing.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Symbiont Group?

Our holding company is about five years old. One of the challenges we were facing was the connectedness between corporate marketing, business unit marketing, sales, and technology. That’s what sparked our conversations with Symbiont. It led to an opportunity for us to develop an inside sales program within one of our business units that showed how those different pieces worked together.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They analyzed the industry and built an inside sales program, and tested it as well, which included testing lead nurturing. When we hired someone as an inside sales manager, they trained him and handed off that program.

We did a smaller project with them which was building out governance models. We didn’t have a way for new people to understand what the rules were and where the boundaries were for business unit marketing versus corporate marketing versus sales.

They recognized additional opportunities with us so they’ll be coming in and doing a Sales 101. We’d like to standardize their great work across our other businesses where it can benefit. Our next two projects are going to be a repeat of what we did in the commercial automotive leasing business.

How did you come to work with Symbiont Group?

We were introduced to them by a company in Chicago we were working with.

How much have you invested with Symbiont Group?

The relationship was between $50,000 and $200,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

It’s ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

When they were testing the inside sales program, they proved that having an inside sales department and telephone or email based lead nurturing marketing efforts are beneficial through the number of leads they got us. Our sales cycle in that business is fairly long and can be up to 18 months. Being able to fill that pipeline is crucial for us. It allows our outside sales team to spend more time in front of a potential client and less time on the phone. They got a handful of leads that are in the sweet spot of the customer size that we target. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it's pretty significant as it equates to revenue.

How did Symbiont Group perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re fantastic and very meticulous. One of the beautiful things about them is that they will push to make sure you’re staying on your own deadlines. It’s not obnoxious. It keeps you focused on the task at hand and makes sure you’re getting what you pay for. They’re focused on delivering that value.

What did you find most impressive about Symbiont Group?

They are experienced professionals. I can’t say enough about the types of relationships they’ve built within our organization - leveraging that experience to make impactful change. They’re fantastic. They’re very focused on project management, technology, and processes, but haven’t forgotten the human side of any of it.

Are there any areas Symbiont Group could improve?

I’ve gotten to know them fairly well. I don’t have any recommendations except I hope they continue to have success and grow, and that they should continue to be consistent in the types of folks that they hire. They have a great team right now.

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 Campaign for Hardware Company

"What distinguishes them is they're not difficult to deal with. They're very flexible."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

Symbiont Group reviewed and improvised marketing campaigns by identifying potential marketing platforms and opportunities. They assisted in improving the company’s insignia, layout, and verbiage.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
Jim Degnan
President, SW Anderson
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Customers gained increased product awareness. As the marketing team, Symbiont Group has helped the client learn more about marketing. They were flexible and can manage their part very well.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

SW Anderson is an industrial distributor with components for the OEM [original equipment manufacturer] market.

What is your position?

I am the president.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Symbiont Group?

We needed to update our marketing strategy, our marketing literature, and develop a marketing campaign expertise.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

They did a full review of our approach to market. Then, they developed a strategy to approach target prospects and existing customers with product marketing campaigns or market segment campaigns. They helped us develop the artwork, layout, and verbiage and the campaign management within our ERP [enterprise resource planning] system called NetSuite. We're working on our third and fourth campaigns now. The social media work will be potentially next. We identified where the opportunities were in our marketplace. They refined our message. They took time to understand what the opportunity was so we could deliver the right message to them.

How did you come to work with Symbiont Group?

One of my previous business associates had done some work with Symbiont Group and highly recommended them. We had meetings with them and went through their approach. We did a smaller project first and were very happy with the results, and then we signed up for the larger project.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

It's a six-figure engagement. We're spending more than $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

It's ongoing. We signed a retainer for 12 months. It includes multiple initiatives – five email marketing campaigns and brand-specific projects.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

There's a lot of feedback from the organization and customers on the marketing campaigns. We didn't have a history of outbound marketing, so we're starting from scratch. We have noticed an improvement in our customers' awareness of the products and services we provide. Much of the feedback we are getting in our phone campaign is, "I didn't know you carried that." We know it's had an impact on the awareness. The assumption is that it will improve our opportunities to grow the business. We have a long sales cycle, so we haven't seen an immediate uplift.

How did Symbiont Group perform from a project management standpoint?

It's pretty tight. Part of the challenge we have is we don't have a marketing department, so they work as our marketing department. I wanted them to act like an internal department. Some of their challenges involved bringing up the level of marketing awareness with other departments who haven't dealt with marketing departments before. They were managing their part very well.

What distinguishes Symbiont Group from other providers?

They have a lot of experience, and they interface with us very well. They're patient with pulling us through the learning curve of marketing activities. We've enjoyed working with them and are picking up a lot from them. What distinguishes them is they're not difficult to deal with. They're very flexible. They're a good company to work with.

Is there anything Symbiont Group could have improved or done differently?

No – nothing comes to mind.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    It comes back to helping us communicate with our internal departments and managing them. That's not a typical engagement requirement I would imagine, so we're unique in that we didn't have any marketing experience before. That has changed significantly.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    [We have received] a lot of positive feedback on their work internally and from customers.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I'll give them a thumbs-up to anyone who asks.