Chicago Innovation in Marketing and Social Media

Posted by Mike Dwyer on November 13, 2008

Innovation from New York and Los Angeles? Sure, but what about Chicago? In the past two years there have been several emerging social media and cutting edge consumer marketing agencies based in the Windy City.Chicago has a multitude of CPG and large B2B companies looking to have more individualized conversations with their consumer. All of the buzz around social media of course is being driven by the consumer. People are looking to each other as trusted sources to help them make wise, lasting purchasing decisions. This is reflected in the agencies sprouting up across the US including Chicago to help connect the company and consumer.

The Zocalo Group is the only “word-of-mouth” marketing agency in the Omnicom family, and they have built their headquarters right here in downtown Chicago. ZG is creating online communities, initiating blogger relations, and designing conversational messaging for a multitude of blue chip brands.

Let’s swing from full service WOM agencies like Zocalo to a more specific online consumer community company like Viewpoints builds communities and motivates “social influencers” to share their experiences online by writing reviews, postings blogs, and participating in forums.The company was started by a relatively well known entrepreneur by the name of Matt Moog, who previously worked as the CEO of

Finally, even though we hear and see a lot about “social media”, I rarely see “socially conscious” campaigns. A very interesting new company located here in Chicago called is enabling consumers, employees, citizens, activists, and parents to enact change through social media. It’s an amazing concept that will change the face of social organization, and would certainly have been an advantage for Barack Obama back when he was a community organizer.

You might be asking yourself?What does this mean to me as a Marketer? Well, everything. All three organizations advocate and promote online communities. Thus as the consumer continues to rely on each other for TRUSTED information concerning their buying decisions, community will play a growing and very important role.

Keeping apprised of what is going on in your local marketing community is an easy and tangible way to be ahead of the 1000mph train called the social media rollercoaster, and you don’t have to be on the left or right coast to appreciate it.

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