Project Description

Case Study

Using careful, measured execution to create sustained channel growth

The best marketing channels are those that turn into assets that appreciate in value over time. Case in point: Chicago Methodist Senior Services (CMSS).

Tasked with finding an efficient way to ramp up CMSS’ lead generation efforts, Simple Machines’ research showed substantial potential in organic search. When CMSS staff reported receiving “only about 10-20 inquiries a year” from the website, Simple Machines recommended shifting its regular expenditure in online directories to a comprehensive SEM campaign, combining content-based organic SEO with a modest investment in Google AdWords and Bing AdCenter for pay-per-click search advertising.

“It helped so much to get our results focused into regular reports. We were able to see what was working and make our efforts more productive over time.” – Karoline Hutson, Marketing Communications Specialist

In the remainder of the campaign’s first calendar year, CMSS received 125 business inquiries organization-wide, a number that would continue to grow with time. By keeping up with changing industry trends and using data to optimize conversion rates, CMSS’ website was on pace to beat its projected goal of 270 inquiries in year four – an increase of no less than 1700% from before the campaign began.

Having developed a reliable online presence for lead generation, CMSS has since begun to leverage its online presence for branding and public relations, using Simple Machines to expand its capacity in social media and to develop meaningful relationships with local and national thought leaders online. The resulting increase in brand awareness is expected to bolster marketing efforts across several channels going forward.

“When we started [with Simple Machines], we were really thinking about how to get noticed by those who needed us, but the website has become much more than that – we’re finding new ways to use our online presence to fulfill our mission every day.” – Karoline Hutson, Marketing Communications Specialist

Client Profile

For over 100 years, Chicago Methodist Senior Services (CMSS) has been working to improve and enhance the quality of life for older adults by empowering them to live with dignity and respect. CMSS offers a flexible array of services for the changing needs of its clientele, from community wellness projects to state-of-the-art residential facilities.


With a robust and productive business development operation responsible for the lion’s share of the its lead generation, Chicago Methodist Senior Services’ (CMSS) marketing team was under pressure to get more out of its other marketing expenditures. Efforts to leverage paid industry directories and lead suppliers were proving ineffective and difficult to measure, so CMSS turned to Simple Machines to generate some fresh ideas and renewed focus.


Simple Machines designed a new website using industry best practices for search and conversion optimization. Simple Machines then designed and executed a comprehensive SEM campaign blending a content-based SEO campaign with a test of several paid search platforms. As the SEO process gained steam, Simple Machines measured the results of the paid channels, eliminating the ineffective ones and bolstering and improving the ones that worked.