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5 Best Digital Marketing Agencies in the Chicago Suburbs (Illinois)

March 12th, 2024 | 3 min. read

By Kim Kovelle

The city of Chicago is teeming with digital marketing agencies. If you’re located elsewhere in Chicagoland, though, it’s worth considering an option in your neck of the suburban woods. Especially if you’re a hyper-local small- or mid-sized business.

But with 83 suburbs spanning 11 Illinois counties, where do you start? Which agency will meet your needs and your budget? Whittling the choices down to a handful is challenging.

I admit my head was spinning when I started my research, too. Why, you may ask, am I — the content manager of an agency that serves Chicagoland — writing about other agencies? It’s simple: Like any agency, I know Zoe Marketing & Communications isn’t for everyone. You should know your alternatives (including 9 agencies in Chicago proper, too).

In this blog, you’ll find three key things: 

  • The perks of a suburban Chicago agency
  • What went into making this list
  • 5 best marketing agencies in the Chicago suburbs

I want you to feel empowered about your other options when making this big decision. Consider it a solid jumping-off point to discovering the best digital marketing company for your needs.

The perks of a suburban Chicago agency

Choosing a Chicagoland digital marketing agency has some specific benefits worth considering:

  • Local market insights: They’re deeply connected to customers in your area. This is a boon if your target audience lives in the Chicago suburbs.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Operating outside the urban core can translate into lower overhead costs for agencies. These could be passed onto you.
  • Access: Geographic proximity can mean better in-person collaboration.

A row of five stars; the middle one is yellow

What went into making this list

Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive. To select these five agencies, though, I honed in on:

  • A healthy variety of services and locations
  • Quality credentials, affiliations, awards and client feedback
  • A focus on small- or mid-sized businesses (or both)
  • Easy-to-navigate websites that let you review your services and put you first

5 best marketing agencies in the Chicago suburbs

Here are five exceptional choices to consider. They’re listed in alphabetical order, so order doesn’t imply ranking.

1. Blackbird Digital (Naperville)Blackbird Digital logo

Blackbird Digital — formerly — is veteran-owned-and-operated. In its rebrand, I noticed it now has a bolder look and focus on being “renegades and disruptors,” particularly in web and creative services.

But it backs that up with a strong history, dating back to 1998. Blackbird also focuses on digital marketing, paid ads, SEO, social media, email marketing, blog management and more.

Its past clients include legal, senior care, resorts, restaurants, contractors and more.

Proceed Innovative Digital Marketing logo2. Proceed Innovative (Schaumburg)

Not all agencies are “internet industry pioneers” that predate Google by two years. Proceed, which started in 1996, is one — that caught my attention. Its main office is in Schaumburg, plus it has locations in Naperville and Chicago. That’s extensive local coverage.

This full-service agency has general digital marketing, web design, PPC, lead generation and SEO services.

Among its 60 Google reviews, which average 4.9 stars, one client said this agency is “focused like a laser.” Others report being happy with their increased visibility and conversions. 

Its clients include home care and remodeling, legal, community programs and more.

Rizzo Young Marketing, LLC Logo3. Rizzo Young Marketing, LLC (Des Plaines)

Maria Rizzo and Rick Young are a wife-husband team that launched their agency in 2018. Based in Des Plaines, I noticed they’re also part of the chamber of commerce and dedicate time to community involvement.

RYM offers a full range of services, including SEO, social media, email, web design, content marketing and SEM. They also run an insightful blog and a podcast called Marketing Pop.

Its clients include legal, real estate, healthcare, retail, tech, travel, auto repair, staffing and more. It offers a planning session for new clients.

4. U.S. Marketing, Inc. (Lake Forest)US Marketing Inc logo

Specificity matters in marketing. And U.S. Marketing stood out to me for its expertise in Gen X, Y and Millenial marketing, with a further focus on Latinx, Black and Asian audiences.

Well-established since 2004, its president, Jim Bilello, is often thanked by name in this agency’s 25 5-star reviews on Google. Services here include SEO, web design, social media ads/posting and even traditional media (broadcast, print and direct mail), offering a wide variety.

Among its clients are legal, senior communities/care, resorts, restaurants, health services and event venues. It’s also a Google-badged and certified Premier Partner Agency for PPC, Google Ads, YouTube, Internet Display Media, Amazon and more.

Zealth Digital Marketing logo5. Zealth Digital Marketing (Downers Grove)

Zealth Digital Marketing, founded in 2012, highlights its responsive custom websites, with particular expertise in WordPress, along with ecommerce and SEO.

That said, this agency also lists a wealth of other services. That includes PPC, social media management, copywriting, graphic design and branding.

One 5-star Google reviewer praised their speed — “so fast in fact,” he says, “they had to wait on us.” They’ve earned awards for web development and design and local recommendations.

Zealth’s clients include building services, sports, restaurants, real estate, civil engineering and wealth management.

Next steps for picking a digital marketing agency

Teaming up with a marketing agency can help your business grow faster than going alone.

If you’re in Chicagoland, you now know five possible partners — specifically in Des Plaines, Downers Grove, Lake Forest, Naperville and Schaumburg. (Check out our 9 options in Chicago proper, too.)

To explore a sixth option, talk to us at Zoe Marketing & Communications, where we’ll chat to see if we’re the right fit. Our 15+ years of digital marketing include deep roots with our sister company, Chicago Parent, based in Chicagoland since 1984.

Before you decide, get even more agency insight by reading:

Kim Kovelle

As Zoe Marketing & Communications’ content manager, Kim Kovelle brings nearly 20 years of writing and editing experience in metro Detroit. She has strong roots in community journalism and a knack for making complicated topics make more sense.