Haymarket Energy Fuels Local Agency’s Growth
It was 11 p.m. on a Tuesday night. The Simple Strat team planned to shoot the first scene of their branding video in the middle of the Haymarket. Figuring a time late in the evening would be safe to avoid the noise and commotion commonly associated with a downtown location, they quickly realized they were wrong. “The energy of downtown Lincoln never dies down,” said Ali Schwanke, CEO and founder of Simple Strat. “We had to dodge late night cleaners, social groups, the beer-bike tour, interested passers-by and more while we were shooting our branding video.”
The video, which is now available on the Simple Strat website, encompasses the energy and excitement commonly found in the Haymarket and other areas of downtown Lincoln. Schwanke said the decision to grow their company in downtown Lincoln was a strategic and intentional one. We recently sat down with her to talk about Simple Strat and what it’s like to grow a business in downtown Lincoln.
Q: How long has Simple Strat been in business?
A: We officially launched Simple Strat early in 2016, but I’d been operating a solo consulting business prior to that. The focus has always been on helping companies establish a firm foundation of marketing strategy and then tactical services to help them grow. However, the shift to Simple Strat as an agency meant adding specific skill sets through new team members and extending our efforts outside the Lincoln area.
Q: Why did you decide to open an office in downtown Lincoln?
A: I’ve spent the majority of my professional career in Lincoln, and there’s always been an incredible draw to the downtown area. With the addition of the Railyard and the swell of startups and technological innovation in the Haymarket with companies like Hudl and Nebraska Global, we believed downtown Lincoln would be the prime place to launch and grow a strategic marketing company. Especially one that also has a significant focus on marketing technology. Our first office was in the Fuse Coworking space. It provided incredible flexibility for us to grow as it was a month-to-month lease. But we outgrew that office before we knew it. From there we moved to South Lincoln for a few months to get more space, but quickly realized that we missed the energy, excitement, and collaboration of downtown Lincoln. When we had an opportunity to move back and take over a lease in the Apothecary Building with Haymarket Developers in December 2016, we took it. After a few months there, we finally moved up to a 4th floor set of offices in April of 2017 and have been there ever since.
Q: What does Simple Strat do?
A: We’re the marketing agency for companies that are serious about growth. In a nutshell, we focus on helping companies establish a foundation for their marketing efforts and then execute on that plan to increase their number of qualified leads and close more deals. For those who are looking for specifics, our services range from marketing strategy and planning to SEO, graphic design, sales collateral, video production, and website development. We’re also a certified HubSpot Partner Agency and Wistia partner. These are specific technologies that allow us to provide a high level of expertise in helping companies manage their data and leverage it to grow. This includes things like CRM, marketing automation, sales process consulting, and video marketing and analytics.
Q: Where can people find out more about Simple Strat?
A: Our website has a wealth of information. We’re also very active on social media, so look for us on almost all social media platforms.
Founded in 1967, the Downtown Lincoln Association provides services and champions initiatives for maintaining and enhancing our vibrant downtown. Our vision is to create an energetic downtown environment where we live, learn, work, invest and play. DLA has evolved into a multi-faceted organization supporting a wide range of programs and activities including maintenance, economic development and advocacy.