As one of the very first pure digital agencies in the US, Ciceron continues to thrive by fusing our work directly to the needs and desires of our clients’ customers. We recognize that everyday people, not only marketers, are fully involved in co-creating powerful brand experiences through their connections and content. These myriad touchpoints create powerful sources of data that inform our work, fuel client growth, and allow us to be more honest, nimble, and smarter at each and every step.
For the past 20 years, Ciceron has been dedicated to being advocates for our clients by serving as their “Cicerones” in digital. Cicerones are, by definition, “trusted and masterful guides who navigate complex journeys, ensuring a safe arrival at a destination for their clients.” Unlike many traditional agencies who take their clients on often magical journeys and unfortunately end up in a destination far from where they need to be, Ciceron is keenly focused on leading its clients to where their customers need them to be. Digital is a customer-driven environment, and our work must serve their interests.
-Andrew Eklund, CEO & Founder
Founded in 1995 by Andrew Eklund, we were leaders in digital marketing before Google or YouTube were hatched in their college dorm rooms. In addition to working with many top brands for more than 20 years, Ciceron has been instrumental in setting in motion some of today’s most successful Internet technologies and partners.
The company was founded by Andrew Eklund in the same Minneapolis Warhouse District offices as we are today.
We were beta testers for a small start-up called Go-To.com. In 2001, that company became Overture, which went on to become the keyword bidding system for Yahoo!
Ciceron was invited to be one of the first agencies in the country to become official beta testers for a new service from Google called AdWords. Clicks were 10 cents apiece at launch. Oh, how darling.
We subleased office space to a couple of friends who were starting an email marketing software called ExactTarget. We were their first agency partner and helped integrate many of their “private labeled” service offerings. We became embedded in the fast-emerging world of highly targeted, highly relevant, highly personalized messaging, and we remain that way today. ExactTarget became the largest email service provider in the country and was acquired by Salesforce in 2013. In addition to ExactTarget, Ciceron has deep, practical experience with many email and marketing automation platforms including Silverpop, HubSpot, Marketo, Bronto, Responsys, and others.
Ciceron became one of the first agencies to be certified by Google’s Advertising Professional certification.To this day, we continue to certify all Ciceron marketing professionals.
Without an official analytics tool on the market, many Ciceron clients relied on a homegrown software we developed called the Adminimizer to consolidate myriad marketing campaign metrics into a single dashboard and performance view. During this time, Google bought Urchin and AdaptivePath and rebranded them as Google Analytics. And, most important, they were giving it away. And it was good. Not as good at some elements as our own Adminimizer, but good for free. Since then, we have standardized most web analytics on Google Analytics and Omniture.
Needing to establish a much better way of holding social media accountable, we became close partners with a Boston-based start-up called Radian6. They went on to become the standard of social monitoring. They, coincidentally, were also acquired by Salesforce. (Notice a trend?)
Ciceron founder Andrew Eklund launches an ad-tech start-up called OOTA, a revolutionary new way to integrate direct response results from online advertising that’s based entirely on a pay-for-performance model. He is waiting for Salesforce to acquire it.
Ciceron was named as one of the “Top 100 Places to Work” by Minnesota Business and Twin Cities Business magazines, and we were also a finalist in Minnesota Business magazine’s 2016 Community Impact Awards in the Creative Campaign category.
Ciceron has been honored by the Minnesota business community, receiving the 2016 Progress Minnesota award by Finance and Commerce. This year marks the third year that Ciceron was named as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For by Minnesota Business magazine. Ciceron’s founder and CEO Andrew Eklund was selected as a winner of The (Real) Power 50 of 2016 by Minnesota Business magazine. Ciceron, in conjunction with the team at Children’s Minnesota, won three MarCom Awards for the redesign of Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota’s website.
So, what’s next? We are currently embedded with a variety of next-generation leaders in programmatic media buying and selling, analytics, and we’re at the front-edge of virtual reality. Current leaders include BionicAds and TapAnalytics to consolidate all search, paid media, and email into a single framework. Ciceron has made a financial investment in VisualVR, one of the leaders in 360-degree video and virtual environment design.