A Digital Agency for the Fearless.

We are our clients’ cicerones—trusted and masterful guides who navigate complex journeys. We understand the world in which brands compete, and we have the experience bringing together data + media + creative to lead the way. Ciceron is a privately held agency celebrating 25 years of guiding clients to success, multiple “best places to work” awards, and a wall of industry-coveted accolades.

 
$25,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
1995
Show all +
Minneapolis, MN
headquarters
  • 126 North Third Street, Suite 200
    Minneapolis, MN 55401
    United States
other locations
  • 826 Wilcox Ave. # 107
    Los Angeles, CA 90038
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Warner Music Group, Activision/Blizzard, Securian Financial, Be The Match, Blu Dot, AWAL/Kobalt, North Memorial Hospital, Mall of America

Reviews

Sort by

Website Redesign for Children's Healthcare Organization

"They were always looking for a creative, elegant solution to the challenge in front of us."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Jan. 2015 - Jan. 2016
Project summary: 

Ciceron served as a digital agency of record and oversaw the healthcare client's search and SEO efforts, along with their social and content strategy and execution. They also recreated a website.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Jen Swanson
Owner & Founder, Jen Swanson Consulting
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The vendor successfully re-platformed, re-built, and re-designed the website. They upgraded the CMS, reducing the page count by the thousands. In the end, their efforts improved both the client's SERP and operational efficiency. They maintained a practical, yet optimistic approach. 

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I served as Director of Digital Marketing for Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. I led all digital marketing and platform development for this small marketing organization.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Ciceron, and what were your goals?

Ciceron was our Digital Agency of record, hired on a retainer basis, to oversee all of our Search, SEO, Social, and Content strategy and execution. They served in that capacity through all of my 2-year tenure in the role. In addition, we hired them for additional scope to re-platform, redesign, and rebuild our 7000-page public-facing website. Our goal was to overhaul and upgrade the content management system (allowing for easier management over time) to reduce site complexity, make content mobile responsive, and overhaul the content strategy and information architecture to improve the performance of content in search, social, and SEO.

 

 

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor and what were the deciding factors?

Ultimately, Ciceron proved that their small team, nimble approach - and a willingness to create swat teams of the right talent at the right time - enabled our organization to take on this massive scale project for an incredibly reasonable price. They understood that we had the ability to sit beside them and co-create the work, blending our in-house capacity and augmenting it with the right technical, creative, and strategic roles as we worked through the project. They also "got us" - they truly designed a solution to meet our needs, rather than forcing our needs into what they thought a good solution should be. I viewed them as an extension of my team and they consistently showed up that way - both in our ongoing retainer work, as well as for this specific project. Their demeanor - day in and day out - was optimistically curious, asking "how might we" every time we hit a roadblock.

Describe the scope of work in detail, including the project steps, key deliverables, and technologies used.

The web project included site architecture, platform review and selection, creative redesign, user experience design, content strategy, Search/SEO optimization, social integrations, and project management. They also worked to source developer (front end) resources to supplement our internal development team so that we could meet our timeline goals. Their team also provided hands-on staff augmentation for content migration, page building, and QA testing of the site.

How many people from the vendor's team worked with you, and what were their positions?

We had 3 ongoing team members for this web project - an account/project manager, a UX strategy lead and designer, and Content Strategy lead. We worked on a more fractional basis with SEO, search, and social experts as well as digital designers for image and creative assets.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any measurable outcomes of the project or general feedback about the deliverables?

In the end, we re-platformed, re-built, and re-launched a more streamlined site within 12-months of starting. Reducing the site from 7000 pages to 3500 pages meant our search optimization lift was consistent across the board. The impact on staff operational effectiveness was also significantly improved, as we were able to manage changes and content updates much more quickly in the new platform, as well as delivering a more modern, responsive experience for patients and families

Describe their project management style, including communication tools and timeliness.

We used Basecamp and email to manage this project, and having the project manager dedicated to our project made a huge difference. We ran the work in agile-ish sprints, and the PM was able to keep our internal team on working on what's next - never getting overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. As I mentioned above, their approach is pragmatic but optimistic, and they were always looking for a creative, elegant solution to the challenge in front of us.

What did you find most impressive or unique about this company?

They were by our side through the whole thing — a true partner. We were in it together, and they stepped up time and time again to help us bring the site to life. They even set up a war room during the long days of the site build, making it easy and efficient to push out a huge amount of work in a short period of time.

Are there any areas for improvement or something they could have done differently?

I am sure there were little things along the way - but honestly, nothing ever sat around long enough to get frustrating. Their openness to feedback and evolving the work as the project demands meant we addressed things as they came up.

5.0
Overall Score I love working with them and look for opportunities to do so at every turn
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Available and responsive
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their billing is fair and transparent
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Consistently strong
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have, and I'll do it again!

Staffing & Consumer Research for Financial Services Firm

“We had a really core, cross-functional, collaborative team that was very open to feedback.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Apr. 2017 - Sept. 2019
Project summary: 

Ciceron provided creative asset creative and paid and social media marketing consultation on a media disruptor startup exploration performed by a Fortune 500 financial services firm.

The Reviewer
 
5,001-10,000 employees
 
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Manager, Financial Services Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The work completed by Ciceron was excellent quality and challenged the client to think critically about different aspects of their work, helping them to realize conversion rates significantly higher than the industry average. Their team was flexible and fully integrated into internal team efforts.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I was working with a Fortune 500 financial services firm at the time. We were doing some consumer research around opportunities in the disruptor and innovation space.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Ciceron?

We had put together a cross-functional team to explore a startup opportunity in the paid media space and turned to Ciceron to tap into their subject matter expertise as well as to give our staffing model a little bit more flexibility as our needs ebbed and flowed throughout the project.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

For the staffing concerns, we relied on them to provide several creative resources to assist in our design and content creation efforts. For the subject matter expertise and strategic consulting that they provided, we focused more on paid media and social media marketing as well as email and one-to-one opportunities.

In both of those roles, their teammates worked as an integrated part of our agile efforts, coming to our discussions about what we wanted to test with recommendations for how to best execute the test in paid and social spaces. From there, they would actually help us set up the tests and run them with actual creative content that they delivered as well.

What was the team composition?

The size of the team we worked with from them ebbed and flowed with our needs, but the most we ever brought on was around 15 and the least was closer to three.

How did you come to work with Ciceron?

I was recommended Ciceron as an option for the project by a former colleague of mine who had worked with them. They seemed like a good fit from our initial conversations, so we decided to move forward from there.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project ran from around May 2017–August 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

As we continued to set up our testing operations for that project, we were able to see some really successful conversion metrics. The numbers we saw were higher than industry average across both social media as well as the one-to-one space.

Overall, I really appreciated how they worked as an integrated part of our team. It was never them versus us, because we had a really core, cross-functional, collaborative team that was very open to feedback. If anything wasn’t working we were able to have an open conversation about what wasn’t working and how we were going to address it as we progressed overall. I think that capability was a major part of why we were so successful in our working relationship with them.

How did Ciceron perform from a project management standpoint?

Overall, they did a great job in project management, although we were obviously functioning in more of an agile team dynamic than a traditional project management one. But within the conversations that we had about what we could and couldn’t commit to for each sprint, they did a good job of delivering realistic expectations and then sticking to those promises with what they would deliver.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The caliber of the teammates that they have employed there was the single best part of working on that project. Not only are they ridiculously smart and skilled at their jobs, but they are a fundamentally humble, collaborative, and fun group of people to work with. Each of them quickly became an integral part of our team.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We all have growth opportunities, but if there were any for them, I would probably say that it came in the project management aspects of the project, where there could maybe have been a little bit more maturity in the approach. However, I also know that they were in a growth stage at that time, so some of their teammates were more junior and susceptible to that.
The nice thing was that if something ever went wrong or wasn’t working well, they took complete ownership of it and created a plan for how to fix it moving forward.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Personally, I feel that the more clear, concise, and candid you can be in your feedback to them, the better they will respond and be able to tailor their approach to your goals as a company. They are a partner that wants and can handle, even thrive off that type of open collaboration, so if you want to get the most out of the relationship, direct integration of your teams is the way to do that.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer