Although the widespread adoption of social media has provided powerful and targeted marketing outlets, companies are still expected to provide engaging content if they want to capture consumer attention. Many firms don’t have the expertise within staff members to create effective content while outsourcing content creation to external firms comes with hurdles such as high costs, long time commitment, and communication. Ceros addresses this problem by providing a cloud-based platform with all of the tools necessary for creating engaging content without having to write any code.
Ceros Platform Overview
Ceros’ platform includes a number of features that allow marketers to easily create experiences that fits their needs. The creator can pick between a blank canvas or utilize a pre-existing Ceros template. I had the opportunity to speak with an employee at Ceros, Drew Shroyer, and he said that providing the option to start with a blank canvas is something that sets Ceros apart from its competitors. Once the creator has selected the desired template, he/she can begin to build the project by simply dragging and dropping pictures or videos and adding text boxes.
In order to make the content more interactive, hotspots can be added as well as various animations that add eye-popping movement. If multiple people are working on the same project, they can all make edits in real-time and all content and assets will live within the Ceros platform.
Ceros encourages users to take advantage of the ability to write their own code utilizing the company’s software developer’s kit (SDK). Users can also tap into the company’s API. This allows clients to further personalize their content and create engaging and meaningful ads. The platform also has a shared editing mode so that edits can be reviewed in real-time—another feature that Shroyer highlighted as being particularly appealing to clients. Additionally, if the client is struggling to navigate the platform, Ceros has created an extensive video library that walks through the use cases for various applications and has full-time customer service staff to answer questions. Shroyer said the staff will usually respond to a question within five minutes. Once the project has been completed, Ceros offers instant publishing and hosts all of the content and assets. To monitor the content performance, Ceros offers extensive data analytics displaying metrics such as the number of visitors and time spent viewing the content.
Simon Berg: CEO and Co-founder
Ceros’ co-founder and CEO, Simon Berg, dropped out of school at age sixteen, however, he wasn’t dropping out to pursue an entrepreneurial journey. Instead, he took a job as a coffee boy at a print production company where he remained for twenty-three years. Throughout his time at the company, he gained a deep understanding of the industry, and after various promotions, eventually became the CEO. After gaining this working experience, his passion for technology drove him to found Ceros in London in 2012. Next Monday, we will have the opportunity to meet with Berg and learn more about Ceros and his career path.
Importance of Culture
Culture is very important to Berg, and he worked hard to cultivate a culture that reflected his values. Ceros highlights its unique core values on its website.
Core values include:
- We give a shit
- We wear our chicken suits
- We are brutally honest
- We respect each other
- We find a way
Most of these values seem straightforward, but I was confused by the second value. After further research, I was able to find the story behind the chicken suit. During a meeting with a potential client, a Ceros employee named Dan mentioned that he was planning to wear a chicken suit for Halloween. The prospective client laughed and jokingly claimed that she would pay to see that. To her surprise, Dan showed up at their next meeting proudly wearing his chicken suit. This story has taken on a deeper meaning and Berg uses it to illustrate the significance of “wear our chicken suits”.
He uses two points to describe the value:
- “We do whatever it takes to be successful, whether that’s wearing a silly costume to a meeting, inviting prospects for drinks in our pub, sending our creative team to have an on-site brainstorming session at the start of the project, or working overtime to finish a piece on an ‘impossible’ deadline.”
- “Basically. We take our job seriously but ourselves… not so much! This means you should be vulnerable, honest, and able to be true to yourself and express the real you when working with your peers and customers.”
The office is headquartered in New York and has a much different set up than your traditional marketing company.
The unique office design and foundational culture has been highly recognized with awards including:
2018 Inc. 5000 List
Inc. NYC’s Coolest Offices
Fortune 10 Best Workplaces 2016
Fortune 50 Best Small Workplaces
Fortune 25 Best Workplaces in NYC
Business Insider NYC’s coolest office
Office Lovin’ A Look inside Ceros’ HQ
Integrations and Acquisitions
To create a better experience for clients, Ceros has enabled its technology to be integrated with that of a few different companies including HubSpot, Marketo, and SnapChat. The integration with Marketo allows users to access existing forms in their Marketo account and embed them into the Ceros platform. Additionally, this integration allows for automated emails to be sent based on a “user’s activity” with the Ceros experience. The integration with HubSpot allowed the client to access existing HubSpot forms that can be dragged and dropped into the Ceros platform and creates more interactive landing pages.
“We’re very excited to have Ceros on as a Connect Partner. This integration will make it even easier for our customers to achieve their growth goals through interactive content that drives engagement and conversions.” – Brad Coffey, Chief Strategy Officer at HubSpot
Many brands have utilized the advertising platform on SnapChat, but often these advertisements are stagnant and lack interactivity. Therefore, Ceros allows clients to create a full experience in its studio and then simply drop the experience URL into the Snap Ads admin.
Ceros acquired ChartBlocks on August 7th, 2018 in order to provide more interactive charts and graphs to be created in their platform.
“ChartBlocks is part of our mission to make Ceros the most powerful cloud-based professional creative suite for designers and marketers,” said Simon Berg, CEO of Ceros.
I am looking forward to presenting about Ceros in class on Wednesday!