When one of your founders is labeled a Brand Genius in New York, you know you’re doing something right.
Percolate, a platform that publishes and measures brand content on social media sites, was founded by Noah Brier and James Gross. And both have business savvy and some serious tech knowledge. Only 3 years old, Percolate is a tool that many big brands rely upon, like Ford, Nickelodeon, and Jawbone. They’ve also seen some tremendous growth in that time, telling of their success. (Fun fact: the SMW offices took over their recent offices, in which we have NO idea how they fit their entire staff!)
They will be leading a special track focused on what will be a crucial skill for marketers in 2014: content marketing. To get you ready, we talked with James Gross a little more.
- James, can you tell us a bit about Percolate and what you do?
At Percolate we have a vision to redefine marketing through technology and a mission to be every brand’s content marketing platform. We do this by providing technology to a brand across planning, inspiration, sourcing, creation, publishing, monitoring and analytics. If that sounds like a lot, it is. We are excited by the depth of our platform and our growing client base.
- Percolate is a New York tech darling. In only 3 years, your team has seen incredible growth. Can you explain how you’ve achieved such success and the foundation for Percolate?
We believe in 2 things:
Find the biggest challenge marketers have. We have found that with content, the atomic unit of marketing. Similar to how Salesforce built technology to help the sales department manage contacts, Percolate helps marketers create and manage content. When you solve the content challenge, you have the ability to work across the entire marketing department.
Find the best people to come work with you. We believe NYC has some of the greatest people in the world across all the areas that we care about: engineering, design and business. We are proud to say nearly 100 people in NYC now work with us.
- Can you explain why content marketing should be integral to brands’ marketing?
We believe in a social, mobile world your content is your ad. As marketing becomes more and more driven by platforms with billions of users and unlimited targeting capabilities, the challenge is not how are you going to reach people. The challenge is what are you going to say to them, and how are you going to scale and sustain it. Percolate is the full end-to-end solution for a marketer who is looking for a technology platform to scale their marketing efforts.
- User-generated content is often seen as a holy grail for brands. But it’s not often done right and there is a debate on how to properly use this content. Percolate has recently developed some tools to assist. Can you elaborate on why this was a focus and how brands can land on the right side of this powerful tool?
Billions of people on social platforms capture branded moments every second of the day. The challenge for the brand is often times they can’t acquire the rights to UGC in a scalable, legal manner. Before Percolate, brands used all sorts of crazy techniques to try and secure the rights to images, videos and other UGC.
Only with Percolate does a brand have the unique opportunity to reach out to anyone who has captured a brand moment and get the legal rights to re-use that content in any way they see fit. For the user, our experience is just better than anything they have ever seen before as it relates to how they can rights manage their content. We have seen both happy clients and happy users with our UGC product.
- A lot of Percolate’s tools focus on making content more visually appealing. What is the importance of a visual strategy and how can brands get started?
At 1.2 billion images shared daily across the four largest social platforms, there is no question that brands have to have a visual strategy. Brands also naturally like to communicate visually whenever possible, as this aligns well to the type of storytelling they are used to in a medium like television.
Brands can get started by reusing images from their archives, tapping into the enormous potential of UGC across platforms, and enabling their workforce to capture and share brand moments.
At Percolate, we have built technology to help surface content from archives, manage and acquire UGC, and iOS/Android apps to activate the employee base. Our app Photographer that puts the power of creation in the hands of a brand’s entire workforce.
- What advice would you give to a startup or entrepreneurs in being more effective with their marketing?
Buy Percolate as your first marketing investment. 🙂
Also, take your brand seriously. There are two key components to a business as Peter Drucker once said – Innovation and Marketing. The rest are just costs. You live or die based on your brand, start building it from day one.
We’re honored to have Percolate join us this February. And we know you need to be in attendance when they’re on stage. Get in on the action here.