As a company, we try very hard to create messages and materials that clearly articulate who we are and what we stand for. Within the company we all use Noah and the style guide he wrote often when we are in doubt. You have to love a style guide that includes, buzzwords: They stink and we love them, and a quote from LA Story for when you are editing your work:
One of the first things I always teach my clients is about the point system. You should never have more than seven things on. You know, like your earrings count for two points, those daisies count for three points. But the best thing to do is, right before you go out, look in the mirror and turn around real fast, and the first thing that catches your eye, get rid of it. I mean, I had this thing in my hair before I left, remember? And I pulled it right out, ’cause as soon as I turned, gone! Marilyn Monroe did that.
With that introduction, I wanted to breakdown a leading question we get around our materials that we like to be a bit vague on in order to tell a larger story. As part of our presentation we like to tell folks that Percolate’s missions is to help brands create content at social scale. While generally, we get a lot of head nodding with our decks, sometimes this statement leaves a bit of wonder and confusion on people’s faces.
Social scale, what is that? To which we try and lay further confusion by saying that by the year 2013 we think most brands will need to create 30-50 pieces of media per day in digital vs. the 0-10 they are currently creating. Again, nonsense, will sometimes come across the brow. This is where the explanation comes in. Our vision, and what we are seeing from a macro level is brands are increasingly acquiring audiences at a scale they never had before. These audiences reside on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn and for the best of brands, on their own .com. As these audiences escalate and start to pass numbers like 1,000,000 likes on Facebook or 250,000 followers on Twitter, these platforms are recommending a brand create 10-15 pieces of media per day on their specific platforms to satisfy the scale of their audience.
Adding up the macro trend of (audience acquisition) + (social channels: Facebook + Twitter + Tumblr + LinkedIn) = The need to create content at social scale. As we break this down the confusion starts to subside and the harsh reality of the economics and workflow start to sync in: How am I possibly going to create that much content for the audiences I’ve spent so much financial energy acquiring?
I tell this story for two reasons. One, I’m very excited to welcome our 9th employee, Georgie Wolffer, to Percolate. Georgie didn’t just join Percolate, she jumped right in, helping us with some of our largest clients and also creating her own blog to write down some of her thoughts as she learns the world that Percolate lives in. Which leads me to the the second reason. Georgie kicked off the inspiration for this post by looking at the recent study done by IBM interviewing 1700 global CMOs on the biggest challenges they face in the coming years. Georgie highlighted some of the biggest challenges:
What I found most interesting with Dormandy’s article is how the IBM study outlined the two most important jobs for a CMO: the first is to make sense of this enormous amount of information and the second is to be able to represent his or her organization as a place that understands and can utilize this information to deliver meaningful strategies.
IBM, the company that has bet their future on being the leader we all look to for this type of long range forecasting and data modeling has come out and said it. In order for marketers to compete going forward, they must first accept the consequences of this enormous amount of internet and social media data and then utilize it to their advantage. This study is our version social scale.