Unilever and Percolate: Accelerating a Global Marketing Organization

At Percolate, we believe what distinguishes a great marketer is not the ability to build individual successes, but to succeed regularly and predictably. As marketing evolves from campaign-centric to  sustained communication, working with technology systems that enable more efficient and consistent results is critical.

In 2013, Unilever started working with us to help improve the performance of its social content, capture cost savings, and increase brand consistency across different portfolio companies and countries. Our pilot program began with three of Unilever’s largest and most diverse brands across 15 markets — Knorr (food and beverage), Hellmann’s (mayonnaise), and Surf (detergent).  After achieving great results and 92% agreement that Percolate is “very easy or extremely easy to use versus other [marketing] software,” our partnership with Unilever has expanded to serve more than 30 global brands in over 20 markets. Based on our initial work together, we estimate Percolate will save Unilever $10 million in annual cost savings on content.  (more…)

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Percolate + Ogilvy: Powering Better Storytelling with Technology

Today we’re pleased to announce that we’ve partnered with Social@Ogilvy to launch Inspiration Labs, powered by Percolate. By aligning one of the leading agencies of record for storytelling with Percolate’s system of record for marketing, Ogilvy’s brand planners, creative technologists, account managers, and — just as importantly — clients will be able to explore and test new, exciting ideas using our technology. Because both Ogilvy and Percolate work closely with many of the world’s largest brands, we’ll be launching labs in New York, London and Hong Kong to fully support their global needs.

Here’s what this means for our partners at each step of the marketing lifecycle:

Implementation: Ogilvy strategists and planners will collaborate with Percolate on custom building blocks sessions, with the output of the session being a fully customized Percolate platform tailored to each client of Ogilvy Labs.

Planning: Percolate will give Ogilvy and its clients a global, unified and collaborative solution for content calendaring, media planning, and brief functionality.

Integrated Content Calendar and Planning Software

Inspiration: Percolate’s latest audience and influencer insights data can be used to inform Ogilvy’s digital decision-making.

Content sourcing: Percolate’s content partner network will be on standby for original content creation and licensed assets. Ogilvy will also have access to our latest tools for creating and testing on-brand content, including brand prompts and mobile apps.

Paid media and publishing: Ogilvy will be able to perform paid media planning and spend management for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn through Percolate.

Insights: Ogilvy will have access to customizable and real-time dashboards, self-serve reporting, and content analytics to help them deliver even better results for their clients.

As we often like to point out, technology like social and mobile is having a profound impact on the scale, pace, and pattern of marketing. As the world’s top storytelling agency, Ogilvy has always been at the forefront of narrating and embracing those changes, and we’re thrilled to be integrating our software with their creative framework. We want to give Ogilvy the technology they need to scale their clients’ content strategies, while being as respectful as we can be about their creative process.

At the end of the day, this partnership will help Ogilvy’s clients tell better digital stories at the speed of social, using a more systematic approach to planning, sourcing and understanding great content. If you’re a current Ogilvy client, we’d love to hear from you so we can tell you more about how this partnership can make your marketing more inspired. Stay tuned, it’s going to be awesome.


This blog post was created using Percolate’s new longform publishing tool. To learn more about how our longform editor lets you publish and collaborate across all your marketing channels within one software platform, introduce yourself today.

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Publishers as Platforms

Jonathan Glick wrote a thoughtful piece on re/code entitled, The Rise of the Platishers. In the piece Jonathan talks about the new media companies that are developing and how they are a combination of a publisher and a platform.

What should we call a publisher — like Gawker — that provides a tech platform on which anybody, not just its staff, can create content? What should we call a tech platform — like Medium — that has a team of editors and pays some contributors to create content? It’s something in between a publisher and a platform — something that weaves together the strengths of both. A platisher.

Crazy term aside, Jonathan is noticing a very important trend. We see this at Percolate where our job is to be the content marketing platform of record for brands. Offering our technology to to help brands create and distribute content to any platform they would like.

How did this happen, why do publishers need to act like platforms?

From the image at the beginning of the post, where your content is your ad and your ad is your content, we are seeing some of the best publishers in the world follow the model that was pioneered by social platforms. The rules of the platforms are very simple – there is no traditional ad unit and the brand is treated the same as everyone else on the platform. The only advantage the brand has is they have the marketing budget to create great content and can pay to promote that great content.

Here are a few reasons why platforms and publishers smash together, and a glimpse at what is next:

  • The technology trend leading the charge is social and mobile. They are the catalyst for how brands are now are taking a content-first and platform-specific approach to all their marketing

  • Brands follow time and attention of their audiences. Some of the largest media companies by market cap in the world are now social/mobile platforms (FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest)

  • Publishers are innovating fast to try and catch up and are launching their own native or sponsored content models.

  • The challenge for brands revolves around publishers becoming another channel to create content for. This isn’t trivial given the new demands on content creation and the costs associated with it. Publishers have responded by trying to create all this content for brands through their in-house creative teams. This model can be threatening to brands and their agencies and creates a different workflow than what they have with platforms, where content creation is independent.

  • In order to scale like a platform, publishers have to let the brand create the content themselves by establishing frameworks that all content should live by.

Much like Facebook has their educational Publishing Garages, the more platforms or publishers can teach brands and their agencies how to create great content on their platform, the faster they should be able to drive adoption and revenue.

I’m excited to see where publishers go and we are deeply invested in trying to build scalable content models for our clients. We see publishers as a big part of where brands want to send their content and the more the publishers can build pipes like the platforms, the closer we can come to seeing publishers thrive like the platforms have.

Want to learn how Percolate can help with your content marketing?

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Percolate’s 1st Annual Customer Summit

On November 13, we will have our first Customer Summit with a preview of a series of major developments for our company.

Percolate clients, partners and senior marketers will gather with the goal of sharing ideas, learnings, and a few drinks.

On the agenda for the day:
◦ The latest from Percolate, featuring a series of new products and a bold new look for our company
◦ Case studies from Percolate clients Procter & Gamble, Denny’s and Mastercard
◦ Presentations from our partners at Visually, Scripted, Getty Images, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Business Insider

It’s going to be great and we plan to share the videos after the event on our blog. If you would like more information about the event please get in touch via email.

Percolate Customer Summit (social)


Want to learn how Percolate can help with your content marketing?

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Creating Consistency in the Face of Chaos

“To achieve sustainable innovation you need to seek persistent disequilibrium. To seek persistent disequilibrium means that one must chase after disruption without succumbing to it, or retreating from it.” -Kevin Kelly

Look down at your phone or view your computer’s desktop. When you look down you see many amazing apps that are changing your productivity, entertaining you and monitoring you. These apps are the expression of innovation. They are solutions to insights about how we navigate the world. What’s interesting is that in order to work they must call upon an essential piece of your phone or computer. This piece is at the core of the machine and has the essential job of accessing the processor to get the app the power it needs, accessing the memory to get the app the bandwidth it needs and providing access to any of the peripherals connected to your computer or phone.

This is the software kernel. Kernel’s are the core of any modern computing system. According to Wikipedia a kernel is “The most fundamental part of an operating system. It can be thought of as the program which controls all other programs on the computer.” While innovation is happening constantly within the software and internet ecosystems with new apps launching daily and updates to apps now coming through the background of our phones and computers on a daily and surely hourly basis in the future, the kernel stays stable. It is the essence of computing and that essence can be leveraged at scale against any and all innovation. In Percolate terms the kernel is the brand. Traditionally that brand has been held within decks, guidelines and the minds of the marketing team. The challenge with holding in these places is that these holders are not consistently extensible. To be more clear, they leave to much up for interpretation and as the scale of platforms that you must market against expands (see my app metaphor earlier) we are left with inconsistent expressions of the brand across these emerging communication networks. Percolate has found that a brand can be coded into software and has built the framework for absorbing the brand into the software and then having the brand inform all of the tools of creation that lead to content on these digital platforms. It is in fact our client’s Brand which is the most fundamental part of the Percolate operating system. The brand is the Kernel at the heart of Percolate’s system. With the brand encoded into software our engineers are free to develop tools that keep up with the pace of innovation that characterize the platforms our clients publish today and with to publish to tomorrow. When the brand is coded into the software, a new ad format, content entry point or even business model can be quickly absorbed by Percolate and within days or weeks our clients are effectively marketing on the altered platform. When a brand is encoded in Percolate a community manager knows that what is produced is relevant and consistent. The CM can focus on their job of creating and publishing content rather than becoming overly focused on inevitable platform change. Consistency in the face of chaos is a matter of finding the kernel and applying that against all that comes next. Percolate is capturing your brand and making it the kernel of your marketing system, so that the future of marketing can be as flexible as downloading a new app to your phone.

Want to learn how Percolate can help with your content marketing?

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Inspiring Professional Content with LinkedIn

LinkedIn has been on quite a tear for the last few months. Beyond the significant product and interface changes, they’ve made a full-on commitment to content. It’s seen in their influencer program, which has been amazing to follow and read, as well as their commitment to groups and company pages, the latter of which saw its first company (HP) break 1 million followers in late-February. This is clearly exciting for us, as we believe content is the lifeblood of social and LinkedIn is the leading platform for professionals. But beyond that it’s fascinating to watch a platform with 200 million global members ship new product at the speed and quality they have.

All of that is a somewhat long and glowing preamble to announce that we’re excited to be the newest member of the LinkedIn Social Media Management program. Our newfound status means that clients will be able to publish, target and track posts on their LinkedIn company pages right inside Percolate. This has been the single most-requested feature from our B2B clients over the last six months and now they’ll be able to publish, manage and analyze across LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr using the Percolate platform.

To show off the functionality we’ll use Tidy B2B, a fictitious cleaning company catering to small and large enterprises. To set the stage, Tidy B2B is on the (imaginary) cutting edge of eco/cleaning solutions and using Percolate to raise status around their green, design and innovation practices. Based on what the system knows about them, Percolate bubbles up a story about the London Underground’s carbon-reducing campaign that seems relevant to the brands interests, messaging and UK-heavy audience. The Tidy B2B community manager is inspired to create a post around the story and decides to push it out to their LinkedIn company page.


Since Percolate has already scraped the article’s keywords, the system is able to use those to recommend images that the brand owns or has the right to license through our partnership with Getty Images. Tidy B2B selects one, crops it and adds a bit of context for their LinkedIn audience about why this is relevant to the Tidy B2B mission.


As you can see below, Tidy B2B’s has now published an original piece of content on their LinkedIn company page all within Percolate. Percolate handled the entire workflow from inspiration to creation, editing, stakeholder approvals and publishing.


If you have any questions about our LinkedIn integration or would like to see a demo, please get in touch.

Want to learn how Percolate can help with your content marketing?

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Create Incredible Images at the Speed of Social


Every day 300 million photos are shared on Facebook, another 40 million on Instagram, and, while Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest don’t report daily photos shares, we believe it’s safe to say nearly 500 million photos are shared daily across just these five social platforms. Another way to look at our photo production is of the 3.8 trillion photos that have been taken in history, 10% were shot in the past 12 months. And this is just the beginning, as the world continues its march from 2 billion connected internet users to 6 billion in the coming years we’re only going to see the numbers of photos shared online continue to explode.

In the past twelve months, we have significantly grown our client base from nine to 43 of the world’s top brands. Over that time, each client has approached us with a similar problem: How to create timely, relevant, visual content. The visual piece has become especially important over the last year as platforms have shifted to focus more on images. Facebook Timeline, Twitter Media Cards, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram all point to a future where engagement revolves around people and companies creating and sharing images in real-time.

Before today, brands didn’t have an easy way to create real-time images that addressed the quality and legal guidelines Fortune 500 companies require for all of their visual content. Today, we’re changing that by introducing two new product features for the Percolate platform that help clients create engaging content in a legal manner and at the speed and scale social platforms now require.

1) Percolate Media Library: Intelligently surfacing millions of Getty Images

We’re partnering with Getty Images to solve one of the biggest challenges for our clients: The lack of access to images that they can tailor to the specific needs of their brand and share across social channels.

To solve for this challenge, we intelligently surface images based on topics, colors, events and a brand’s interest graph, inspiring community managers to create highly-relevant, real-time content for their social channels.

In addition to our clients having access to their own media libraries through the Percolate Media Library, they now have access to millions of royalty-free Getty Images in the Percolate publishing workflow, thus inspiring visual creativity and removing any copyright concerns.

To illustrate the functionality we’ll use Tidy Soaps, a fictitious soap company on the (imaginary) cutting edge of cleaning products. Below is Tidy Soaps’ new Visual Homepage and Media Library. It’s ever-changing images constantly inspires their community manager’s visual content creation.


2) Percolate Image Editor: Creative editing tools built in partnership with Aviary specifically for brands’ social needs

Through our partnership with Aviary, we’ve built out a unique set of social brand editing tools. With this new tool, brands are able to filter, crop, add custom text, and, in a first for Aviary (and we believe the web) add custom brand logos/assets all within the Percolate platform. From our research, these four attributes cover nearly all the use cases brands need to make the biggest impact with their images in social.

Here’s an example of Tidy Soaps pulling a image from their Image Library into the Percolate Image Editor where they’ll add two soap bottles, apply a filter and add the text “#SolarDay”. From there the system makes it easy to preview the newly-created image across their social channels before publishing.


Both partnerships push the Percolate platform forward and change the speed in which brands can create content in social. We’re looking forward to seeing and sharing the creative examples our clients produce. If you have any questions about our new partnerships or would like to see a demo, please get in touch.

Want to learn how Percolate can help with your content marketing?

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Recapping Percolate’s #SPEAKEASY #CMAD

Monday marked a day that many who live on the internet have had on their calendars for months, Community Manager Appreciation Day.

It’s the little things that make a community manager’s job worthwhile and on the fourth Monday of January 2013, those little things transformed into a flowing river of appreciation if you followed the Twitter hashtag #CMAD.

Percolate celebrated community managers by hosting #SPEAKEASY #CMAD. A mix of brands, platforms and agencies presented their learnings on community building and social to a room full of eager community managers.  


If you weren’t able to join us or want to review the presentations once more, we’ve archived the slides below with links and brief descriptions of the presenters and their presentations.

Noah Brier, Percolate co-founder, presented the Evolution of Social Content.
Summary: The endless information ‘stream’ which has proliferated across social channels means that no one thing defines a brand anymore. Social platforms are mirrors reflecting consumer attention in real time, and good content lives at the intersection of brand message and cultural relevance.

Keith Cowing from LinkedIn presented marketing solutions for brands on the LinkedIn platform.
Summary: LinkedIn has evolved from being “who I am at work” to a much broader personalized professional content source. In fact, LinkedIn content creates five times the activity that job postings do. LinkedIn’s newest features, like LinkedIn Today, Groups, Slideshare and Network Updates, all aim at bringing the platform towards recognition as a community for professional content.


Tyler Fonda, Strategy Director at Gotham Inc., presented on the learnings of Denny’s social strategy “Cats and Babies.”
Summary: To create content, community managers and all social publishers need to optimize through experimentation: the risk is simply too low not to (no one will view the content). Gotham was able to experiment with content creation for its client, Denny’s, by creating memes around cats and babies. Here, and on other campaigns, Gotham has successfully used memes as trojan horses for getting into people’s facebook feeds.


Danielle Strle of Tumblr presented “why Tumblr should be your brand’s social hub”.
Summary: Tumblr is a special platform because brands can post anything they want and customize the look and feel. Many brands are seeing unmatched longevity and engagement around their content on Tumblr and the best examples of brands using the platform are available at

Adam Sandler of American Express presented on how they’re building a community from scratch.
Summary: While a community is united around a certain shared interest, a social network is defined by shared existing relationships. The purpose of Amex’s OPEN Forum was to create a community of thought-leaders to drive “engagement, endorsement, and loyalty” around topics relevant to small businesses and entrepreneurs.


Jon Lombardo of GE presented on “How General Electric became a content company”.
Summary: GE has fascinating social content across virtually all the platforms and they achieved this by knowing their context, thinking about why people share and letting go of the brand (kind of). The result has been increased engagement and content creation across all their social presences.

Jennifer Stalzer of MasterCard talked about the evolution of their corporate newsroom.
Summary: Corporate Communications is currently at the intersection of content and code. In its strategy for building its own corporate newsroom, MasterCard focused on integrating its various social channels, curating content to fuel conversations around context, and creating content with third-party validation. For Mastercard, content creation is never a “one n’ done” process, and MasterCard uses the Percolate Brew to syndicate its content around owned media, bringing new relevancy to dated stock media content.


Matthew Murray of Getty Images showed how brands can co-create with Getty Images. To view please enter your email and password Percolate2013.
Summary: Getty Images now provides brands with a digital, rights-free multimedia library to assist in the content creation process.

Kristin Maverick of The Barbarian Group discussed how Pepsi NEXT and TaskRabbit tested the boundaries of community sampling in their latest campaign.
Summary: To introduce Pepsi NEXT on digital channels, the Barbarian Group partnered with an up-and-coming startup called TaskRabbit, an online marketplace for users to outsource their simple errands and tasks to local trustworthy people. Select contest winners outsourced their errands/tasks for an hour and spent their newfound extra time sampling Pepsi’s new low-sugar product.


Jack Pollock of IPG Media Labs talked about how they’re employees are signals for innovation externally.
Summary: Building an internal community within your own company can be difficult, yet it relies on bringing together technology, content, and audience and avoiding the challenge of diversification. IPG Media Labs consists of 60 thought-leaders across five continents vetting potential media technologies for use at scale.

After a day full of information sharing, Noah concluded with the following threads for the audience to consider: the evolving role of the community manager; the proliferation of new platforms; the diversification of social media presence; how brands are turning user-experiences into user-generated content; and how the industry has moved away from talk of ‘influence’.

Did you attend the event? Let us know your thoughts.


Thanks again to those who attended, presented and our friends, partner and sponsor Tumblr for helping make #SPEAKEASY #CMAD a success. We’re looking forward to doing it again next year and we’ll be post details for the next #SPEAKEASY community manager happy hour soon.



Want to learn how Percolate can help with your content marketing?

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Percolate + Twitter


We have great relationships across all the platforms. Some of those relationships are formal like Tumblr and others remain regular check-ins. Today, after many months of helping brands determine “What should I tweet about?”, we have officially joined the Twitter Certified Products Program (TCPP) to help brands and additional partners create engaging content.

We’re very happy to be in the second wave of the TCPP, which helps businesses find the best products and services on Twitter. You can find us here in the directory.

Should you have any questions, please get in touch.

Want to learn how Percolate can help with your content marketing?

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Percolate + Tumblr

Today, Tumblr announced the A-List Partnership Program . We are proud to be included as Tumblr’s technology partner. Through the partnership, Percolate will be providing our technology and lightweight services to brands to help them build their audiences and content strategies on Tumblr in a scalable way.

Tumblr is a unique platform for brands that want to manage all of their digital assets within a single, socially connected environment. We are also excited by the sheer  scale of Tumblr’s reach and engagement:

  • Tumblr hosts more than 80 million blogs
  • Each day users create more than 70 million new posts.

With the scale for brands in place, Tumblr is now laying the foundation for how brands can natively communicate and build a sustained presence on the platform.  We have long been fans of Tumblr and we even wrote about the potential we saw in a post sixth months ago explaining how Tumblr was important in the larger social ecosystem. From that post:

Tumblr is a unique channel for brands as it relates to how they think about social content strategies in the future. There is the ability to have your own branded domain (, enough of an infrastructure in place that you can create unique stock content and house it there (permalinks), while also using the channel to curate 1st party and 3rd party content that flows through the channel with a networked community behind it…..

Why does this all matter? The future of marketing lies in how brands best create content in real-time and showcase it to their audiences. The brands that will set themselves apart from the rest will have an real-time strategy that supports both stock & flow content.

We are stoked and we hope you are as well. If you are interested in seeing how our platform seamlessly works with Tumblr, case studies for how we’re leveraging this partnership with our current clients or how Percolate might help you, please get in touch and say hello.

Want to learn how Percolate can help with your content marketing?

Get in touch and we’ll show you our system in action.