Thoughts on Building a Design Driven Company

A few weeks ago, I went along to the Bloomberg BusinessWeek Design Conference. Having come across the event earlier in the year, I was curious to hear what the speakers (from companies like Asana, Frog Design, and Gap) would share around the role design plays inside their organizations, and how this has changed as they’ve grown and taken on new challenges.

Here are my takeaways from that sunny day in San Francisco:

Evaluate Purpose

Regularly taking a step back and focussing the team on your core mission is vital for companies of all shapes and sizes. Evaluation brings priority to design decisions. (more…)


Onboarding at Percolate

A great way to see how much a company values culture is through the way it onboards new employees. I started working at Percolate in the Growth team about a month ago and was immediately taken aback by how comprehensive and thoughtful the onboarding process was here.

I’ve worked at startups, inside the federal government, and even developed onboarding practices as a startup founder, and this has been the most exceptional process I’ve seen by far. That’s particularly impressive when you consider that Percolate started 2013 with 27 people and now we’re close to 110 with about 30 job openings in NYC, SF, Austin, Chicago, & London.

In this post, I’ll talk about Percolate’s current onboarding process and why I think it works so well. (more…)


Engagement is Not a Business Objective

At Percolate, we’ve developed a set of ideas we call the building blocks of marketing. They’re essentially things that marketers need to consider whenever they create and publish a new piece of marketing content. One of these ideas that we often see overlooked, especially when it comes to marketing on social platforms, is Business Objective

Marketing, ultimately, is a business discipline and each piece of marketing communication should be attached to an objective or set of objectives established by the brand. While a brand might measure metrics such as followers, likes, retweets and mentions, those numbers are essentially raw data. Unfortunately, we often see brand marketers treat these numbers as the final outcome of their effort. To really understand the full picture of their marketing content’s impact on audiences, brands need to tie that social engagement with more fundamental objectives. (more…)

Content Marketing

5 Strategies for Solving the Brand Consistency Problem

At Percolate, we’ve developed a framework called the content building blocks – key objectives and elements that should be addressed in every piece of marketing content. One of those building blocks is Brand.

Marketing content from brands must ultimately connect back to the company. In the past, companies could take their time and carefully review everything that went out, but we’ve moved from a world where brands created 3-4 commercials a year to a world where they create 3-4 pieces of content per day across multiple channels, target audiences, and geographies. Staying on brand has become much harder.

Consistency is one of the top three challenges for today’s marketers and at Percolate, we spend a great deal of time working to solve this problem for our clients. Here are five effective methods we advocate: (more…)


How Technology Helps Fashion Labels Like Marc Jacobs Lead Social

New York Fashion Week is one of the most anticipated events on the fashion calendar, occurring twice a year in February and September. With events taking place all over New York City from Lincoln Center to Milk Studios, how does a fashion marketer create a digital campaign that will set their label apart?

Here are two examples of successful digital and social campaigns by some of the world’s hottest fashion brands from this year’s February event: (more…)

Content Marketing

The Real Cost of Modern Marketing

Across both B2B and B2C, the largest challenge digital marketers face is reaching their audiences with relevant content. Now that content has become the core vehicle for brands to connect with their audiences, it’s imperative that marketers seek efficient, cost-effective content workflows to engage their audiences – which have fragmented across mobile and social.

At this week’s AdAge Digital Conference in New York, Nestle revealed that its teams produce more than 1,500 pieces of marketing content each day for its 800+ Facebook pages.


What type of investment does that entail? For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume each Facebook post takes 2 hours of work, with 30 mins spent on each of these four steps:



Weibo, WeChat and the Future of Chinese Social Media

“China, not the U.S., is the most important country to watch as it relates to social and mobile.” -James Gross

With each passing day, our co-founder’s statement sounds less like an educated opinion and more like a hard fact. Simply consider the scale of the Chinese social + mobile market. The country has 618 million Internet users, and 500 million of them primarily access the web through mobile. The United States only has 319 million people in total.

But in order to understand China’s social + mobile landscape, you have to go beyond its massive scale. You have to understand what makes the Chinese market and the platforms that dominate it distinct from those in the United States.



Forrester’s Google Plus Advice Reveals Where SMMS Fails

Nate Elliott is out with a new Forrester report on The Case for Google Plus. It is a solid report that captures a lot of the trends that we are seeing here at Percolate. For all the criticism that Google+ has received, one thing is clear: it is a massive platform with global reach and a green field of opportunity for brands.

Google Plus now has over 300M people around the world that use it monthly. That makes it one of the largest media platforms in the world and gives it greater reach than almost any TV or traditional digital media opportunity.

How did Google Plus create such a large platform in the face of the criticism it has received? Because it took advantage of the three major shifts that all media are undergoing. (more…)

Content Marketing

Every Piece of Content Starts With a Trigger. What’s Yours?

At Percolate, one of the ideas we’ve developed to think about content marketing is the idea of content building blocks – key objectives and elements that every marketer needs to be able to address in their content. 

There is always an internal or external catalyst for a piece of marketing content. This is what we call a trigger – the reason for why this content is being created and published. The trigger leads to an outcome: what do you want the content to do? Assuage an angry customer? Stay ahead of breaking news? Demonstrate leadership in the market? Capture leads from a new customer segment? Your trigger provides the inspiration or incentive to create. (more…)

Content Marketing

The Patterns Behind the “Most Shared” NYTimes Articles

If you want to grow your audience, you need to understand how people share your content.

At Percolate, our readership comes primarily from direct traffic and Twitter referrals. Direct traffic is also known as “dark social” because it’s likely that most of these readers are not actually typing in our URL, but clicking to it from links in emails, as well as chat and mobile applications which don’t result in a referral source. [1] Traffic from Twitter is more straightforward: links to our blog posts get shared by @Percolate and lots of other folks on Twitter, and people click on them.

It follows that if we want to grow our traffic, we should try to understand why our audience chooses to share things over these channels. Which brings us to a question: is there a difference between content shared on Twitter vs Email?

A quick look into our own Google analytics wasn’t particularly insightful: the top articles for both traffic sources were similar. Perhaps this was a dead end. But then, something interesting happened. (more…)

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