Because the best marketers deserve great content.
An Inside Look at Percolate’s Marketing Team
In July, we held Transition, our inaugural industry conference on how technology is transforming marketing, the enterprise, and the world. Several hundred marketers came to hear from leaders at GE, Unilever, Digiday and other great organizations. One of the key themes from the event was how technology has completely transformed the marketing industry and the marketing department. It’s no less true for our own team at Percolate.
Today we’ll take a closer look at some of the people, processes, and practices of Marketing, one of the company’s most wide-ranging and diverse departments.
A Full-Stack creative Team
In December 2013, Marketing was a barebones team of three. In less than one year, we’ve grown to four times that size, and built out a robust department of marketers with a range of expertise: content, design, social, sales, product, and engineering. Today, we operate within three divisions — brand communications, growth, and product marketing — with support from a dedicated team of communication designers and marketing engineers.
“We’ve essentially built a full-stack creative team,” said Chris Bolman, director of Growth, “and have the ability and autonomy to run our own projects and experiments.”
One example of such an experiment is the Percolate Content Marketing RFP. After noticing that Percolate was receiving requests for proposals (RFPs) that had antiquated software requirements, the Marketing team worked with industry experts to release an open-source RFP that outlined the features of a modern marketing platform. The project, which had an editorial byline in Digiday, has been a source of new leads, a valuable conversation piece for sellers, and a signal to industry that Percolate is always thinking ahead about the future of marketing.
For Michele Byrne, a Communications Designer, the opportunity to collaborate and create a wide array of exceptional products is what makes this job special. She’s designed everything from pages of Percolate.com, to research reports, to the brand identity for Session, an event series at the intersection of creativity and technology. “I love that I can touch so many different pieces. Session isn’t just a logo, it’s a poster, pins, coasters, she said.
“Plus,” she asked, “how often do you get to make a branded wraparound for an entire truck?” referring to the #TSOR Coffee Truck that made stops all around Manhattan in early November this year.
“For marketing to have engineers makes sense for an organization with technology at the heart,” said Sean Connolly, a Marketing Engineer. Previously a web developer at several news startups, Sean and the marketing engineering team works on a variety of projects, from the public facing website, the blog, the Marketing Library, to specialized pages and the demo. Because the engineers sits right with the designers and the rest of the Marketing, code, pixels, and copy move quickly and new products get out the door sooner.
A 21st Century Media Organization
“I think two things make our Marketing department unique,” said Percolate Co-Founder James Gross, “On one hand, we are a very product-led team. I don’t know of a single marketing team that has three dedicated engineers and four communication designers. On the other hand, we’re building a new category, the system of record for marketing, and that means creating a twenty-first century media organization.”
While our blog has been a key channel since Percolate’s earliest days, our recent redesign underscores how serious we are about delivering compelling content to our audiences. For us, that means bringing insightful research, tactical advice, and thought leadership to senior marketers, IT leaders, and community managers. With our blog readership up more than 400% since March, we’re on a great trajectory — but we’ve still got a lot more to do.
Of course, as a media organization, we publish far more than just blog content. When I joined Percolate, I had primarily been a consumer marketer, with fairly limited experience in enterprise marketing. In less than a year, I’ve had the opportunity to ship an extensive case study of one of our biggest clients, lead several co-marketed webinars, produce a variety of research reports, and a variety of additional creative campaigns. I’m excited by the challenge of taking on a new audience, format, or approach with each project I work on, knowing that expectations for quality and performance are constantly being raised.
MORE AUDIENCES THAN EVER
“Something I like a lot is sitting at the intersection of sales and client solutions,” said Kim Solow, Product Marketing Associate. “I get to take the best from both worlds: learning about and understanding the intricacies of the product, but also how to position the product for the sales team.”
Sales, of course, is a key stakeholder for Marketing. From sales collateral, to scripts and training material, to continuous updates to our demo, Marketing keeps our eye on how we always give our sellers and account managers a stronger position as they have conversations with prospects and clients about working with Percolate.
In the essay that accompanied the Transition conference, we made the point that marketing had an opportunity to “win market share” inside the organization — meaning expanding the responsibility and strategic importance of the department. This means going beyond external communications and looking at internal comms as well.
From producing a daily digest of must-read industry news, to explaining how a partnership should be positioned to clients and prospects, to curating social content that delights staff and potential employees, our team is actively involved in guiding how staff think about and talk about Percolate as a whole.
After two years as staff writer at Sesame Workshop, Graydon Gordian joined Percolate in February as Community Manager. While his focus started in social channels, his responsibilities quickly expanded a few months later when he was asked to take the lead on the Transition conference. Despite never having produced an event of this size and scope, he rose to the occasion and was promoted to Communications Manager upon the successful completion of the conference.
“To succeed in our team, I think you need to have an entrepreneurial spirit.” said Gordian. “You need to be the kind of person who looks at something and says, ‘this is good, but it could be great.'”
Marketing is still a relatively young department inside of Percolate, and it will continue to evolve as the company grows. But one thing is certain, it will continue to require brilliant people who are willing to think creatively, work collaboratively, and never, ever, settle.