Last Thursday we hosted our Second Client Summit at the TimesCenter in New York City. We filled the room with more than 300 attendees, most of whom were marketing leaders at some of the amazing brands we are proud to call clients. It was an incredible testament to how far we’ve come since our first client summit in 2013.

In the last year, we shipped 35 new major product features, doubled the number of people at Percolate working to make you successful, opened offices across the U.S. and in London, and got to showcase just a few of the clients who have joined us on this journey to build the System of Record for Marketing.

We’re beyond excited about the product roadmap we announced at the Client Summit. The enhancements we’ll deliver in 2015 to Percolate will enable more agile planning, monitoring, campaign execution, and analytics. Moreover, the new Percolate will seamlessly map to the organization of companies, integrate with existing systems, and elevate brands.

But to give you idea how the day when down, here are the twelve best moments of the Client Summit.

1) James dropped a full history lesson to explain why we are living through the most transformative technology revolution in the last 250 years.

If you haven’t already read James’ blog post, Moving from Installation to deployment, then as soon as you’re finished reading this, do that. The post teased what this history lesson was all about.

We talk at great lengths about the amazing times we live in, but haven’t explained how we’ve gotten here. Boiled down, we are living through the biggest technology revolution of the last 250 years, and are on the brink of seeing just how huge the impacts on society, culture, and economics will be.

James Gross Tech Recolution

2) Noah explains how this technology revolution is building responsive enterprises by enabling interdependent-feedback systems.

Noah continued the history lesson, but zoomed into the story of brand management. Brand Management was created in a Procter & Gamble memo in 1931 and really didn’t change much until today. With the technology revolution that we are living through now, a system of record, powered by software is the only way for brand management to centralize, streamline, govern, analyze, and improve everything it does:

Noah Brier Marketing Structures

3) Ben Jefferies explains how BP is becoming an agile enterprise by using data intelligently to align marketing objectives with business strategy.

Ben explain how BP has been developing their feedback system by using data. Data shines the light on whether something is informative or not, but data has to be treated as a tool. It needs an application or else it doesn’t matter. As a marketer, data needs to help propel the marketing strategy in a way that aligns with the business. Data can help clarify the path to take, but it can’t be the destination. Ben, a long time supporter of Percolate, gets that we are moving beyond social. He sees how social is another channel, but it has to fit in the great picture of the business:

Ben Jefferies on Social Businessed

 4) Ben Richards of Ogilvy explains what marketers and Odysseus have in common: they both face the perils of seductive sirens.

Ben took a look at how the modern marketer has to think about strategy and, in doing so, they must be conscious of the four “sirens of modern marketing.” He explains how the four sirens — content marketing, creative assets, real-time campaigns, and any “shiny, new discipline” — are merely outcomes of a strategy, and should never be the objectives of one. He explains, “Great art is found at intersection of authenticity and creativity.” Creative that authentically speaks to ideals positions itself in society.

5) Johnson Controls’ Sam Sova demonstrates how a company founded in 1885 remains ahead of the curve in digital marketing through a technology-enabled, customer-centered strategy.

Sam gave several examples how Johnson Controls was using Percolate as the single source of truth for marketing across channels. Johnson Controls produced the very first thermostat, but today their products and services range from batteries to automotive interiors. With such a broad range of capabilities their marketing is no easy task. Software has been the only solution for bringing teams together. Sam Sova Johnson Controls

6) Katrina Craigwell of GE shows the power of visual storytelling

We love when Katrina presents. She has an amazing vision of the future of marketing. At the Client Summit, she explained how by defining the brand voice, target, objective, and strategy, GE has been able to bring a community together to capture moments in pop culture that transcend language.  From photo shoots across some 20 countries, to a music video shot at a GE jet engine factory, to a deep-sea factory exploration virtual reality experience, these huge, beautiful, and fascinating events have offered amazing pieces of creative for local marketing. The company is so big that software is the only way that it has been able to bring these GE events to local markets and guarantee their appropriate use. GE is allowing “governance through enablement instead of governance through policing,” Katrina explained, but more than that GE is celebrating how what they do is at the intersection of art and technology through this visual storytelling. IMG_1214

7) Beside making huge product announcements that will change how marketers approach planning and strategy forever, we also announced partnerships that truly make Percolate the System of Record for Marketing.

Why is being the System of Record for Marketing so important? “30% of paid campaigns don’t start on time due to lack of coordination between creative and media,” our Shik Sundar revealed. Our new brief templates, workflows, and integration partnerships have been designed with those pain points in mind:

8) Pinterest’s Tram Nguyen illustrates how the integration of marketing team and business team is critical for scalable distribution

Tram demystified Pinterest for the audience. Two-thirds of content on Pinterest comes from companies. That means, Pinterest has enormous capacity to enable the feedback loop that fuels responsive enterprises.  She shared how companies like The Four Seasons are using Pinterest to better understand their guests to offer curated city guides. Tram Nguyen from Pinterest

9) Nate Stewart explains how Percolate’s new workflows create efficiencies in Marketing Supply Chains and why that matters to the whole business.

We’re building Percolate to systematize the marketing supply chain.  What does that mean exactly? It means streamlining the sourcing processes, centralizing assets, and integrating distribution channels, in order to create global efficiencies that can be executed at the local level. In 2015 we are using integrations to improve effectiveness and distribution. Nate explained it best here:

Nate Stewart on Supply Chain

10) Max Kalehoff from Social Code demonstrated how can we use data to better plan and create marketing strategies to achieve greater brand impact.

Max explained how the best marketing strategies are informed strategies. He took us through several example of how digital campaigns gave marketing the opportunity to test the impact of messages and expand from there. Digital marketing isn’t replacing traditional advertising, it’s just enhancing it. Stacy Short, Director of Corporate Social Media at Visa captured the moment:

11) Mike Arauz from Undercurrent taught us how responsive enterprises really work.

We were recently listed as the twelfth most responsive companies of 2014 by Undercurrent, so naturally we wanted Mike to explain what these companies do differently to earn a spot on this list. He explained three attributes of responsive companies: they put purpose before profit, they empower employees, and they work in public by building systems to spread information inside and outside the company. We agree.

Mike Arauz from Undercurrent


12) Theresa McDonald showed the impact of purpose-driven, multi-channel marketing …and also managed to get the audience to tear up.

Theresa took us through Dove’s strategy for their men’s products. It’s about understanding their customers first. Following Mike Arauz’s idea of purpose before profit, Theresa gave concrete examples of how the men’s product have taken a step back to understand their customer first and let products and marketing follow that.  Their main finding was that men today don’t see themselves properly represented in the media. From there came the the product Axe White Label and the Dove Men+Care Dad commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. Try watching that without welling up.

The ultimate lesson from the day was that it’s a wonderful time to be a marketer. Your budgets are growing, your teams are going, but the challenges you face are grander and don’t have solution already worked out.  “Advertising is chaos and it’s only going to get worse,” Unilever’s CMO Keith Weed told us last year, and in the time since he said that we’ve already seen it come to fruition. The only way we are going to cut through the noise that is modern marketing is through software. That’s why we’re building the System of Record.

13) Bonus Moment: The Afterparty.

You didn’t think we’d host an event without one, did you? In true Percolate fashion, and with the help of our partner, SocialCode, we threw a great after party to celebrate the day with our clients.

Percolate Client Summit After Party

A special thanks to all of our sponsors, SocialCode, Tongal, and TrackMaven for helping make the day awesome.

Until next year!