This year marked my fourth Transition Conference at Percolate, and as it does every year, it fully lived up to the hype. In addition to hearing about the latest trends and challenges in marketing, I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to connect with our customers face to face. At Transition 2017, I had the pleasure of watching one of my long-time customers Johnson Controls be recognized for the amazing work they do in digital marketing, both as one of our speakers and as a recipient of one of our Customer Awards.

The presentation began with an introduction from Sam Sova, Global Director of Social Media and Digital Content and recipient of the Percolate Digital Change Agent award, followed by a discussion between former CMO Kim Metcalf-Kupres and Percolate President and Co-founder James Gross. They discussed everything from hiring in the digital age to managing the launch of the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village. Here are the key takeaways:

Global Trends for a Global Marketing Strategy

JCI’s marketing strategy is oriented around key global megatrends, including Demographics, Energy, Sustainable Solutions, and Digitalization. These trends are not unique to marketers, but are global trends that ultimately impact our society and thus the way marketers need to speak to their audiences.

JCI’s business is centered around two key industries: buildings and batteries. With an increasing demand for better technology, better integration, and better infrastructure in both these markets, it’s critical for JCI’s marketing strategy to speak to evolving trends in energy efficiency and digital. In their buildings business, JCI is focused on what makes a building comfortable, safe, secure, and sustainable. When it comes to energy storage, JCI is thinking about the power behind our transportation, as well as the spaces we work and live in.

As the world population grows and technology continues to rapidly evolve, increased demands on everything from natural resources to transportation to security are impacting how consumers live, and therefore impacting how marketers can engage them.

“We’re not a fear of uncertainty or doubt kind of company, we’re an optimistic company that believes that development and innovation is empowering and noble contribution to the human potential” – Kim Metcalf-Kupres

Good marketing requires an integrated approach

“I believe the best salespeople are good natural marketers, and the best marketing people have a good natural sales acumen as well,” said Kim, who also led the sales function during her tenure as CMO. Aligning marketing and sales is key to JCI’s integrated approach to their brand. It enables marketing to be strategy-oriented and sales to be execution-oriented, but at the same time for both to be work in concert to fulfill the larger business objectives of the company. As Kim emphasized, this integration in organizational structure sets the tone for how both departments strategize, operate, and collaborate.

Technology helps marketers do more with less

As a company, JCI has historically not been marketing-led, so they’ve always worked within tight budgets. Technology has reduced barriers to entry for JCI’s marketing team – allowing them to experiment with new media formats and channels. This is where their use of Percolate comes in, which is helping the JCI team to streamline their marketing efforts so they can create more on-brand content across more channels.

Sam demonstrated how, before Percolate, JCI’s content creation model was siloed with individual channel owners creating, scheduling and approving their own content in emails, excel files, and documents. As Sam put it, this process was “time consuming, inefficient and a lot of times you get different messages out to your audiences simply because you’re not well coordinated.”

digital change

Flash forward three years later to their current workflow, where they plan, create, approve, and schedule their content in Percolate. Implementing a central system for upstream marketing processes has increased visibility and improved collaboration across their teams. Sova explained that in a recent user survey, their teams estimated that they saving between 8-10 hours a month by following this process.

“We wanted to change our previous [content creation] model and enable this through technology in our partnership with Percolate.” – Sam Sova

Want to know how more brands are streamlining their marketing workflows in Percolate? Visit