Noah Brier is the CEO and Co-founder of Percolate, a marketing technology company with a mission to help brands of all sizes create great marketing and distribute it to the right audience. With an end-to-end suite of web-based and mobile tools, Percolate allows brands, agencies and other external partners to work within a single platform. This collaboration enables teams to plan, source, publish and optimize their content across all channels and helps some of the world’s largest marketers establish and ensure brand consistency at global scale. Percolate’s clients include Unilever, General Electric and Mastercard. The company has offices in New York City, London, San Francisco and Austin. The Makegood recently spoke with Noah about Percolate’s Transition conference happening this July.
The Makegood: Congratulations on your first installment of Transition, Percolate’s new must-attend conference. What is the main focus of the conference, and how will you be communicating to your listeners?
We’re bringing together a number of thought leaders from different industries to explore how technology reshapes the world. This will range from cities and the law, to data and, of course, marketing. We’re looking to find a happy medium of looking at the overall landscape, using specific industries/verticals as case studies, and talking to practitioners who are putting things into practice to help ride the wave of transition the industry is feeling.
The Makegood: It is evident that technology is not only changing, but also shaping the world. What should brands be doing to adapt to this change? What have brands done already to approach all of the changes? Brands have started to recognize that the world around them is changing. Business is more global than ever before, and the global consumer is more mobile (both literally and figuratively). Marketing strategy has moved from a function where you created a few messages a year to one where you potentially create a few messages per second that can be targeted at even more nuanced segments. As this occurs, the challenges of marketing move from something you can explain on a sheet of paper with a communications strategy to a massively-matrixed system where you need software to keep track of everything. At the heart of the shift marketers are facing is moving from the ad-hoc processes of the past, which were totally fine for what the job was thirty years ago, to a wholly operational and software-led process that allows marketers to scale as the world changes around them.
The Makegood: What technology should marketers be looking into to further expand their impact on their targeted audience? How would a more systematic approach foster success?
This gets into the territory of Percolate specifically, but we believe marketers should be looking for software that can help manage every piece of what it means to be a modern, global brand. That goes all the way from brand governance and strategy, through sourcing and creation, and finally onto analytics. Marketers, like every other department in the enterprise, need a system of record.
The Makegood: What other changes do you see occurring in the future of marketing?
This is always a hard one because it depends on the time horizon. Allow me to give a one year answer, a three year answer and a five year answer. On the one year side, I think what we’re seeing is Facebook (and inevitably the other platforms follow suit) shifting to a model where all content is promoted content. Some folks were up in arms about this earlier in the year, but to me it seems rather simple: Facebook has over one billion people who you can reach in slices of any shape and size. This is something marketers have been asking for for years and are actually more than happy to pay for. The idea of organic content was nice for a bit, but ultimately it was a notion that wouldn’t and couldn’t last and something we’ve been seeing coming for quite awhile. On the three year front, I expect we’ll see more and more channels come online for reaching consumers across various media. In the end, all media will be programmatic in the sense that it can be reached by an API. Finally, on the five year front, almost the entire world will be on the internet, at least that’s what the numbers seem to predict. By 2019, six billion people will be connected to the network. That will be amazing for a lot of reasons, not even the least being what it means for a marketer’s ability to reach audiences everywhere.
The Makegood: How has, and how will Percolate adapt to the changes that will inevitably occur?
The answer to this one is that we keep a pretty long-term outlook on things at Percolate. From day one we’ve had a vision for what marketers need and where the industry is headed, and we’ve built a company and products against that vision. Obviously that isn’t to say unexpected things haven’t occurred, but our outlook on building a business is to have a vision for the future and build an organization that can move quickly and continue to adapt as things around you change.
The Makegood: Thank you, Noah.