Percolate knows your online friends are marketing gold.
Three years ago, Percolate launched to help brands create better content. The startup’s first app set out to solve an efficiency problem by enabling brands to source photography across departments. Percolate’s new iOS app, however —Percolate Employee — was created to solve an entirely different problem.
Now, for the sake of example, pretend you work at Fortune 500 company. With Percolate Employee, your company will regularly send you company-approved content. This content, chosen by a company’s marketing overlords, is encouraged to be shared out across your personal networks.
Collectively, the hope is to fan the flame of product launches — or in the case of crises, put out fires.
From the point of view of a marketing exec, it’s easy to see why mouths would water over an employee-led army of tweets and shares. Noah Brier, Percolate’s CEO and co-founder, tells us he wants to “expand what it means to be a marketer.”
From the point of view of an average employee, it’s more of a mixed bag. According to research we recently concluded, around 17 percent of all employees are required to use their personal social media accounts to spread company messaging, and a further 27 percent are not required but are strongly encouraged to do so. And around 65 percent of that group said they felt their online privacy wasn’t being respected.
As one of these respondents noted, “I have to be very careful about everything I say to my friends as I conduct business activities over the same accounts. My Facebook has become a more interactive version of my LinkedIn profile, with only the blandest conversations with my friends.”
In an idealistic sense, Percolate Employee could serve a dual role: it’s a marketing machine and also a tool for helping employees stay up to date on the latest announcements. If this tool is abused, however, it will further sink the social networks of many into a spammy pool of brand marketing nonsense. It could quite literally lead to a 500 percent increases in SaaS-related shares on your aunt’s Facebook wall.
Pushing for authenticity will be a tough balancing act, but Percolate clearly believes it’s cut out for the job.
For now, it’s at least clear that Percolate Employee will pique the interest of enterprise marketing departments everywhere.