Unpacking Content Marketing Predictions for 2014


Every year Joe Pulizzi compiles a collection of thoughts on the future of content marketing. You can find last year's collection of more than 100 here. I was excited to see my entry in the body of the post.

What I said for 2013:

Tablets, smartphones, laptops make up the buyer’s multi-device ecosystem. Responsive Web design meets the challenge of not knowing which screen the user prefers by providing an optimal viewing experience: easy reading and navigation with minimum resizing, panning, scrolling across a wide range of devices. 

Content needs to be structured in chunks that can be flowed into this architecture. Personalization addresses: 1) who I am – e.g., location, preferences; 2) what I’m doing – e.g., learning, buying.

Like last year, I kept my 2014 prediction to the maximum number of words specified in the request, which this time was 75. It made for a very concise statement indeed. In response to how brand marketers will create and distribute their content (in 2014), I said:

What will separate the long remembered from the quickly forgotten will be the ability to connect all brand activities into a positive-sum experience. Winner brands will be Secretaries of Understanding, Champions of Network Smarts, and Meaningful Actions Agents who master the ability to draw relationships between relationships.

Since that was a tight space, I will unpack my statement a little.

Saying you first need a strategy won't win me any browny points — you do know that. Connecting all brand activities into a positive-sum experience can create advantage only with an approach that calls for coherent action.

Where it gets interesting is in the actual execution; demonstrating the ability to draw relationships between relationships — and this is not just a cute way of saying Big Data wins. No, Big Data should not replace thinking. Meaningful Action Agents create the opportunities that make an impact for the business by delivering on promises.

Predictions are not just about stretching what is happening now to make it more important tomorrow. We still get it wrong enough times to make it noticeable when we try to predict a future action. However, predictions are a useful exercise when based on what you do with what you learn from what is happening right now.

Secretaries of Understanding both have the ability to tell the trend from the fad, and to help customers navigate what is on offer with simplicity and empathy.

Champions of Network smarts have figured out how to be appropriate both to the organizations they serve, and the customers who rely on them. To move the needle in global applications, this competency has implications across cultures, disciplines, and verticals.

As social matures, the more interesting stuff will be a more nuanced application of content based on its unique role in the expression and nurturing of brand and business, and the rest of us, where we see the dissolution of the sell/buy side duality. This is the essence of evolved social, along with the evolution of the world of work.

I call this "the social space in the middle."

Full deck with 50 predictions# below.

50 Content Marketing Predictions for 2014 from Content Marketing Institute



Valeria is an experienced listener. She designs service and product experiences to help businesses rediscover the value of promises and its effects on relationships and culture. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. Book her to speak here.

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