Our annual content marketing study was published last week and as Stephanie Stahl by CMI wrote , “(C)ompanies are waking up to content marketing power in part due to the pandemic. ”
I say, “Yes, and…” through the lens of consulting and mentoring work ours with more than 30 brands last 18 months.
In Spring 2020, the famous Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said “We saw two years worth of digital transformation in two months.”
Since then, we've seen at least three major disruptions that helped us pinpoint where we could head. And identifying the impacts of these disruptions can help you develop strategies Get ready for the future of content and marketing.
Disruption 1: Shifting consumer time and brand heritage
Well, sounds important, doesn't it? It's just a rhetorical way of saying that things are moving faster and people have more choices of content.
By now, you are certainly familiar with how times change in the way people consume and spend time on content. But finally let's put the theory goldfish go to sleep . If you're not familiar with this concept, you might think that people nowadays pay less attention than goldfish.
Of course, this is not true. We have more of an attention span than a goldfish. Our ability to watch Ted Lasso, Game of Thrones or Squid Game proves we are attention. Even so, as Ted Lasso might say, “We could be happier if we had memory of a goldfish . But that's another conversation.
It's not the attention span that shrinks - it's our patience.
It's not just our patience with interruption-based advertising, it's any intermittent communication. For example, a recent research shows that Americans answer less than half of all calls on their cell phones.
Not only do we not like interruptions, but we know any content we like do can easily replace interaction with just one button. Don't like that TikTok video? Pull up strongly. Don't like that Netflix show? Backspace right out of it and into something else. Didn't get the answer you needed within eight seconds of clicking that search result? Click back to try again.
However, it is this brand of disruption that makes me more drawn to it. It's a trend where the impatience and ease of obtaining alternative content take away some of the ability (or need, as some might say) to build brand legacy.
In 1958, the average lifespan of a Standard & Poor company was 61 years, according to McKinsey & Company. Today, it's less than 18 years. McKinsey believes that within the next five to six years, 75% of the companies on the S&P 500 will be bought, consolidated or failed.
With that rapid growth, product and service brands become, in many ways, similar to startups, fashion or media companies in that they hit the market, gain popularity quickly. , won the trust of the audience, and then fell out of favor, fell out of favor or was replaced by another brand.
In some ways, the content brands launched (or acquired) by these companies are becoming as important to the business as its products and services.
To the second interruption we see.
Disruption 2: Scarcity of physical presence
One thing we all observed more clearly in the last 18 months is how precious physical presence is. There's nothing like having something taken away to make you realize how much you appreciate it.
But, interestingly we see new hobbies being developed in these times of forced scarcity. We humans are slowly realizing that many things are better served in an immaterial form. Simply put: Everyone appreciates their actual place in the world much higher.
For example, the idea of the Great Renunciation is Not new. If you look at the labor statistics, the last trend is 10 years old. Without a doubt, it has been accelerated by the pandemic. Many people now say, “I see more value in working from home,” or “Is my physical presence at my workplace worth more than it was before the pandemic?” We also asked more seriously overall whether we needed to really go out or go somewhere physically.
Now, certainly in the next year or two, the need will increase to return to presence. There will be demand for truck drivers and restaurant goers, business meeting attendees and fans at sporting events, entertainment venues, etc. But this in-person presence may still remain. to be scarcity due to supply to some extent.
influence marketing and the importance of content in marketing?
Well, since in-person presence is still more valuable, in-person events (once content marketing tactics most efficient) will become a luxury item. So and this is key, the nature of the content we deliver at these events is better really good and very different from before.
Immediately, this trend puts new and growing pressure on the digital content experience. Why? Digital content platforms now act as a physical presence proxy. All of our digital content (events, thought leadership, etc.) has to be more distinct as our audience expects more and the noise will only grow exponentially more frenetic. When you see Salesforce, a B2B company, investing millions of dollars to grow their Dreamforce conference into a B2B streaming service To compete with Netflix or Amazon Prime, you can see how important the digital content experience has become.
And that brings us to the third interruption.
Disruption 3: Decline of faith and truth
In many ways, it seems the world is more divided than we have ever been. And honestly, it's hard to tell if we really are. But what we do know is believe in mainstream organizations is at its lowest. Whether it is the government, the mainstream media, businesses or even nonprofits, we are inundated with an epidemic of misinformation and widespread mistrust about all this organization and its leaders.
While there's more to the discussion than just business and content marketing, we should recognize this disruption as a direct and significant opportunity to help us shape the future of marketing.
When the bar is so low, marketers not only have the opportunity – and maybe even the responsibility (discussing a good whiskey) – to create trust and truth as a value.
Great marketing adds value that customers invest in and that can create wealth for a business. But not all of that customer investment has to involve the purchase of our traditional products or services.
We may monetize marketing in another way – through time, attention, referrals, personal data and brand loyalty – even trust. All of these can be converted into wealth for the business.
The future of content and marketing
When we put these three disruptions into context, we can see the future of marketing otherwise the future of marketing. The creation of trust and truth, driven by the need to create and engage audiences in differentiated physical and digital content experiences, as our customers' patience for communication declines Disruption, is the future of content and marketing.
But what does that look like? How do we turn that into something tangible that we can build?
Well, I find this put together in an interesting way. Content and marketing are evolving. Again. But this time, ironically, both content strategy and marketing as a practice are becoming more valuable, richer for the business.
How? Let me pose a question: What if content and marketing as a practice and its output were seen as as important to the business as its current products or services?
In other words, what if marketing can be seen as more than just a stream of expenses developing activities and creating content to convince audiences to become customers of a company's products and services?
Instead, what if marketing were seen as Profit Centers where the main function is to create experiential products for possible audiences earn money in many ways only one of which is the purchase of traditional products and services extended or continuous?
In simpler words: What if content marketers and our approach to adding value, monetizing our audience, and treating our content as important as a product is the future of marketing altogether?
Like I said, the fastest way to get in trouble is to predict the future. There is a famous quote by Peter Drucker: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Whether he says it or not, I really like a variation of Dennis Gabor, a Nobel Prize winning physicist. Ended 50 years ago, he wrote in Inventing the future :
Rational thinking, even aided by any conceivable electronic computer, cannot predict the future… All it can do is map out the provable… Technological and social inventions always expand this probability…. The future cannot be predicted, but the future can be invented.
In the CMI study, this year, we say “the giant has awakened.” I said, “Yes, and look out because we are the future.”
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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski / Content Marketing Institute