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10 Predictions for the future of content marketing technology


Do you have a marketing geek on your team yet? If not, you will soon. Often dubbed marketing technologists, we represent a growing population of marketers are early adopters of innovative technology which enables us to strengthen customer engagement.

Over the past ten years, geeks like us pushed the limits of marketing automation and digital technology to innovate beyond boundaries and took advantage of social media platforms, cloud and mobile to connect with our audience in new and exciting ways. The rapid rise of content marketing is driving another wave of innovation in marketing technology and will inevitably bring even more exciting developments.

Below are 10 predictions for the future of content marketing technology:

  1. The campaign will die (RIP).I’ve been waiting to bury the dated campaign concept for several years now. As a content marketer, I find it to be limiting relative to my ability to be agile and connect with my audience in the moment. In the future, I anticipate that marketing technology will enable us to have an arsenal of core content that can be repurposed and leveraged to respond to the needs of an individual at the time they desire it.
  2. Moneyball-style marketing will rule. I read somewhere recently that “Content is not king, distribution is” and marketing technology needs to enable us to be both efficient and competitive. Moneyball was the book — and movie — about how Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane used statistical analysis to build a competitive baseball club with a small budget. Content marketing, by nature, while driven by best practices will always be somewhat experimental as we try new formats, topics, and styles. The key to success is rapidly identifying the content that performs and doubling down on your investment in that piece, distributing it to multiple channels to amplify its reach.
  3. Real-time audience discovery and targeting. Today, we have constant access to real-time data (via social media) indicating interests, geographic location, activity, etc. but yet the majority of our audience discovery and targeting still occurs in a slow process that takes days if not weeks to execute. In the near future, this process will occur in near real-time thanks to marketing technology that will enable us to capture everyone who is talking about a tradeshow—or a TV show—and communicate with them in their desired channel, in a relevant and timely way.
  4. Planning will be agile and collaborative. For marketers supporting global enterprises, planning can take anywhere from 3-6 months and is most often silo’ d in spreadsheets, slide decks and on local hard drives. Marketing technology will enable us to plan in near real-time by leveraging a dynamic editorial calendar shared by the entire team and redirecting budget and effort where it makes sense to invest based on performance and customer demand.
  5. The customer will demand personalization. It is pretty clear that we, as brands, are no longer in the driver’s seat when it comes to the decision journey. Customers are no longer allowing themselves to be “pulled” on a linear path but instead they meander in and out of various channels- both online and in-person- collecting bits and pieces of intelligence along the way that will feed their ultimate purchase decision.
  6. Metrics beyond clicks and views. The technology has matured to the point where we have access to meaningful data related to content. We have the ability to embed interactive elements such as polls and surveys into our once “flat” marketing assets such as whitepapers, infographics and videos. Tools also exist to measure how much of the blog post was read on average, how long viewers watched a video, where and when they shared your content on their social networks and so much more. Our content marketing platform may soon indicate that the LinkedIn audience watched 8 out of 10 minutes of a video on their tablets while the Twitter audience only watched 1:30 out of 10 minutes of a video via their mobile devices. This level of insight can be fed directly back into our content marketing strategy.
  7. Social will be infused throughout. In recent years, social media technology has given rise to dozens of points solutions ranging from listening to distribution to analytics. It is clear to me that social media technology needs to be integrated within our content marketing tools and platforms. We depend on social listening to discover what our customers are talking about, what content they are engaging with (or not), and we also leverage the related distribution channels to amplify the reach of our messages.
  8. Insights will trump analytics. The marketing technology that will win my heart (and budget) in 2015 will be the one that builds algorithms into the product in order to analyze the data and deliver powerful insights to us marketers that will indicate what content is successful in what channels, where the gaps are, and what content mix is ideal for each audience. It’s time to move beyond clicks and page views and better understand what performs and why in our omni-channel environment.
  9. Consolidation via hub and spoke model will emerge. Over the past decade, marketing software has primarily existed as a spoke on the “hub” or Platforms of sales-centric software like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms. Today, the tables are starting to turn due to the new paths within the customers’ decision journey and marketing software is all the rage. But we need to consolidate before total chaos ensues. According to ChiefMarTech, marketers frequently use as many as 100 software programs! The point solutions existing today will soon be integrated into “suites” and eventually, a few will emerge as PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service)- hopefully enabling an ecosystem to be built around them.
  10. Alignment with Sales will strengthen. Reiterating the reality of the revised buyers’ journey, it’s critical that sales professionals are connected to the content marketing efforts in the early stages. Technology offers sales the opportunity to gain a view into what content prospects and customers and also engage them via social selling and account-based marketing programs. Imagine if Sales executives could easily view a dashboard indicating the topics of the content their customers are engaging with- that would certainly impact their next conversation. Insights related to content should be integrated into the system of record for Sales, currently CRM, and become part of the lead record for reference when the prospect is ready to engage directly with the vendor.

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10 Predictions for the future of content marketing technology