Grading my content predictions for 2011: B+ … maybe an A-

Before I serve up my content predictions for 2012, which will be my next article, let’s recap my predictions from last year. I invoke any and all excuses for poor grades; my dog ate the original predictions, the teacher only likes women, and an emergency funeral interrupted my content mojo – all are in play in spite of the fact that I am the teacher, the class, and the jury.

  • I said what LeBron said, “I’m taking my talents to South Beach,” would become overused throughout the year. Correct, but it pales in comparison to The New Normal,which is still the old abnormal. Grade: B+
  • I predicted the AP Style Guide was going the way of the wayside, particularly its spelling of Web site. Yes, it was changed to website. Grade: A
  • I said companies will begin to hire content editors, and I made a few offhanded remarks about people writing who shouldn’t. Slow to hop on the bandwagon. Grade: C
  • I asked for a cease-fire on posting photos (a photo is content, after all) of your plate of food. No end in sight, and no Bon Voyage to Bon Appetit. Grade: D
  • I stated that good content starts and ends without references to you, and this will help in your quest for sales lift. As the Magic 8-Ball says, “Signs point to yes.” Grade: B
  • Because of this, I said you’ll see more compelling and believable content produced by customers and employees in your behalf. Well, it’s tough to let go of everything you. “Reply hazy, try again.” Grade: C
  • I predicted more authenticity in distributed content as a result of not talking about your South Beach talents. Absolutely heading in the right direction; nearly all of our Voice-of-Customer (VOC) Research shows an incredible demand for case studies and interactive customer-facing white papers. Grade: A-
  • I thought the word groovy was going to make a comeback in 2011, powered by aging white males who believe the older they get, the hotter they are. Grade: D on the groovy, Grade A on the old white guy stuff.
  • I thought businesses would start planning their content as they plan their media and promotions: in a content matrix of sorts. No such luck – our research is showing content distribution is haphazard and generally an afterthought. Grade: C
  • I predicted, in spite of the 140 character limitations, more content than ever would be distributed through Twitter. Unquestionably so, or in the interest of character compression – yeababy! Grade A

So what’s the takeaway? It’s said, “If you’re not content marketing, you’re not marketing.” True enough. It appears businesses are beginning to understand the importance of customized and personalized content creation and distribution, but are a little slow to make the transition. That’s understandable. Until communicators accept that one market of 1,000 isn’t any more important than 1,000 markets of one, we’ll continue to produce many of the same deliverables we’ve been developing for decades.

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