What will marketing content look like in 2025?
Content has probably made more strides forward in the past 10 years than it did throughout the entire last century. What if that’s just the beginning? What do you imagine marketing and communication content will look like in the future? This is the question we asked Melanie Viala, Founder and Managing Director of the École Supérieure du Digital [The Digital Academy]. Brace yourselves!
In your opinion, what is the main driver behind content development?
Technology, for sure! Every day, digital and hardware innovation open up new possibilities for content creation: we are now in the era of 360° videos, virtual reality, 3D, artificial intelligence, chatbots, etc. More than ever, technology is shaping not only the marketing messages of tomorrow, but also their format, distribution, measurement, etc.
We are on the cusp of a content-marketing revolution: while individual brands indiscriminately target millions of users, it is possible to reverse this trend, so that multiple brands target a single consumer, at very precise moment in the day. More than just a ‘message’, the proposed content will be a customized ‘experience’, which is much more effective!
If technology enables innovation via content, then technology can also make it increasingly accessible:
- Software is becoming more and more intuitive and user-friendly. Take Adobe Fuse for example: in just a few hours, anyone can create a 3D character and an animated one at that!
- Templates are infiltrating every creative field! You no longer need to be an expert to produce high quality videos; all you need is commercially available software, or a video template off the Hive platform, for example!
- And in the age of UGC (user-generated content), users can create anything and share it with everyone. All Ikea furniture, for instance, is available in 3D and can be imported with just one click via SketchUp.
This is the point where businesses become true media platforms; capable of producing their own content at low cost and high speed. This is how we are orientating our students: they are capable of both thinking up and implementing content strategy, thanks to their software agility.
You recently took your students on a ‘learning expedition’ to Silicon Valley. Which technologies caught your eye?
I see three technologies about to change the marketing content landscape dramatically: first, high-powered data, followed by artificial intelligence, and finally, mixed reality. Therefore, the instantaneous measurement of content performance, for example, already enables us to redesign the customer experience, almost in real time, as well as automatically. What is more, instant access to a large body of data about each individual will enable us to move from ‘360’ marketing to ‘moment marketing’: a personalized message in any situation, at any time! Finally, virtual, augmented and mixed realities are bringing marketing into a fourth dimension. These new realities provide just as many new points of contact with consumers and just as many opportunities for brands to market themselves.
So, we will have to produce a whole load of content!
Yes and no! This is where AI comes in: content will be produced automatically, on the fly, consisting of linked sequences, some of which will still be designed by humans. In other words, you will no longer write articles, but rather paragraphs, each presenting a unit of meaning, time, place, etc., to be assembled ad infinitum. The same thing applies to videos: for example, AI will choose to highlight three themes out of the 15 available. It will then adapt these to the target location, orienting the style of communication towards the age group concerned, and creating different versions for customers, prospective customers, etc.
So, you are forecasting a tsunami for content professionals?
For ‘basic’ content, yes. The production of simple content should no longer be down to the professionals, thanks to (or because of) increasingly comprehensive and intelligent software platforms. The challenge will be to drive this production, control its quality, and manage the development of multiple formats. By the way, your Wedia Marketing Resource Management solutions are a good example of this. It is actually all a question of talent: who will be responsible for leveraging content in future? There are two answers to this. On the one hand, we have people like the students at ESD, who are ready not only to produce, test and use all the new resources and trends rapidly, but also to organize the flow and management of the content produced. On the other hand, there are others with a highly technical professional skill set, capable of designing content that has great technological value. High-tech content, like 3D, holograms, chat ‘bots’, etc., which require software engineering skills, could very well be created by the film and/or video game industry. They already have a foot (even a leg) in the door: this is the case with Gameloft, for example, which develops brand applications and even has its own advertising agency. It is also the case with video-game studios, like Asobo, who have developed a B2B branch to deliver holographic services and content.
Will we have to ‘gamify’ our content and switch over to mixed reality?
Not necessarily. Narrative modes will simply follow technological possibilities. We will still need to convey information, subject matter, emotions, etc. and in this regard, mixed reality is just another way of supporting traditional communication tools. I also believe that mixed reality will have a much lower impact than technical information on marketing and communication. Augmented reality headsets are still quite awkward and take some wearing (in terms of comfort). Therefore, I think it is more likely that we will use them for SAVs, user manuals or even tutorials. As a result, they will be moved from the ‘Video Games’ shelf to ‘Electrical Appliances’!
About École Supérieure du Digital (ESD)
Founded in 2014, ESD combines the expertise of a Communications School (the École de Condé, first established in 1927) and one of the top Design Schools in France (École Supérieure de Publicité – College of Advertising). Positioned at a digital crossroads, it not only provides instruction in Creative Arts, but also in communication strategies and software development. Its motto is “Learn, so you can understand; think, so you can do; code, so you can create, and act, so you can flourish.”
 Mixed reality is an advanced form of augmented reality, in which users and their real environment can interact with one or more virtual holograms.