You're Going To Need A Chief Content Officer Sooner Than Later

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Fast Company recently asked a wide range of creative professionals how marketing will change in 2014. Some of the highlights included... 

"...we'll see interesting opportunities to use technology to save us from technology." --Scott Prindle, partner/chief digital officer, Made Movement

"We'll witness the rise of the collaborative economy." --Sandra Krstic, deputy managing partner of DDB & Tribal Worldwide, Amsterdam

"It's better to try to invent the future rather than predict it." --Winston Binch, partner, chief digital officer, Deutsch LA

But it was William Gelner, the chief creative officer at 180 LA, who really hit the nail on the head... 

"Our social feeds will continue to be under siege by the world of inane crap. Truly great content and masterful storytelling will be the only thing that breaks through the morass. The best brands and agencies will focus on this. They will create new structures centered around creating the best stuff. Heads of content, or chief content officers, or whatever fancy title we chose to bestow upon them, will start to appear in the C suite alongside CMOs and CEOs. Share-worthy content will become the Holy Grail. I think brands will realize they need to reduce the number of social channels to the one or two that work best, and master them. It won’t be about being channel agnostic, it will be about being channel positive. If none of this should come to pass, rest in knowing that plaid shirts will be outlawed in creative departments until 2029 when they are back in vogue."

My first thought –gingham is the new plaid and second, no matter what the product or service is it can't and won't be successful without great programmed ("programmed" being the key word) content. Viral videos are a dime a dozen but consistent viral content, say a series of viral content, now that's a whole different beast. It's going to take someone who not only understands what's good but can develop content that will attract people over the long term –it's going to take a Chief Content Officer. As Dianne Wilkins, CEO of Critical Mass put it:

"The days of the one-off project or campaign are over, now it’s about data and profiles and connected experiences."

Brand's social channels can become the new TV networks. A company like Taco Bell has 10 million potential eye balls on Facebook. It's just a matter of time before companies realize they can be the next Netflix and make their own House Of Cards.

--hyla