THE FUTURE OF CONTENT: AN INCREDIBLE EXPANDING UNIVERSE

Attendees of the 2011 Custom Content Conference convened today in Charleston, S.C., for the last day of presentations, networking and knowledge sharing.

Although the word wasn’t specifically used today, the theme that emerged could best be encapsulated in the term “multimodal.” To be most effective, content needs to be integrated across print, Web, mobile, social media and more. And that includes the entire content life cycle, from market research to sales call.

David Harris

group manager of digital and alternative media for Mazda North America, described how content creators can take advantage of multiple channels. For example, carmakers are distributing owner manuals through social and mobile media and thereby gaining opportunities to interact with customers.

Diana Derval

president and research director for DervalResearch, explored research that shows how human physiology can affect consumer preferences for color, texture, sound and other product characteristics. For instance, research suggests that nearsighted people prefer blue, while farsighted people prefer red. Derval offered examples of how marketers have used this knowledge to target customers and increase sales.

Rex Sorgatz

creative director and CMO of VYou, talked about his company’s new offering. VYou.com is a new content-distribution channel that can be described as Twitter meets YouTube, Quora and Facebook. It allows users to create a profile and then use videos to respond to questions asked by other users. Simon & Schuster, for example, is using it to allow readers to interact with authors.

Kristi Adams

marketing innovation manager for Dell, explained why “content isn’t king until it makes your sales team sing.” Content has to be more than information; it needs to touch on what your customer loves.

Ultimately, attendees were reminded that there’s no longer – if there ever was – a single, dominant communication channel. And to be successful, content needs to be multifunctional, multifaceted, versatile and adaptable.

Sounds a lot like the members of the Custom Content Council.