By Joe Pulizzi published November 2, 2013

2013 Content Marketing Prediction Hits and Misses

arrows in target-2013 prediction hitsYes, it’s that time again.

This will be our sixth year putting together content marketing predictions. (For the record, you can also view what was forecast for 200920102011, 2012 and 2013.)

Before we reveal which predictions came true — and which ones didn’t quite come to pass — over the past 12 months, I’d love if you could throw your hat into the ring and share your predictions for 2014.

Complete your 2014 prediction here!

So just for fun, let’s take a look back at the winners (and losers) for 2013.

Where we got it right

The phrase ‘content marketing’ will become the accepted term for the majority of businesses. —Marcus Sheridan

My take: Bingo! This one has certainly become a reality this year.

Podcasts [are set] to explode in 2013! As more consumers begin to discover their smartphones can deliver on-demand talk in the form of podcasts, we’ll see a virtual land grab, as more experts begin publishing their own weekly audio shows. —Mike Stelzner

My take: Believe it or not, according to Edison Research, one in six Americans has now listened to a podcast in the last 6 months.

2013 will be the year in which content marketers truly embrace visual content. —Neal Schaffer

My take: Uh, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, the rise of the infographic… I think Neal hit this right on the head.

More CMOs will co-brand by co-creating content in 2013. —David Deal

My take: Want to see proof that this is happening all over our industry? Just take a read through this brandscaping post for some amazing co-creation examples.

Marketing automation and content creation platforms will continue to consolidate and integrate with one another. —Steve Lazuka

My take: Oracle’s purchase of Compendium and’s purchase of ExactTarget and Pardot are just the start of the big mergers and acquisitions to come across the content landscape.

To drive more meaningful engagement, brands will leverage ‘the social stream’ via ‘promoted tweets’ and ‘sponsored stories’ as their #1 way to serve content and connect with audiences. —Barbra Gago

My take: There’s plenty of evidence that 2013 could be considered the “Year of Native Advertising.”

Just as the term ‘cloud’ became confused and distorted under the weight of opportunistic IT marketing, it’ll become tougher to keep content marketing a clearly defined and understood discipline. —Jonathan Crossfield

My take: It’s already become a major challenge. Here’s a great post from Robert Rose, who is working to try to clear up some of this confusion.

Where we missed the mark

In 2013, we’ll start to see big brands in all industries start to purchase media companies. While many will still opt to build, many will just buy the media brand and talent as part of their content marketing initiatives. —Joe Pulizzi

My take: Well, this just didn’t happen… but that isn’t going to stop me from predicting this for 2014.

Some brand will do solid, hardcore investigative work — not of its industry, but of a tangential subject of interest to customers. —Paul Conley

My take: As far as I know, no brand really took this on in 2013.

Brands will get serious about planning content marketing. —Will Davis

My take: According to Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs research, the majority of brands still have no documented content marketing strategy.

CMI will be bought by major player; Pulizzi buys NY Jets; orange retired as a color. —Doug Kessler

My take: No; nope; and never gonna happen.

The jury’s still out

By the end of the year, marketers will start to realize they can’t do content marketing without integrating print. —Nenad Senic

My take: Well, at least our latest content marketing research showed that print channel usage is holding firm.

Thanks again to the more than 80 marketers who made the 2013 report come to life. Here it is again below in all its glory.

Have ideas on where the content marketing industry may be headed in 2014? Submit your prediction for next year’s report. All responses are due by November 15, 2013.

Cover image via Bigstock

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi considers himself the poster boy for content marketing. Founder of the Content Marketing Institute , Joe evangelizes content marketing around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books, including best-selling Epic Content Marketing (McGraw-Hill) and the new book, Content Inc. Check out Joe's two podcasts. If you want to get on his good side, send him something orange. For more on Joe, check out his personal site or follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

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  • Paul Conley

    Hi Joe,
    Yea… I blew it this year. This may be a case of predicting something (that a brand would do investigative journalism) just because I really, really want it to happen. And I STILL want it to happen. So I’ll just keep it on my list of predictions for 2014.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Hey Paul…well, we both dd 😉

      Maybe 2014?

  • Doug Kessler

    So maybe I was a year out. Sue me.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      You are always ahead of the game!

  • Allison Schoner
  • WillDavis

    Looks like I’m in pretty good company with those that “missed” on predictions. We’ll keep fighting the good fight to get content marketing planning on the radar screen…and it won’t stop me from submitting a 2014 prediction.

  • Katie Del Angel

    To Nenad’s point — I heard a very interesting talk last night, in which Corey Pressman (from Exprima Media) talked about this sort of parallel evolution happening in the print and digital realms. He made a really great point along the lines of this: The true potential in the digital age will be reached when we figure out how to blend the naturally social nature of humans + print to create balanced & holistic digital experiences.

    As marketing is swiftly moving towards creating whole experiences, instead of isolated campaigns or content pieces, I’d agree that we need to figure out how to balance print in the ecosystem of mediums our audiences participate in. (Here’s a deck I found from Corey that sort of illustrates what he explained about the “punctuated equilibrium in the post-book era”: )

  • justin harris


    Doesn’t Jeff Bezos tiny little media purchase give your prediction some street cred?

    just sayin’

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Ha…thanks for pointing this out. How about partial credit?