Content… 100 Years in the Future

The future is an exciting, ambiguous landscape stretching endlessly before us. It is hard to say what the future will bring, yet we humans still try to predict, with wide-eyed wonder, what it holds in store for us. When this train of thought is applied to the realm of marketing, it is hard not to speculate what communications and content will look like a century from now.

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While the current upswing toward video and photo content is going strong, these are not the final frontier—and at some point in the next 100 years, a new format will take center stage. In the words of revolutionary architect Louis Sullivan, “form follows function”; this credo rings ever true in a society where the value of optimization and succinctness grows every day. Video and photo content is experiencing a moment right now because these formats have the ability to make an impression on consumers in a quickly-digestible and easily-processed way—the speed and ease at which content can be consumed is the key driver determining which formats flourish. This driver will eventually spur the next step in tech evolution that will allow us to communicate through new channels, and following the creation of these new channels we will see the formation of new content formats.

In the next century…

There will be communications and marketing tools/software available to complete just about any task necessary with speed, precision, and at high quality. We are already moving toward this now, but it is likely that once these programs become easier and more streamlined to generate, the market will be flooded, lowering prices, heightening standards as companies compete for business, and making this type of software widely accessible for businesses at any budget point.

Writing will be a harder, more valued occupation. The value of content has increased in the past 10 years, and judging by its trajectory, this trend is likely to continue. However, with higher value comes higher quality expectations. Writers will need to be skilled at researching, examining and understanding new audiences, and setting up metrics and creating analytics, all while also producing well-written content.

We will have the ability to communicate through thought transmission. This may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but thought transmission is already being explored and researched in great depths. Since thoughts are really just electrical signals in your brain, mapping these signals could realistically lead to a new communication channel whereby the human brain can be augmented with technological devices that gather these signals, translate them, and deliver them. If this happens, the way we consume content will fundamentally change entirely.

We will all be hard-wired to computers. If you think about it, with the nearly ubiquitous nature of cell phone and computer use in our daily lives, we are more than halfway to this prediction already. According to an article on, we can expect technological brain augmentation as soon as 2050. It may seem weird and even uncomfortable to imagine, but if/when it happens, the adoption of this type of advancement will move as quickly as the internet and email did at the end of the 20th century. Companies and individuals who embrace the new technology will excel, while the luddites will be left behind.

There will only be a handful of languages spoken in the world. The movement toward a few global languages looks to be a powerful trend. Minor languages are already dying off while the major world languages—Spanish, English, Mandarin, Hindustani, Arabic—are only growing and cementing themselves as the primary languages of cultural trade and business. This will certainly alter content and likely make it even more globally accessible than it is today.

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William Flanagan

CEO & Founder, Audienti. Former VP-Cognio, Founder-sentitO/Verso, SALIX/Tellabs, PrimaryAccess/3Com, CompuServe. Expert in data-driven marketing.

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