How Bill Gates Predicted Content Marketing

Dechay Watts

Written by Dechay Watts on Wed, May 23, 2012

Bill GatesBack in the 90s, more than 15 years ago, when most of us were learning how to use e-mail,Bill Gates predicted the onset of content marketing.  He didn’t use the term “content marketing,” but his essay on Content is King set the stage. Gates said, “Those who succeed will propel the Internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products - a marketplace of content.” Sounds like a seed to me!

It would take another 10 years for author Joe Pullizi to coin the term “content marketing” and define it as: “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

We had a great interview with Joe back in 2010 when the only company that came up in a Google search for “content marketing” was The Content Marketing Institute…founded by Joe.  The term started to catch on after his first book, Get Content, Get Customers was released in 2008, but it definitely wasn’t making headlines at Forbes.

Today, “content marketing” has over 100 million results in Google.  Companies are gravitating toward the term…and the benefits that Bill Gates predicted in 1996.

5 Benefits of Content Marketing from the Mouth of Bill Gates:

Levels the Playing Field. “The broad opportunities for most companies involve supplying information or entertainment. No company is too small to participate.”

Improves ROI. “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”

Encourages Sharing. “One of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create. In a sense, the Internet is the multimedia equivalent of the photocopier. It allows material to be duplicated at low cost, no matter the size of the audience.”

Creates New Opportunities. “The Internet also allows information to be distributed worldwide at basically zero marginal cost to the publisher. Opportunities are remarkable, and many companies are laying plans to create content for the Internet.”

Acts as a Gateway to Engagement. “If people are to be expected to put up with turning on a computer to read a screen, they must be rewarded with deep and extremely up-to-date information that they can explore at will. They need to have audio, and possibly video. They need an opportunity for personal involvement that goes far beyond that offered through the letters-to-the-editor pages of print magazines.”

What do you think? How could content marketing help you?


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