2015 was all about content marketing. Brands realized they needed content, and a lot of it. Things kicked into high gear as marketing teams struggled to fill nurturing programs with assets.

Customer journeys, personalized marketing, retargeting, account based marketing and increased implementation of marketing technology stacks all fueled this insatiable thirst.

The results, not surprisingly, were often a case of more not being better, but simply more being more.

A huge challenge – and thus, we predict, a huge trend in 2016 – will be for brands to up the quality level while producing enough quantity to fill their programs.

Making better content is important, got it.

So, how do we do it? The old processes and rules need to change. You need to streamline workflows, put serious resources into repackaging already-good content into new forms targeted appropriately, and most importantly, get a thorough understanding of your customers.

It’s not enough to create personas based on demographics or even behaviors. You need to understand what motivates people, what they’re trying to accomplish.

Once you know what drives someone, the path to creating content that engages and moves them toward purchase and loyalty becomes clear.

The megatrends of mini-customer insights, people looking for emotional connections and a maturation of the content marketing ecosystem are converging. We predict 2016 will be the year a deep understanding of your customer will power quality content that creates irrational loyalty and bonds between your customers and your brand.