What is modern marketing?

Modern marketing is about authenticity. Savvy consumers have been sold “money-back guarantees” and “miracle” products for far too long. They’re skeptics, cynics, and thoroughly disillusioned with adult-hood, capitalism, and everything that comes with being sold to.

Here are some stats to consider:

Online Reviews Impact 67% of Purchasing Decisions

In a recent study from Moz.com, 67% of people said online reviews are “fairly, very, or absolutely important” to making purchasing decisions.

  • 28% of Online Activity is Spent on Social Media – A recent study by GlobalWebIndex found that 170,000 people, spent 28% of their online time on social media networks.
  • American Adults Spend 5.5 Hours a Day Viewing Video Content – eMarketer reports that American adults spend 5 hours and 31 minutes a day or more watching Youtube videos.
  • Millennial Consumers Trust Their Peers – In a recent study, Millennials reported that word-of-mouth recommendations are far more influential than advertisements. However, this would be difficult to measure because ads have a subliminal effect we’re usually unaware of.
  • 85% of Shopify Sales via Social Media Happen on Facebook – This is huge. Facebook is more or less, a monopoly. This social network dominates eCommerce sales generated on social media. Out of Snapchat, Twitter, Linked In, Instagram, and a host of others – a whopping 85% of social-media-driven sales on Shopify stores came through Facebook alone. This is also exclusive to B2C products, B2B doesn’t seem to do so well via social media.

Consumers Don’t Want to Wear Their Favorite Brands Anymore

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, loud branding was the thing to do. Victoria Secret PINK, Ralph Lauren, Guess, FUBU, American Eagle, Aeropostale, DKNY, you name it…

Apparel & accessory companies like Abercrombie and Fitch, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, and Prada made billions selling their heavily-logoed merchandise. Wealthy consumers scrambled to shell out money for extremely recognizable pieces; while teens were wearing brightly-colored, overpriced Hollister Co.t-shirts.

Today, conspicuous branding is much more popular. It suggests marketing retrograde. This means a regression in a consumer’s ability to be sold to and more friction when offered a “money-back guarantee” or upsell. Modern consumers are more likely to pay a high price from unlabeled or grungy looking clothing, top of the line service, and American-made products. This is likely due to the influence of Reality TV and the Kardashians, who notoriously wear unlabeled, $200 torn or bleached tee shirts, and grungy sweatpants. This kind of understatement is what the market wants. However, like any era, it will eventually go out of style.

Comedy Stems from Pain

For whatever reason, it is clear that many brands still carry an outdated attitude toward sexuality, fashion, the public display of wealth, and consumer values.

I mean, our president was a reality tv sensation. It’s a bit late for resting on our laurels. Capitalism is a game, and only the strongest, most strategic hunters will survive. Eat or be eaten.

Modern consumers have shown a clear preference for understated, subtle,  and discrete merchandise. They prefer to express themselves in other ways. Consumers consciously focus on aesthetics like makeup, unique hair styling, and dramatic shoes and accessories. While they subconsciously focus on how brands make them feel.

For example, why do you think Sketchers are popular amongst second-grade girls, but it’s rare to find an adult who owns a pair?

It’s not because the brand or style changed, and it’s not because Sketchers are out of style.

This is simply because consumers want to feel older, more mature, and the brands that made them feel good in different stages of life are anchored to that stage.

Modern consumers create Youtube channels, and Instagram photo diaries presenting a fictional side of themselves.

Other users see this, and even though we know it isn’t 100% real, we become obsessive with the content posted by certain influencers.

This allows the influencer to feel significant, as they get more likes and followers, while simultaneously escaping from the monotony of everyday life.

As consumers, we find this contrast entertaining and we keep consuming the content. Despite the distasteful nature of much of what we discover on social media, we’re always interacting with controversial content. Interaction tells the search engines we want more, and the cycle continues.


We see modern companies endorsing celebrities like Colin Kaepernick and Rihanna in an effort to expand their audience. Last year, Dick’s Sporting Goods made a very public decision to stop selling assault-style weapons in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting.

After that, the nation’s largest seller of sporting goods reported a 3.9% decrease in third-quarter sales. I’m not sure getting political was a good move on their part, but I digress.

Even logo-heavy companies are now scrambling to refresh their public image and branding. In an effort to assimilate to modern preferences, they are struggling to remain recognizable and congruent with their reputation.

With Amazin’s valuation increasing, and influencers having an increasing impact on modern media, this will inevitably change preferences in a dynamic way over the next 50 years. Since the internet became available to the public, we’ve seen major shifts in consumption and user attention-span. Who knows how modern marketing will change over the next few years, but there’s no denying the future is digital.