The evolution of consumer behavior in the digital age

3 major shifts in marketing paradigms in the 21st century and where we are going next

Bill Su
Bill Su
Nov 16, 2017 · 8 min read

“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.” -Bill Gates

One of the best examples of how we both overestimate and underestimate changes in the future is the evolution of consumer behavior throughout this century.

Remember a time before Netflix and iTunes, when we used to rent VHR tapes from Blockbusters? Good times. Video via The Onion.

Paradigm 1: First Moment of Truth

Imagine yourself as a customer in the year 2005. You just walked into a grocery store to buy a bottle of shampoo.

Image via Fulcrum.

Paradigm 2: Zero Moment of Truth + Customer Decision Journey

Let’s go back to the shampoo story again, but in the year 2011.

Image via McKinsey.
From trigger, to initial consideration set, to active evaulation, to moment of purchase. Then we do it all again in the ongoing postpurchase experience and loyalty loop. Image via McKinsey.

Paradigm 3: The Accelerated Loyalty Journey

One of the biggest problems of the two previous frameworks is that they are too slow.

From classic customer decision journey to the new “accelerated loyalty journey.” Image via McKinsey.

Where are we going?

Now that we have examined the three shifts in marketing paradigms in the last 10 years, it’s time to talk about where we are going next, and what we can do as modern marketers to stay ahead of these trends.

  1. Invest in employees that really care about your cause: the key to modern marketing is to be authentic and genuine. You cannot achieve true authenticity until everyone in your company deeply cares about what you build and believe in your values. Only by hiring these people who are aligned with your identity can you build deep connections with your customers.
  2. Invest in technology to accurately target your audiences: the only way to make sure you send the right message to the right audience at the right time is using technology. Machine learning and artificial intelligence platforms are getting cheaper and easier to use every day for non-technical marketers. Take advantage of these technologies and elevate your marketing to the next level.
  3. Experiment constantly: the great thing about digital platforms is that they are inexpensive and easy-to-use. This opens up opportunities for a large volume of testing and experimentation in your company. So leverage these new testing opportunities to figure out the best way to reach the people you want to reach.

Analytics for Humans

We examine how technologies can work with humans to create…

Bill Su

Written by

Bill Su

CEO, Humanlytics. Bringing data analytics to everyone.

Analytics for Humans

We examine how technologies can work with humans to create a brighter future for everyone. To that end, we showcase augmented analytics tools we are building to bring us closer to that vision. Beta test our AI-powered marketing analytics tool for free: bit.ly/HMLbetatest

Bill Su

Written by

Bill Su

CEO, Humanlytics. Bringing data analytics to everyone.

Analytics for Humans

We examine how technologies can work with humans to create a brighter future for everyone. To that end, we showcase augmented analytics tools we are building to bring us closer to that vision. Beta test our AI-powered marketing analytics tool for free: bit.ly/HMLbetatest

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