Modern Marketing is one of those hype keywords flooding Twitter these days. No one seems to know exactly what it is, yet every company and pseudo-expert out there seems to have a “How To” guide, and the answer is always the same: “Buy my product.” Since I have no product to sell you, I will join the ranks and give you a primer of what they are trying to sell you, and its benefits and downfalls.   What is it? Simply put, Modern Marketing is the hype-inducing term we give to what five years ago was called “Data-Driven Marketing,” a term that should not be new or modern in any way. With the introduction of big data (another hype-inducing keyword), companies claim to be able to help you achieve a higher level of segmentation in your marketing message.   How can I use it? Behind all the products that cover themselves under the “Modern Marketing” umbrella, you will find the same thing: extremely detailed customer information. This information itself is the power behind Modern Marketing. You no longer need to guess who your prospective customers are. Generalizations are a thing of the past. Thanks to the power behind these products and the internet in general, you can sell your own product to people who have showed a specific interest in products similar to yours. But the key is, you can now go deeper into their specific preferences. For example, today, Modern Marketing can tell me that Becky likes rock music from the 80s, only drinks diet soda, and her favorite color is red. Impressed yet? If not, I also know she went to see Twisted Sister live a few months back, and spends about $1,000 a year in concert tickets. How do I know all of this? Because the information is basically made public thanks to social channels such as Facebook. If you know how to ask the questions, you can find the answers. Facebook collects a lot of information about its users. Every “like” you click on tells Facebook something about you, and as Modern Marketers, it is our job to ask the right questions so we can tailor our message to potential consumers like Becky, and sell her some tickets for the next big rock concert in town. Of course that is the power of Social Media Advertising, but how about Email Marketing (or even Direct Marketing), for those you need your own database (or series of) and to collect the relevant data that will make your extremely-targeted marketing initiatives -well, extremely effective.   What tools do I need? If you follow what I write from time to time, you will realize that my answer regarding tools is simple. All you need is a brain; more specifically, a marketing brain. Other than that, there are dozens, if not hundreds of products (both free and paid for) that can help you better segment your market. If you want to start segmenting your market, the first stop is to create a detailed database to hold the information gathered. This could be something as simple as a WordPress plugin, or something a bit more advanced such as Salesforce or Sugar CRM. These are marketing tools, but how you use these tools is all up to you. After you have a way to segment your market, you will need to actually reach your audience. Email automation software, real-time decision marketing, search engine optimization software, social marketing engagement, and pay-per-click efforts are the top categories on reaching your audience.  The important thing is to understand how each of these work and what you can achieve with them.   What is the final takeaway? Modern Marketing is an important tactic to help you increase your conversions and sales. If you want more people to buy your product, you need to find out detailed information on them such as their likes, dislikes, and habits. Knowing this information will help you to not only tailor your marketing strategy, but also tailor your product to better satisfy your customers after they’ve made the purchase. Consumers buy things based on specific needs or wants that they have; the more you know about these needs or wants, the more apt people are to buy your product over a competitor’s. Storing this information in a database is key and helpful when it comes time to analyze and find trends among your target audience. When used correctly, the tools I mentioned above can help you segment and reach your audience, all while using your marketing dollars wisely.