Welcome human of the 21st century!

I talk about online marketing as if the last 20 years have happened. The mission is simple - develop better marketers, and more informed citizens.

Why everyone hates marketers

People have always hated marketers, even back in the 16th century...

The Oxford English Dictionary dates the word "marketing" to 1561 defined as - actions associated with selling in a market.

Here's a direct quote from 1561:

"How filthy markettinges they vse, how vnhonest gaines they make w' their massinges."

Current English translation - How filthy marketing they use, how dishonest gains they make with their messaging.

Nothing’s changed since 1561.

Same profit-seeking, never-ending growth, and endless pursuits of power and money.

The new digital reality we find ourselves in has only exacerbated this trend. Yet, somewhere along the way, we seem to have forgotten that all of these technological advances are not independent of their ecological impact.

The internet makes it so simple.

Predatory clickbait. Manufactured urgency. Psychological manipulation. Deceitful statements. Addictive designs that keep us glued to our screens, engaged and enraged.

People, or users, as we like to call them (I wonder who else calls their clients users…) intuitively know this, of course.

We no longer need science to tell us that we are hyper-connected, yet lonelier than ever. We’re polarized, we’re riddled with anxiety and depression, we’re filling up landfills with our fast-fashion and impulse buys.

Are marketers bad people?

No, of course not.

We do what we do to keep our jobs safe. Our jobs simply happen to be at the intersection between stakeholders and their money - you, the consumer (another word I’m sure I’ve heard in some other context, but just can’t put my finger on)

Why am I talking about this now?

I firmly believe this is the most important century in human history. For a whole bunch of reasons. Here’s only 3:

  • A 14-year-old has already lived through 20 of the hottest months ever recorded.

  • Thanks to technology we have substantially increased the ability for one person to create more and more damage.

  • It seemingly takes nothing to send a troll online into paroxysmal verbal diarrhea. The trolling and the cyberbullying younger generations have lived through are unimaginable.

Donella H. Meadows — 'We'll go down in history as the first society that wouldn't save itself because it wasn't cost-effective.'

Like most good things in life, Human to Humans started out of frustration.

The problems I’ve listed above are some of the challenges of contemporary living. A lot has changed in the past 20 years, change that led to this very sentence.

And I know that it’s very easy to remain complacent, paralyzed, and cynical, at most yelling into the void at a bot on Twitter X. But there truly is hope. Do not mistake your cynicism for realism. Don’t lower your expectations.

If you’re a marketer or an entrepreneur. Remember that selling isn’t bad. Making money isn’t bad. Promotion isn’t bad. Exploitation is. Doing it deceitfully is. We can champion the needs of customers AND the planet.

If you’re not a marketer. (lucky you) I hope my writing will give words to the thoughts inside your head. We got here through our consumption habits and participation in the economy. And we can get ourselves out.

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Becoming a rogue marketer after 13 years in the field.


Became a rogue marketer after 13 years in the field.