Mass Marketing has its pros and cons but can it keep up in a digital world?
Gone are the days when brands became household icons overnight, and now, marketers are looking for new ways to connect with potential customers. Over the years, consumers have developed entirely new and more sophisticated shopping habits. Mass marketing peaked ten years ago when advertising opportunities were limited to targeted and differentiated marketing. Times have changed. Digital marketing has made old marketing techniques ineffective, forcing brands to rethink how they engage with consumers.
What is mass marketing?
Mass marketing targets as many potential customers as possible, ignoring niches, needs, and demographics. This kind of campaign focuses on higher sales volume at lower prices to maximize the exposure of products and services. Mass marketing strategies are highly effective in promoting products presented as ‘must-haves’, as they are guaranteed to be in high demand at all times. Products or services promoted through mass marketing are:
- Product or service development. Mass marketing is usually associated with generic products or services that appeal to a broad customer base. However, the brand has yet to create a better product or service than its competitors.
- Pricing. The product or service should offer affordable options to a very wide customer base. Luxury brands don’t use mass marketing because they target wealthy consumers. Products offered by high-end brands are usually out of reach for the average consumer.
- When it comes to mass marketing, traditional advertising methods such as television advertising, magazine advertising, billboards, and radio advertising are the most popular. It supports reaching as many consumers as possible with a single ad push.
The pros of mass marketing
Mass marketing has a one-size-fits-all mindset. A key benefit for brands choosing to scale through mass marketing as their primary strategy is cost efficiency. When a company employs mass marketing, all advertising served by a brand is sent through various advertising channels to reach as many potential customers as possible. By sending advertising campaigns through various marketing channels, your company’s message will be received in promotional bursts, saving your company a lot of advertising costs. Similar to bulk purchases, bulk products can generate more business sales because advertising costs are optimised.
Another benefit of mass marketing is rapid brand awareness. By promoting products and services to a wide audience, brands gain more diverse recognition than companies using narrow, targeted advertising. Marketers have different strategies for different market segments. By running one ad across various advertising channels, marketers try to save time and money.
The cons of mass marketing
While mass marketing is common and effective for fast-moving consumer goods and big brands, marketers working with small businesses should consider the downsides before launching mass marketing campaigns. Consumers are fed up with generic approaches from the same mould and want more personalised marketing campaigns and shopping experiences. The effectiveness of mass marketing campaigns is being questioned as consumer behaviour changes and traditional marketing methods become obsolete.
The influence of culture and location on how customers receive marketing messages is another drawback of mass marketing. A campaign may be successful in one area but fail to impress consumers in another. The geographic location and culture of a consumer base play an important role in how consumers respond to marketing messages. Consumers in different regions often have different needs for services and products related to their location. By promoting large-scale advertising in areas where the brand’s products and services may not be needed or of interest, businesses may waste their budget on marketing efforts that do not attract new sales.
Due to the high cost of mass marketing campaigns, this strategy often yields a lower return on investment as opposed to other marketing efforts despite potentially generating large amounts of traffic and sales. The cost of creating commercials and the cost of placing those ads on radio, press, and television often need a large marketing budget. Mass marketing can be successful for fast-moving consumer goods and is considered low risk, but for small businesses, it is nothing more than budget waste.
The bottom line
Mass marketing is no longer enough to make a brand more relevant to potential customers. As consumers demand more personalised shopping experiences, each brand’s goal is to meet the needs of potential customers. Marketers are adapting to new advertising trends and combining outdated mass marketing campaigns with new digital products. This can be a direct path to successful business growth.