Features of mass marketing
The question whether mass marketing is dead or alive looms in everyone’s mind. The issue however has been discussed over decades about whether it is efficient and appropriate to serve the public. In the essay I will strive to indiscriminately show both sides of the situation.
Keywords: market, niche, target, audience, product, mass
Mass marketing is also known as undifferentiated or overall marketing. This is because it does not specifically target a certain market or a certain group of people. It is a market coverage strategy where a firm decides to ignore market segment differences and appeal the whole market with one offer or strategy. The idea really is to broadcast a message that will reach the largest number of people possible.
This concept of marketing originated in the 1920s with the inception of mass radio use. At the time, the companies used this avenue to communicate with the general public about their products. This was through advertisement of their products. As time passed, there was also an evolution in the communication scene where television broadcasting came to be. This was a better source of mass marketing since the item could be seen on screens. Traditionally, mass marketing focused on radio, television, and newspapers as media used to reach the audience. By reaching the largest audience possible, exposure to the product is maximized. This means more sales and therefore more income.
Is mass marketing dead?
Mass marketing has developed over the years into a worldwide multi-billion dollar industry. So is it really dead? I believe it is actually growing stronger than in the latter years. It may have sagged during the Great Depression but it stood the test of time and regained popularity through the 40s and 50s. It slowed during the anti-capitalist movements of the 60s and 70s before returning bigger and stronger. The attitude put into this form of marketing has pushed it to the level it is today. It is said that once you fall, you should pick something on your way back up.
The mass marketing movement has picked a lot of thing s and strategies on its way back on the charts, to compete against major marketing industries such as niche marketing. Mass marketing is the opposite of niche marketing. Niche in this case is a specialized part of a market for products or services. Niche marketing may be cost effective since upon production, it aims at a specified group of individuals that are its consumers. Concentrating all marketing efforts on a specified group is its highest advantage. They are able to provide the best for a certain people therefore maintaining a loyal customer base. However, in case the need for that specific group goes down, then the strategy is left without audience.
The shot gun theory is applied in mass marketing. It involves reaching as many people as possible. On the web, it refers to a lot of advertisements done through banners or text ads in as many websites as possible. An example is placing an ad on primetime television, without focusing on any specific group of audience. The shot gun approach increases the odds of hitting a target when it more difficult to focus. This means that strategies are applied to take care of advertising at all times even when it may be difficult to reach out, the strategy does so.
Other strategies such as the “All things to all people” is used and is one of trying to spread marketing messages to anyone and everyone that is willing to listen. Products covered under mass marketing range from the smallest in size and purpose such as toothpaste to others such as furniture, artwork, automobiles, fizzy drinks, and personal computers. Products such as services from professions for example law and medicine are subject to mass marketing.
A disadvantage of mass marketing is however evident in the case where booksellers rarely respond quickly enough to promote local books which show best seller potential (Henighan 57). Another cause of concern is that where fashion marketers assume that all customers in the market are the same (Easey 132). The quality of products is also questionable since it is sub-standard. Mass marketing mostly deals with staples: products and items that people have to replenish once they are finished. Due to this, quality is not paid attention to and therefore price is also lowered.
Critics have termed mass marketing as dead due to the fact that it generalizes its audience. Companies are coming up with means in which they take time to understand their audience therefore making it easier to make products that are befitting to them. Relationship between the manufacturer and the consumer has also improved in situations where communication is fast and efficient. Companies require feedback upon purchase of products to examine areas to improve.
Mass marketing does not provide this type of customer service. Whatever is produced is let into the market. In this day and age consumers also expect to be given a wide range of products to choose from. They are aware of the competition in the market and are therefore most educated to make the most sound of choices when it comes to what they want to purchase. Mass marketing is as well as dead in this case.
Successful companies have to understand their consumers at very granular levels. Others say that mass marketing is not in danger of elimination. Its role is changing slowly as marketers and companies choose to turn their heads and find some other means of marketing. Mass, marketing is being weighed question is whether or not it will meet up to the standards of other means of marketing.
Its benefits such as having a wider audience, it being less risky, production cost per unit being low on account of having one production run for homogenous product as well as having a low marketing research cost and low advertising cost may be eye catching but in these times of customer intimacy, mass marketing may just be dreaming big and not living the reality.
We as the consumers have a choice to make based on what we believe and our outlook on advertising as a whole. Our reaction towards mass marketing and niche marketing will determine both the success and failure of either or both of them. Let us put both on level ground in all terms and see which will survive the rough waters. I pose a question to all those out there: where do you see mass marketing in the next 5 years? Do you even see it at all or did it die long ago without us knowing?