What is mass marketing? Imagine standing on the roof of a building and screaming the same sales pitch over a loudspeaker to anyone that can hear you. Your message will reach a lot of people. It might resonate with some, but it will be completely useless for others. This scenario is a good way to think of the mass market approach.
Does mass marketing still have a place in a world of ever-increasing personalized marketing? It depends on your goals.
In this article we will define mass marketing, give examples of it, and provide some ideas on when it can be used.
Mass Marketing Definition
We can define it as marketing that is untargeted and undifferentiated. The point is to have the advertisement hit the masses. The bigger the audience the better.
In other words, the advertiser does not target a specific demographic, target audience, persona, etc. The intention is to take a “shotgun” approach and get the message out to as many people as possible.
It is sometimes referred to as mass media marketing, mass selling, mass advertising, mass advertisements, etc.
A mass market is essentially a large audience. At the extreme it is the entire audience pool prior to any segmentation or targeting.
A mass advertisement is any advert that uses a mass (undifferentiated) approach. We give some examples of “mass advertisements” in the next section.
A mass marketer is one who uses or specializes in mass advertising. This can refer to an individual or a company.
Mass Marketing Examples
Broadly speaking, mass media marketing is common in radio, television, and publication (print) advertising. Another example would be billboards, where the content is visible to anyone that passes by the signage. The idea is to reach a large audience with a single or limited variation of the messaging or content.
With the internet and social media a mass marketer can now also use digital channels to reach a mass market. So digital campaigns created to reach the highest possible number of users are also a form of mass advertisement. We’ll talk about one of those in detail below.
The Difference Between Target Marketing and Mass Marketing
The difference between target marketing and mass marketing is that target marketing is, well, targeted. The ad copy and creative are developed for a specific target audience vs. anyone that might happen to see it.
Mass marketing, on the other hand, has no targeting and no differentiation. The advertisement is created for a broad audience.
Common Uses of Mass Advertising Today
There are both traditional and digital forms of mass advertisements. We discuss both below.
Traditional Mass Advertising Uses
As mentioned earlier, traditional forms of mass selling include advertising on television, radio, and print publications as well as billboards and signs. It’s anything that is one message to a large audience with no differentiation.
Digital Mass Marketing Uses
Mass ads are digital ads that are not targeted to a specific audience and have no differentiation.
An example of digital mass media marketing is brand awareness campaigns. This type of campaign aims to make a large audience literally aware of a brand, its products and/or services. The goal is to grow a brand, reaching a large number of people. There is no differentiation with the audience or messaging (at least not a lot).
You can broadcast brand messaging to a large audience over digital channels efficiently. So digital marketing has expanded the options for marketing to a mass audience. It has also allowed mass marketers to reach a whole new audience for a relatively affordable price vs. traditional mass channels, such as television and print advertising.
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