Is Mass Marketing Strategy Still Effective In 2023?

An era where the brand could become a household icon overnight is long gone, and marketers are searching for new ways to engage with their potential customers. Over the years, consumers have developed a brand new, more sophisticated shopping behavior. And the “one-size-fits-all” mass marketing strategy is slowly being pushed out by differentiated marketing.

Benediktas Kazlauskas

Aug 04 2021 7 min read

Table of Contents

    Mass marketing had its moment a decade ago when targeted, differentiated marketing was not existing, and the advertising abilities were far more limited. Times have changed — digital marketing pushed out old advertising methods, and brands had to rethink how they interact with the consumers. More marketers are starting to question themselves — is mass marketing still an effective advertising method, or is it a thing of the past?

    Mass marketing definition

    The study found that most Americans are exposed to around 4 000 to 10 000 ads every day. And with such an overwhelming amount of advertisements, consumers easily get lost when making a buying decision. The mass marketing strategy is primarily focused on eliminating the customer persuading stage by pushing out an almost viral campaign.

    Mass marketing aims to address the highest number of potential customers while ignoring customers’ niches, needs and demographic differences. This kind of campaign focuses on higher sales volume at lower prices to obtain maximum exposure for the product or service.

    MMS (mass marketing strategy) is very effective in advertising products presented as necessities, as it is guaranteed that there will always be a high demand. The products or services that are promoted using mass marketing share common elements, such as:

    • Product or service development. Typically, mass marketing is associated with general-purpose products or services that appeal to a broad base of customers. However, brands still have to develop a product or service that would be better than the competitors are offering.
    • Pricing. The product or service has to offer affordable options for a very broad customer base. The luxury brands are not using mass marketing, as they are focused on wealthy consumers. The products high-end brands are offering are typically out of reach to the average consumer.
    • Traditional advertising methods such as TV commercials, magazine ads, billboards, or radio ads are the most popular when using mass marketing. It supports the idea of reaching the largest number of consumers possible in a single ad push.
    • Accessibility. The products or services promoted using a mass marketing strategy are typically highly accessible through online shops and local retail, such as FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods).

    However, some marketers have changed the definition of MMS and started implementing digital marketing features into the business’s strategy to be more effective. Brands like McDonald’s and Target are not putting themselves in the traditional marketing channels boundaries. Instead, they implement social media, email, and digital press into their advertising mix.

    The advantages of mass marketing

    Mass marketing revolves around a “one-size-fits-all” mindset. A major advantage for the brands choosing to scale through mass marketing as a primary strategy is cost-efficiency. When a company uses mass marketing, every advertisement the brand deploys is sent across various advertising channels to reach millions of potential customers. By sending advertising campaigns through different marketing channels, the business’s message is received in one ad push and can save the company a significant amount of promotional costs. Like buying in bulk, mass-marketed products can generate more revenue for businesses as advertising costs are optimized.

    Another advantage of using mass marketing is skyrocketing growth of brand awareness. By promoting a product or service to a broad audience, the brand gains more diverse visibility than the businesses using targeted, narrow advertising. 

    Marketers do not have to come up with different strategies and campaigns for every market segment. With a single ad through various advertising channels, they seek to cut time and budget to persuade potential customers.

    The disadvantages of mass marketing

    Although mass marketing is widely used and effective for FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) and big-name brands, marketers working with smaller businesses should consider the downsides before pushing out mass marketing campaigns. 

    Consumers are getting tired of generic “same mold” approaches and seek more personalized marketing campaigns and shopping experiences. The effectiveness of mass marketing campaigns is questionable, as consumer behavior is changing and traditional marketing methods are getting outdated.

    Culture and location’s impact on how customers receive advertising messages is another disadvantage of mass marketing. A mass marketing campaign may be successful in one region while failing to impress consumers in another. A consumer base’s geographic location and culture play an important role in how consumers might respond to a message. Consumers in different regions will often require different services and products related to their locations. By pushing out mass advertising in areas that may not need or are not interested in a brand’s product or service, companies can waste their budget on marketing efforts that don’t attract new sales.

    Because of the high cost of mass marketing campaigns, the strategy often generates a lower ROI (return on investment) than other marketing efforts, despite its potential to generate a high volume of traffic and sales. Production costs for advertising spots and the cost of placing those ads on the radio, press, and television mean that this strategy often requires a large marketing budget. While mass marketing can be successful for FMCG and is considered low risk, for small or medium businesses can result in nothing more than a waste of the budget.

    Measuring the effectiveness of mass marketing

    While some companies are trying to establish a direct, sincere and valuable relationship with the potential customer, others are using generic mass marketing campaigns that drive success. To find an answer to whether mass marketing is still effective in today’s world or a thing of the past, marketers should look at the business’s performance data. Here’s how data analysis can work in favor:

    • Data gathered from all the marketing channels allows marketers to see what works best to attract new customers, what can be improved, and what campaigns do not drive the desired results.
    • A/B tests with different visuals, target audiences, and redirects to landing pages provide valuable data on what best resonates with the audience. 
    • Market research on how the competitors are performing and meeting customer needs while monitoring their marketing campaigns feedback. To take a step back and assume the watcher’s position is not always a bad idea, especially in today’s world, where it’s all about the smart moves.

    This amount of data can be overwhelming. To ease the labor-intensive process of data collection and aggregation, we recommend using the reporting tool. Whatagraph automatically collects the data from different sources and presents it in an easily digestible, visual report. So the only thing marketer needs to do is make data-driven insights and improve the marketing strategy based on the performance.

    Bottom line

    In short — mass marketing is not dead, but it’s no longer enough to be relevant to the brand’s potential customer. As consumers are searching for more personalized shopping experiences, the brand’s goal is to meet the potential clients’ needs. Marketers adapt to new digital marketing advertising trends and mix outdated mass marketing campaigns with new digital products, which can be a straight road to successful business growth.

    While using mass marketing might increase brand awareness and put the business’s product or service on the market’s map, it’s important to measure all business data constantly. Data-driven insights will allow marketers to create better, more engaging and effective marketing campaigns that will resonate with the potential customers the best.

    Published on Aug 04 2021

    Benediktas is a detail-oriented writer with a passion for marketing and technologies. Most of the time, you can find him holding a cup of coffee and crafting another data-backed, insights-packed content piece.

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