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What is Mass Marketing?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 16, 2024
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Mass marketing is the maximum exposure of product advertising to consumers. It's the opposite of niche marketing, where the idea is to advertise and market products to a specific target group of people. A target market is a segment of consumers identified through research to be the most likely to buy a particular product. In mass marketing, products that many people want or need, such as soda, toothpaste, bread, and household cleaners, are advertised to a large audience.

To reach large consumer audiences successfully, mass communication is crucial. The origin of mass marketing is the latter part of the 20th century when new technologies, such as television and radio, became immensely popular in society. For the first time, advertisers were able to reach wide audiences of people with each advertising message. Products that most people needed or wanted could be advertised to that large general market through the medium of broadcasting.

For example, products advertised during national television programs may reach consumers throughout the entire country. As long as these products are available nationwide, advertising to such a huge demographic can be a good marketing strategy. Consumers seeing products advertised on television commercials are often more likely to choose them over similar store products that weren't promoted. Showing television viewers the actual product and communicating benefits — such as getting sparkling white teeth by using Brand X toothpaste — has been shown to increase sales of advertised products. As the commercials are repeated, the repetition helps to create brand recognition.

Brand recognition occurs when consumers recognize a product through its packaging, name, and promoted benefits. Consumers seeing a new product advertised that appeals to them are likely to add it to their shopping list. Mass marketing also works to inspire brand loyalty by reminding consumers of the benefits of one product over its competition. Through repeated product advertising, advertisers hope consumers will continue to purchase the item. Through a mass advertising strategy, brand managers create a wide appeal for their products to match the wide scope of their audience.

Mass marketing is also called undifferentiated marketing since the typical strategies of reaching different market segments aren't used. In differentiated marketing, at least two different market segments are targeted, and each segment is reached through unique promotional strategies. This type of market concentration can be extremely effective in creating product sales, but it's typically more expensive.

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Discussion Comments

By StarJo — On Dec 19, 2012

I bet mass marketing is incredibly expensive! I own a small business, and my website is the only way that anyone outside of town could find out about me, because I can only afford to advertise locally.

By OeKc05 — On Dec 18, 2012

Having a catchy song to go with an ad can be great for mass marketing. I am always getting jingles from huge commercials stuck in my head, so inevitably, every time I walk around singing the song, I think of the product or company being marketed.

Few things are as effective as a hook like this. It's a very subliminal way to get your message inside the brains of the public.

By lighth0se33 — On Dec 18, 2012

@JackWhack – I agree with you. I think that going to an advertising agency for help with creating an ad campaign is the best way to go for anyone interested in mass marketing.

They can help you design ads in many formats while keeping the same overall look and feel. They can create ads for newspapers, magazines, websites, and broadcast mediums that all contain the same logo, information, and theme.

I work at a newspaper, and we frequently receive ads from ad agencies that have been created for big corporations. They send them out to newspapers all over the country, and the ads are already made to their specifications, so we don't alter them in any way.

By JackWhack — On Dec 17, 2012

The problem with mass email marketing is that many people have filters set up in their email accounts that cause this type of email to go to the spam folder. If you rely solely on this type of marketing, then you run the risk that your messages may not be reaching the majority of your targeted consumers.

I think it's best to use more than one advertising medium. That way, you pretty much guarantee that everyone will see your ad in one form or another.

By LinGZ — On Dec 02, 2010

Ideally, I see much more of this subject. Great information here. I’ve been looking for info about mass marketing and it did really sum up all the info. By the way, check out all social networks. it helps to improve companies' marketing. It is the simplest and most effective way to keep in touch and get your message out to your customers. Thanks.

By latte31 — On Oct 06, 2010

Anon70776- I agree that this was a great article.

Comfyshoes- Sometimes mass email marketing is effective because you reach more potential customers that way.

It is more effective than mass mail which only has a response rate of 5%.

The responsible way to use email marketing software is to use the emails of people that have subscribed to your site and actually said that they would like to receive promotional information.

People that have inquired about your product or service would be ideal prospects. I also wanted to add that mass email marketing costs almost nothing; yet mass mail costs could be substantial and not very effective. Mass email is probably the way to go.

By comfyshoes — On Oct 06, 2010

I get mass mail market all of the time. Usually I get advertisements from Valpak all the time.

This mass mailer is very effective because you sometimes get to hear about businesses that you did not exist.

In addition, you usually get incentives and promotions in order to try these new businesses.

What I don’t like is when I receive mass email or mass text marketing. I really do not like receiving advertisements via email or text. I delete these messages before reading them so this mass email marketing effort is lost on me.

By anon70776 — On Mar 16, 2010

This was an extremely informative article and we can undoubtedly go to sleep a lot lighter tonight knowing we have read this. many thanks peace and love

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