Also referred to as undifferentiated marketing, mass marketing describes activities that appeal to an entire market rather than a target or niche group. Mass marketing enables companies to establish well-known brands and develop a large and sustainable customer base. Mass marketers typically focus their marketing activities on the demographics of the largest subset of a mass market.
Mass marketing activities take place within mass media outlets including television, radio, newspaper, and digital mediums with large audiences (e.g. social media). For large campaigns expected to generate an immediate and high rate of return, mass marketing is incredibly effective. For example, during certain television events, companies spend millions for 30 seconds of screen time. They do so counting on a high rate of return derived from millions of purchasers in a nationwide or globalized marketplace.
While large and established businesses can easily spend a large sum of money on a gamble that they will turn a profit, smaller businesses with lean margins must carefully consider the costs and benefits of running a mass marketing campaign. In the world of mass marketing, competition is fierce, and consumers don’t pay attention to some mass marketing campaigns in the way they once did. A campaign must stand out to encourage conversions. Segmented marketing activities based on real consumer needs and behaviors may produce more sustainable results at a lower rate of investment.
When used as complementary strategies, mass marketing and segmented or niche marketing activities may reach even more consumers using a mixture of both general and targeted messaging. As a strategy, mass marketing reaches more potential consumers than any other form of marketing (except perhaps viral marketing). It can create brand recognition through repetition, drive sales and promotions, and enhance customer loyalty. Businesses with products that appeal to large populations of people can effectively use mass marketing strategies to transform their brands.