Mass marketing

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Mass marketing is a market coverage strategy in which a firm decides to ignore market segment differences and appeal the whole market with one offer or one strategy.[1] The idea is to broadcast a message that will reach the largest number of people possible. Traditionally mass marketing has focused on radio, television and newspapers as the media used to reach this broad audience. By reaching the largest audience possible exposure to the product is maximized. In theory this would directly correlate with a larger number of sales or buys into the product.

Mass marketing is the opposite to Niche marketing as it focuses on high sales and low prices. Mass Marketing aims to provide products and services that will appeal to the whole market. Niche marketing targets a very specific segment of market for example specialized services or goods with few or no competitors.[2]


Mass marketing or undifferentiated marketing has its origins in the 1920s with the inception of mass radio use. This gave corporations an opportunity to appeal to a wide variety of potential customers. Due to this, variety marketing had to be changed in order to persuade a wide audience with different needs into buying the same thing. It has developed over the years into a worldwide multi-billion dollar industry. Although sagging in the Great Depression it regained popularity and continued to expand through the 40s and 50s. It slowed during the anti-capitalist movements of the 60's and 70's before coming back stronger than before in the 80's, 90's and today. These trends are due to corresponding upswings in mass media, the parent of mass marketing. For most of the twentieth century, major consumer-products companies held fast to mass marketing- mass-producing, mass distributing and mass promoting about the same product in about the same way to all consumers. Mass marketing creates the largest potential market, which leads to lowered costs. It is also called overall marketing

Shotgun Approach[edit]

The shotgun theory is an approach of mass marketing. It involves reaching as many people as you can through television, cable and radio. On the Web, it refers to a lot of advertising done through banners to text ads in as many websites as you can, in order to get enough eyeballs that will hopefully turn into sales. An example of shotgun marketing [3] would be to simply place an ad on primetime television, without focusing on any specific group of audience. A shotgun approach increases the odds of hitting a target when it is more difficult to focus. [4]


All things to all people

It is the technique of trying to spread our marketing message to anyone and everyone who are willing to listen. A truckload of general advertising is done to the mass market in the hope that some of them will hit a target. It enables us to reach a wide range of services to take any job that comes on our way; and ultimately we become a “jack of all trades and a master of none”.

Use and Products Sold[edit]

Mass marketing is used to effect attitude change to as wide an audience as possible. Often this would take the form of selling a product like toothpaste. Toothpaste isn't made specially for one consumer and it is sold in huge quantities. A company or individual who manufactures toothpaste wishes to get more people to buy their particular brand over another. The goal is when a consumer has the option to select a tube of toothpaste that the consumer would remember the product which was marketed. Mass marketing is the opposite of niche marketing, where a product is made specially for one person or a group of persons. Other products of mass marketing are furniture, artwork, automobiles, residential communities, fizzy drinks and personal computers. Typically, things which are perceived to be necessary/essential to the consumer are subject to mass marketing. Resources of mass marketing provide cost-effective marketing solutions for small and micro businesses, including start-ups.

Even "products" like politicians and services from professions such as law, chiropractic and medicine, are subject to mass marketing.

Questions of quality[edit]

To further increase profits, mass marketed products touted as "durable goods" are often made of substandard material, so that they deteriorate prematurely. This practice is called planned obsolescence. Not only does this lower production costs, but it ensures future sales opportunities by preventing the market from becoming saturated with high-quality, long-lasting goods. The forces of a free market tend to preclude the sale of substandard staples, while disposability, technological innovations, and a culture of collection all facilitate planned obsolescence.

Many mass marketed items are considered staples. These are items people are accustomed to buying new when their old ones wear out (or are used up). Cheaper versions of durable goods are often marketed as staples with the understanding that they will wear out sooner than more expensive goods, but they are so cheap that the cost of regular replacement is easily affordable.

John Watson was a leading psychologist in mass marketing with his experiments in advertising.

Benefits of Mass Marketing[edit]

  • Wide audience - Since the target audience is broad, the number of successful hits is high despite of the low probability of a single person turning up.
  • Less risky - If all the efforts in one particular area goes in vain, still the eventual loss is less compared to a loss in the narrowly focused area.
  • Production costs per unit are low on account of having one production run for homogeneous product.
  • Marketing research cost and advertising cost are relatively low.[5]
  • Higher potentials of sales volume and efficiency of scale in a much larger market.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mass Marketing". 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012. Business Dictionary 
  2. ^ “Niche Market.” Business: The ultimate resource. (2002). Cambridge, Mass: Perseus Publications:1294.
  3. ^ "shotgun marketing |". Undifferentiated audience 
  4. ^ Mc Daniel, Carl; F.Hair, Joseph; Lamb, Charles W. (January 14, 2008). Essentials of marketing. p. 224. ISBN 0324656203. 
  5. ^ Bennett, J. Alf; Strydom, Johan Wilhelm (2001). Introduction to travel and tourism marketing. p. 62. ISBN 0702156361. 
  6. ^ L. Burrow, James; Bosiljevac, Jim (2005). Marketing. South Western Educational Publishing. p. 183. ISBN 0538446641.