Mass marketing is a marketing strategy in which, a firm decides to ignore the market segment differences and appeals to the whole market with one offer or strategy. These strategies generally aim to appeal to the largest audience while ignoring the demographic differences, customer niches, or needs. It primarily focuses on higher sales volume at a lower price to obtain exposure for the product or services. A few examples of mass retailers are big-box stores like Target, Sam's Club, Best buy; brands like Levi Strauss &Gap; e-retailers like Amazon; superstores, drugstores, mass merchandise, and warehouse chains.
Mass marketing or undifferentiated marketing has its origin in the 1920s with the foundation of mass radio use. Initially, it allowed corporations to appeal to a variety of potential customers. Over the years, this industry developed into a multibillion-dollar industry. For years, the activities in the marketing industry transitioned from traditional methods of television, radio, print advertisements to a more digitalized form, such as online media platforms. Gradually, marketing trends got transformed, turned complex, and reinvented. These trends transformed mass marketing into niche marketing. But what caused this strategy to fail? While there are many reasons attributed to it, we shall discuss the main reasons which caused the downfall of mass marketing.
1. It is a fact that the world is changing. With the presence of a highly efficient global supply chain, we have numerous amounts of stores and media platforms. This has resulted in an over-supply of mass-market goods, which in turn has driven down the price of products. It has also favored off-prices stores. Off-price retailers are retailers who provide high-quality goods at cheap rates. This has also caused websites to compete with each other in seeing who sells this oversupply at the lowest price.
2. Since its introduction, the internet has evolved. Networking sites such as Google, Facebook, allow for the acquisition and application of personalized marketing on an unprecedented scale. For example; if billions of people search for any product via google. Or share their reviews and likes on Facebook, they create a large number of unique communities. These communities act as a niche market, having distinct expectations, attitudes, and attributes.
People nowadays demand niche brands and products, which are relevant to their requirements and solve their personal needs. These niches are highly unique, which makes the customers even ready to pay a higher price for products that are specifically created for them.
3. With the applied use of customer data, small companies can identify the niches of the audience. Hence, they can create products that specifically target their audience. With the presence of online media platforms, the marketing of these products has also become cost-effective.
Considering all the above pointers, the billion-dollar question that arises, is mass marketing is dead?
Well, the answer is still no. But it is also true, that its current methods are no longer relevant to market a brand’s potential. Marketers need to focus on the business’s performance data, along with creating a more personalized shopping experience for the customer.
Below are a few pointers, which can be used in our favor, to transform the strategies in mass marketing.
1) As mentioned earlier, the focus should be laid on the business's performance data. To ensure this, data gathered from all the marketing channels will provide a clear picture for marketers to see what attracts its customers the most, what can be improved, and what approach can be used.
2) In today’s world, taking a step back at the watcher’s position isn’t a bad idea. Marketers should also understand the importance of learning about their competitor’s performance and learn how they meet their customer’s needs.
3) The process of data analysis is labor-intensive, and hence can be overwhelming too. Therefore, marketers should use reporting tools. Reporting tools help businesses get knowledge of the current business activities of the firm. These tools focus on the performance of a firm at a specific point in time. For instance, to figure out the sales figures for a particular product, a reporting tool will provide that report. For social media and marketing, Whatagraph is an effective tool. It automatically collects data from all marketing channels and generates reports on demand.
4) Understand that failures and successes are inevitable. The only way to grow is through testing. Perform different types of testing, whether it's A/B testing (an experiment where two or more variants are shown to users at random), text ads, banner ads, or any other. The conclusion you will draw through these testing will provide you the best user experience.
5) In a competitive industry, we need to stand out from the crowd to get noticed. To achieve this, we need to learn about our customers. Their likes, dislikes, preferences, needs, and many more provide them with an offering that entices them. It will not only provide us with a huge customer base but also promote the brand.
6) Our ultimate goal is to maximize the efficiency of our investments, our return of investments (ROI). This can happen when we target the correct audience. If we target the wrong audience, the consequences will not only cause a loss in return on investments but will also generate a negative sentiment in the consumers regarding the brand.
7) Do you remember the Volkswagen scandal? In September 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that in over 590,000 diesel motor vehicles, Volkswagen had violated the Clean Air Act as its vehicles were equipped with "defeat devices" in the form of computer software, which was designed to cheat on federal emissions test. With this in mind, understand that your customers aren’t ignorant. If you try to hide any information from your consumers, it’ll all come to light through one channel or another.
8) The initiative of media plans should be made, keeping in mind that it generates the best user experience. Marketers should develop content strategies with inputs from SEO, SEM, and social media specialists.
To conclude, mass marketing isn't dead. But it is no longer enough. There's no question about its decline, but it can certainly still serve a purpose depending on the context or the brand. The need for the hour is to adapt to today's realities, and to evolve, to keep up with the new standards.
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