What’s it: Mass marketing is efforts to promote and sell products by targeting the mass market. The mass market is a market where many customers exist in a market with common needs. Companies view consumers in the market as having homogeneous needs and wants. To sell a product, they only have one marketing strategy. They sell the same product at the same price using the same promotion and distribution system for everyone.
Mass marketing decreases along with the development of differentiated marketing. The company breaks down the market into several market segments to reflect the variation in tastes and desires among customers for the latest strategy. Consumers in a segment have homogeneous needs and wants. However, they are heterogeneous between segments. The company then targets several market segments and adapts its offerings according to each segment’s demand characteristics.
How mass marketing differs from niche marketing
Mass marketing contrasts with niche marketing. Under niche marketing, the company serves specific needs in a narrower target market (niche market). A niche market represents a part of the main market with specific customer needs. Big players are usually reluctant to serve this market.
The size of the niche market is relatively small because it has very few potential customers. They have unique needs and differ from market customers in general. To achieve a competitive advantage, the company takes a focus strategy.
In mass marketing, companies develop the same product, price, promotion, and distribution to reach all consumers in the market. In this case, they rely on a cost leadership strategy. They strive to produce a lower cost structure than the average competitor. To do so, they must sell as many products as possible to increase economies of scale.
Cost leadership strategy is the opposite of a differentiation strategy. In contrast to the focus strategy, the company targets the main market, larger than the niche market.
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Likewise, in contrast to mass marketing, companies rely on differentiated marketing. They segment the population into several market segments and adapt their marketing mix.
How companies do mass marketing
Market homogenization. Companies ignore segmentation. They perceive the market as homogeneous. They do not think it is crucial to specifically handle and adapt products according to consumers’ tastes and preferences in each segment.
Production. In developing mass marketing, companies are usually production oriented. They use rifle marketing tactics to reach as many consumers as possible instead of more precisely targeted marketing. That way, the company can achieve more sales volume to support higher economies of scale.
Higher economies of scale reduce unit costs. Finally, they can lower the selling price compared to competitors to attract more demand.
Single marketing mix. Companies standardize products, prices, promotions, and distribution channels. For example, to promote a product, they rely on mass media channels, such as television, radio, newspapers, and their combinations.
The company may also send out a large number of emails, hoping a few people would buy. Such media to reach as many audiences as possible, thereby maximizing exposure to the product.
Mass marketing advantages
- More potential customers. The company targets a large number of end consumers because it ignores different market segments.
- Higher economies of scale. The high sales volume allows the company to enjoy higher economies of scale. Therefore, they tend to enjoy significantly lower average production costs.
- High sales. Because they serve in the same way, potential customers are equal to the population in the market. Thus, the company is likely to enjoy a high volume of sales.
- Less prone to changing tastes. The company sells standard products and ignores differences in tastes among consumers. Therefore, any change in a consumer’s buying habits should not have a significant impact on sales.
- Save on marketing costs. The company uses a one-size-fits-all approach. For example, they rely on the mass media to inform and persuade their audience to buy.
Mass marketing disadvantages
- Low adaptability. The company does not adapt products according to consumer tastes and special requirements. Thus, for quality-conscious consumers, products are not attractive.
- Low-profit margins. Companies usually rely on low prices to attract as many customers as possible. The product is not unique, so the market perceives it to be of low value. Economies of scale are one of the solutions to improve low margins in the market.
- Low switching costs. Consumers have no other reason to be loyal to the product, except for price reasons. Therefore, their loyalty tends to be low, which implies low switching costs. If the company raises the price, the product is no longer attractive, and consumers will switch to competitor products.
- High competitive pressure. The mass market is likely to attract more players. Standard products, low switching costs, and low loyalty make rivalry between companies more intense.
- High entry barriers. Existing firms invest in expensive capital equipment and efficient supply chains to support higher economies of scale. That increases the entry requirements to the market, leaving potential players to spend large sums of money.