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Can Mass Marketing Last in the Long Run?
Blog...Can Mass Marketing Last in the Long Run?

Can Mass Marketing Last in the Long Run?

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In this article, we’ll explain what mass marketing is, why companies often opt for mass marketing, the downsides of mass marketing, and whether it is the right approach for your organization and product.
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Consumerism culture has changed our way of life, especially ever since we’ve entered the 21st century – seeing as the internet, T.V., and social media never gives us a break from seeing all of the new merchandise our peers keep persuading us to buy.

Mass marketing refers to the practice and notion of advertising and selling as many of the same product as possible for maximum exposure and profit. 

However, in the midst of shortening attention spans and difficulty concentrating on or desiring a single item or task for long periods of time – it is viable to wonder if mass marketing can sustain itself in our changing world.

In this article, we’ll explain what mass marketing is, why companies often opt for mass marketing, the downsides of mass marketing, and whether it is the right approach for your organization and product.

What is mass marketing?

Mass marketing, sometimes called shotgun marketing, is an approach to marketing where the primary goal is to sell as much of the product or service as possible – often in an impersonal fashion, such as through short advertisements instead of utilizing personalized email campaigns.

Think of shopping in the grocery store, and coming across a new kind of cereal. Even though you usually purchase another brand, you have seen this new cereal everywhere on T.V. or Tik Tok – it is tempting to try the new cereal. As a result, the store has a promotional sale for the cereal – which solidifies your momentary predicament, and you end up buying the “it” cereal of the moment. This is the epitome of mass marketing.
what is a mass market

Some common characteristics of mass marketing include:

  • Demonstrating the product or service’s value to everyone regardless of demographics;
  • Failure to cultivate personal relationships or build long-term connections with the customers;
  • Producing the product or service at high-volumes in order to ensure widespread availability and distribution;
  • Achieving a high-volume of sales in a short period of time;
  • Creating well-known slogans or television commercials that everyone will recognize immediately;
  • Setting low-prices in order to help boost exposure and sales for the product.

Think of the last time you were standing in the checkout line at a store, and came across a low-priced product while waiting to purchase what you initially came to the store for – such as at CVS or T.J. Maxx. These could be daily essentials, or non-essential items, such as a nifty lip balm or new iPhone charger. 

👉 Regardless of the type of item being sold, this merchandise is typically a perfect example of mass marketing – as these items could appeal to anyone at the store and entice them to buy it without the need for careful consideration or commitment to buying future products from that brand again.

mimi cacti

What are some examples of mass marketing?

The most popular examples of mass marketing include advertisements seen on social media, apps, and on the internet or T.V – but mass marketing has continued to evolve alongside the age of digital media.

Mass marketing is most successful when it is done with a product or service that can be advertised and prove useful or enjoyable to anyone and everyone regardless of age. This could include soda drinks, gum, coffee, or something to be used for a smartphone or laptop – all of which the majority of people will use in their everyday lives.
 Mass Marketing & Other Marketing Strategies Explained

Therefore, it is important to note that niche items will not work well under mass marketing – such as specialized mattresses for a back back, kitchen utensils and gadgets which could speed up cooking time, or new medicine for a rare disease.

👉 Mass marketing works best when it is used for a product or service that are considered necessities and can be used amongst the majority of people.

Other less common, but still used methods of mass marketing may include:

  • T.V. commercials, often with a signature slogan or theme for people to associate the product or service with in an instant (such as State Farm’s commercial for insurance);
  • Billboards seen when exiting the freeway or heading into a city;
  • Radio ads or other auditory ads, such as those heard on spotify or other music streaming platforms where the user doesn’t pay for premium streaming services;
  • Email campaigns, which although have taken a hit due to the omnipresence of social media – are still used and can be effective in boosting sales or attracting new customers and clients;
  • Print ads, which while rare – are still used, especially when seeking to gain the attention of people who won’t use social media and are more likely to read the newspaper. 

👉 In 2024, the most common method used for mass marketing will undoubtedly be on social media – seeing as companies have the best bet at gaining people’s attention with short-form content.

billboard for a resort

Why do companies opt for mass marketing?

There are several benefits to mass marketing, but the overarching advantage to mass marketing amongst many is that it provides the opportunity for a rapid and sizable increase in profits.

The main reason why companies will choose mass marketing over other forms of marketing is because it allows them to gain exposure and increase their sales revenue in a short period of time.

Mass marketing is effective for companies that want to follow a “traditional” business model, seeing as the steps for curating, promoting, and selling a product or service under mass marketing does not require the same personal efforts that other marketing approaches demand. 

The steps and requirements for mass marketing are usually as follows:

  • Development of the Product – This does not require the thought and care that more niche products and services will require, seeing as items advertised and distributed under mass marketing are daily items used for general use amongst any age.
  • Accessible Design – Seeing as mass marketing requires a product to be easily used by anyone and everyone, intricate details and creative thought processes to make a product or service isn’t essential in mass marketing. Functionality will be the most pivotal aspect when designing the product.
  • Low Prices – As a part of consumerism culture, it is more enticing to buy something when the prices are set lower – meaning that products under mass marketing shouldn’t be exceptionally costly to produce in order to ensure a decent profit. 
  • “Mass” Promotion of the Product – The benefit of mass marketing is that the focus is not on the quality of the product, but the quantity of the ads in order to increase exposure.
Mass marketing can help companies to get their name out there faster than other types of advertising – providing “fifteen minutes of fame” for the business – and may provide better chances at selling another viral product or service.

👉 Therefore, many companies will opt to use mass marketing over other forms of advertising seeing as it is easier to produce more advertisements, numerically, than it is to take the time to develop higher quality and creative campaigns – hence the word “mass” in mass marketing.

advertisement in metro/subway/underground

What are the downsides of mass marketing and why may it not prove effective long-term?

Although mass marketing may seem like a “get-rich-quick” scheme for your company, there are several downsides to mass marketing – such as lower profit margins, standard products that lack a unique quality, and little to no chances of returning customers.

Mass marketing should be viewed as a momentary boost as opposed to a sustainable method of growing awareness or business surrounding a product or service.

Think of when someone commits to going to the gym or eating vegan every single day during the month of January in order to kick off the new year. While good for your health, working out daily or avoiding meat forever may not be sustainable practices for everyone to follow. The same goes for mass marketing, seeing as while it may be effective in the short-term – it may prove difficult to sustain the consistency of how often those ads are shown.

Other cons to mass marketing include:

  • Less variety or unique products that can help your company to stand-out;
  • Low profit-margins seeing as mass marketing requires hitting certain numerical targets in order to make up for the initial low price that was set to boost sales;
  • Reduced customer loyalty and the lessened likelihood of a customer returning for future products or purchases.

However, one of the biggest problems with mass marketing is that it continues to promote a consumerism based culture – which is contributing to more climate change as people will throw away their fast fashion, old pieces of technology, and more before the product has reached the end of its life-cycle. 

👉 It is important to note that given the current climate change crisis, mass marketing could prove dangerous to the future of our planet – seeing as mass marketing encourages rapid sales and consumption.

Ultimately, mass marketing is not conducive for companies who want to build brands with long-term value or a loyal customer base. Therefore, one of the solutions for companies that prefer to not take the bolder route associated with mass marketing may want to opt for its counterpart – niche marketing.

Known as the opposite of mass marketing, niche marketing centers around creating a product with low prices that can appeal to everyone – such as the merchandise found at a wholesale store such as Marshalls, Ross, or T.J. Maxx.

One of the main differences between mass marketing and niche marketing is that niche marketing will target a select audience – often for products and services that have little to no competition. This is the antithesis of mass marketing, which focuses on spreading the word on a popular product or service to anyone mass marketing is able to reach – and to influence as many people to purchase the product as possible.

👉 Niche marketing is usually best for companies looking to cultivate greater brand loyalty, seeing as this type of marketing is most successful when catering to a specific demographic or audience.

audiance on whiteboard with black expo marker

Is mass marketing right for your company?

At the end of the day, choosing the route of mass marketing, niche marketing, or an approach in-between will all depend on your company’s personal and professional goals – such as if you value loyal customers or increased sales revenue. 

For example, if your company is in dire need of immediate funds – mass marketing may be a way to collect the financial resources needed, and then provides the opportunity to transition to a more sustainable model for business growth.

Mass marketing may be right for your company if the product or service you’re selling is generic and can be used amongst a wide variety of demographics around the world. It can help expose new people to your business and momentarily boost sales, but long-term profitability or returning customers is not a guarantee with mass marketing.

Therefore, choosing mass marketing is not a good or bad choice – but company’s opting for this route must remain aware of the consequences, and how mass marketing might continue to habitually benefit or hinder their company in the long-run.

What about Greenly? 

If reading this article about mass marketing and its longevity has made you interested in reducing your carbon emissions to further fight against climate change – Greenly can help you!

Keeping track of all the necessary business tactics that could impact the longevity of your company’s marketing tactics can be challenging in the midst of climate change, but don’t worry  – Greenly is here to help. Click here to schedule a demo to see how Greenly can help you comply with all of the upcoming regulations relevant to your company. 

Greenly can help you make an environmental change for the better, starting with a carbon footprint assessment to know how much carbon emissions your company produces.

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