What it is: Mass marketing is an attempt to promote and sell products by targeting the mass market. A mass market is a market where a large number of customers are in the market with a common need. The company views consumers in the market as having homogeneous needs and wants. To sell products, 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 declined with the development of differentiated marketing. The company divides the market into several market segments to reflect the variations in tastes and desires among customers. Consumers in a segment have homogeneous needs and wants. However, they are heterogeneous between segments. Then, the company targets several market segments and adapts its offerings according to the characteristics of demand in each segment.
How is mass marketing different from niche marketing
Mass marketing contrasts with niche marketing (niche marketing). Under niche marketing, the company caters to specific needs in a narrower target market (niche market). A niche market represents a subset of a major market with specific customer needs. Big players are usually reluctant to serve this market.
The size of the niche is relatively small because it has few potential customers. They have needs that are unique and different from the average market customer. To achieve competitive advantage, the company takes a focus strategy.
In mass marketing , the company develops the same product, price, promotion, and distribution to reach all consumers in the market. In this case, the company relies on a cost leadership strategy. They strive to come up with a lower cost structure than the average competitor. To do so, they must sell as many products as possible to increase economies of scale.
The opposite of a cost leadership strategy is a differentiation strategy. In contrast to the focus strategy, the company targets the main market, which of course, is larger in size than the niche market.
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 consider it important to specifically handle and adapt products according to the tastes and preferences of consumers in each segment.
Production . In developing mass marketing, companies are usually production-oriented. They use gun 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 lower unit costs. Finally, they can lower their selling price compared to competitors to attract more demand.
Single marketing mix . The company standardizes 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 combination. The company also sent out a large number of emails, hoping that some people would buy. Such media is to reach as many audiences as possible so as to maximize the 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. High sales volume allows the company to enjoy higher economies of scale. Therefore, they tend to enjoy much lower average production costs.
- High sales. Because it serves the same way, potential customers are the same as the population in the market. Thus, the company is likely to enjoy high sales volume.
- Less prone to changes in taste. The company sells standard products and ignores the differences in tastes among consumers. Therefore, any change in consumer buying habits should not have a major 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 audiences to buy.
Weaknesses of mass marketing
- Low adaptability. The company does not adapt products according to the tastes and special requirements of consumers. Thus, for quality-conscious consumers, the product is unattractive.
- Low profit margins . Companies usually rely on low prices to attract as many customers as possible. Products do not have uniqueness so that the market perceives them as low value. Economies of scale are one solution to fix 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 lower switching costs. If the company raises prices, its products are no longer attractive and consumers will switch to competing 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 companies invest in expensive capital equipment and efficient supply chains to support higher economies of scale. That increases the entry requirements to the market, forcing potential players to shell out large sums of money.