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Some claim that mass marketing is becoming less significant; others claim that it is not and that there will always be room for large brands that employ marketing programs that target the mass market. But which is the truth? Is mass marketing really dead, or is it still as alive as ever? The content to follow looks to further expand on the issue at hand. First off, what exactly is “mass marketing”? In mass marketing, the company goes after the whole market, therefore ignoring all possible segment differences. The goal of this strategy is to design a marketing strategy for a product that can be sold to the largest and broadest range of consumers using both mass distribution and mass communication.
Mass marketing is typically seen when the target market, or in this case all of the consumers, all have the same preferences and, at the same time, not many options are available. The known benefits of mass marketing are that it creates a large, if not the largest, potential market for a company. Then in turn, the result of having this large market can mean lower costs, lower prices, and higher profit margin. Also, because it is usually only one product or product type with not many variables, the costs put into research and development, product, inventory, transportation, marketing research, advertising, and product management also remain low, making mass marketing an ideal concept for most companies.
It can be decided that mass marketing began taking shape during the industrial revolution, when the concept of manufacturing and selling the products on the market became a large interest to society. Companies began to notice that if more of a product is made, each individual product could be sold, and made, at a cheaper cost. This mindset got the companies to begin manufacturing large quantities of the same product, which then allowed them to spend less money on production costs, labor, and unit price. This resulted in higher profit and, consequentially, an increased interest in production as a whole.
Once World War II ended, the United States found itself beginning to develop a highway system to make movement of goods, and people, across the country. For the first time ever, cities were not only connected with each other, but also with more rural and underdeveloped areas outside of the cities. This allowed sellers to have access to a quick and convenient way to get their products delivered to different areas of the country, instead of just their immediate area. Now more than ever, marketers began seeing and feeding off the new opportunities to get their product out to the masses. But the new question was, how will they get their product known? How will they make the consumers aware that the product even ships? That answer came with such inventions of the telegraph, telephone, and network television. These new concepts allowed marketers to communicate with people easier than ever before, as well as reach wide variety of them. Soon, advertisements sent through mail, telemarketers, and television commercials/infomercials were the most popular, and seemingly effective, means of marketing. And, because times were simpler back then, this was all that marketers had to do to get their message across.
Mass marketing brought many companies a world of success, with popular examples being Coca-Cola and Ford. Both companies built one type of universal product that appealed to all groups of consumers and marketed it as such. Due to the lack of optional features in the product, both were able to fully take advantage of a mass marketing strategy, and, as previously stated, allow themselves to mass produce at a lower cost – therefore gaining a higher profit margin. But if mass marketing was able to shape and develop two of the world’s most seemingly successful companies, why is this strategy and approach beginning to disintegrate? The answer is simple and can be given in one word: technology.
Throughout the past two decades, people have become especially dependent on technology. Because of this, marketing and marketing strategies have had to adapt to these changes and constant new advances. But how exactly does this new technology impact mass marketing? It is simple. Technology has allowed consumers to explore so many more options when it comes to purchasing a product. The everyday consumer now finds themselves being able to explore and research many different choices for any one product that they want to buy, while at the same time there are many different companies competing to sell the same exact product. This right there causes marketers to have to constantly find new ways to attract customers. Gone are the days where only three or four network television channels exist. Now, there are thousands of different types of channels, each with their own category of viewers. So companies now not only have to determine what their target market will be, but they also have to determine what television channels will attract the same target market so that they can get their advertisements on those channels.
Another new technological advancement that has effected mass marketing is the internet. The internet has made it easier for consumers to search for any product that they want, while at the same time allowing any seller to post their products for sale.