Marketing Debate: Is Mass Marketing Dead?
Marketing is about identifying and meeting human and social needs, or even simpl...
Marketing Debate: Is Mass Marketing Dead?
Apple, Dell or IBM. With the well-known brand, at least, some of the time then s...
Marketing Debate: Is Mass Marketing Dead?
A practical scenario of Bangladesh for a Brand for which Mass Market declines:
Marketing Debate: Is Mass Marketing Dead?
thus made it possible for managers in a central location to be in instant contac...
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  1. 1. Marketing Debate: Is Mass Marketing Dead? Marketing is about identifying and meeting human and social needs, or even simply, marketing is done to attract and retain customer at a profit. Thus, we see marketing management as the art and science of choosing target markets and getting, keeping, and growing customers through creating, delivering and communicating superior customer value. This simple definition refers that marketing is basically customer oriented in nature. However, looking back at the history of marketing indicates that the idea of marketing was different and it took many different shapes at different ages. The four major marketing management philosophies i.e. production concept, product concept, selling concept and marketing concept are in fact, related to this evolutionary nature of marketing. This conceptual development of marketing implies that initially marketing was associated with the mass production and efficient delivery of the products (production concept) and now it is viewed as a customer oriented essential business activity (marketing concept). Through mass marketing (also known as undifferentiated marketing), a firm ignores segment differences and goes after the whole market with one offer. It designs a marketing program for a product with a superior image that can be sold to the broadest number of buyers via mass distribution and mass communications. Multinationals aiming to maximize profits, market share and economies of scales by producing and selling huge quantities of similar goods and services to as many customers as possible. Changes in media, consumers and the data available to marketers have redefined the nature of marketing and outdated traditional means of measuring marketing performance. The old attitudes and tools are inefficient and simply cannot keep pace with today’s demanding customer. Thus, arguments arises and some claims mass marketing is dying, as now a business no longer can generate large volumes of products without communicating the customers. They cannot afford to treat each customer in the same way as there are different needs for different group of people. However, others argue that there will always room for large brands such as- Microsoft, General Motors, and Coca-Cola can undertake a full market coverage strategy and employ marketing programs to target the mass market. Or they even claim that mass marketing is still a viable way to build a profitable brand. Thus, arguments on this topic will be addressed in this paper and a stand will be taken with the conclusion. Mass marketing was one of the success stories of the 20th century. The appeal of mass marketing is in the potential for higher total profits. Companies that employ the system expect the larger profit to result from expanded volume through lower prices and reduced costs through economies of scale made possible by the increased volume. Companies like Ford, Toyota, Microsoft, Proctor and Gamble, Sony and Cadburys, produce ranges of products aimed at targeting as large a proportion of the total market as possible. Certain basic human physical needs (food, clothing, and shelter and etc) can be best met through mass marketing which many advertise through different kind of marketing channel. Very seldom or rare a consumer will consume the brands that they never heard before. People do not drink an unknown brand of soft drink, use an unknown make of PC, contract with a mobile phone network no-one has ever heard or fly on that airline whose name no-one can remember. They usually drink Coca-Cola; use 1
  2. 2. Marketing Debate: Is Mass Marketing Dead? Apple, Dell or IBM. With the well-known brand, at least, some of the time then somewhere along the way, mass marketing enable us to reach our customer effectively. In addition, consumers desire low prices and functionality in some of their basic products and services. Mass marketing allows the firm to foster the lowest price through economies of production, distribution, and marketing. In Bangladesh, some examples of Mass Marketing are given below: ATN Bangla: ATN Bangla is a Bengali language digital cable television channel. The channel offers a wide variety of programming including news, movies, dramas, talk shows, and more. The channel mainly focuses on undifferentiated or Mass Marketing (all Bangladeshi people). SMC ORSaline-N: Making high-quality health products and services widely available and highly affordably forms the key element of social marketing. Its widespread sales and distribution network allows SMC to make its products widely available at retail outlets across the country. SMC ORSaline-N is the market leader in the ORS product category, currently enjoying a national market share of about 58 percent. Being the pioneer in this category and with strong mass media support over many years, ORSaline –N has become generic to ORS in the country. In market segmentation of this particular product, they basically focus on Mass marketing. The inability to properly measure traditional marketing efforts, even as they evolve into becoming more modern in many respects, continues to highlight the importance and value of mass marketing channel such as direct digital marketing. Mass marketing is certainly not in danger of elimination. But its role is changing. The successes of mass marketers led to the appearance of an alternate approach to marketing. Mass marketing used to be the success story of the 20th century. However, the same tactic seem doesn’t work well in the new era. The old attitudes and tools are inefficient and simply cannot keep pace with today’s demanding consumers. There are several reasons for the decline and downfall of mass marketing, which I discuss here: 2
  3. 3. Marketing Debate: Is Mass Marketing Dead? A practical scenario of Bangladesh for a Brand for which Mass Market declines: Unilever’s one of the most popular brand is LUX. The company claims that LUX is the highest selling beauty soap in Bangladesh. When the company first introduced this soap, it mainly targets Mass Marketing. Though LUX is the highest selling beauty soap in Bangladesh till now, it does not go for traditional mass marketing at present. Due to the change of customer demand and preferences, Unilever now maintains the segmented marketing for the product. The product is now available in six different fragrances under three different sizes. LUX is offered in Bangladesh in six different flavors which are: LUX Energizing Honey, LUX Golden Glow, LUX Nature Pure, LUX Orchid Touch, LUX Almond Delight and LUX Aqua Sparkle. Taking into account the convenience of its customers, the company manufactures all flavors of LUX in three different sizes, 40gm, 80gm and 120gm. LUX is not a highly expensive but an affordable product. That is why the company targets urban and sub urban upper middle and middle class people. i. The embracement of internet and the changes of consumer behavior: When people need to find about any information, they need in a matter of seconds just by performing a Google search. However, today’s customer is very different from a previous customer. Today’s customer is much more intelligent, confident and has much more understanding of various kinds of products and brands. In particular, consumers with great purchasing power are increasingly attempting to express their personality by means of an individual product choice. Thus, manufacturers are forced to create product with verities and preferences according to the customers demand. Therefore according to satisfy the customer’s choice many companies in Bangladesh switch to differentiated or niche marketing from undifferentiated. For example: Lux has already switched to differentiated marketing from mass marketing. ii. The rapid development of technology and globalization of markets: It is very usual that, nowadays a youngster wakes up in the morning with immense needs to check his/her Facebook or Twitter updates. The spate of new technology like smart phones (iPhone, Nokia, Samsung and etc) and more recently different kind of tablets, i.e. iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, has brought a new wave of communication in Bangladesh. Thus, the old marketing concept can give away to much more flexible marketing program and to satisfy the demand of niche market. Also, microprocessors have greatly increased our communication capabilities, and 3
  4. 4. Marketing Debate: Is Mass Marketing Dead? thus made it possible for managers in a central location to be in instant contact with retailers, sales representatives, brokers and etc. It is much more difficult to practice mass marketing in a fragmented media environment. Apart from that, globalization is highlighting the fact that there are many markets that must be served, and thus globalization is destroying the notion of homogeneous market. Finally, the mass production economy is giving way to the information age economy. iii. Rising of Social media: Social media has given rise to the social buyer, an increasingly large section of the population who use their social media connections to seek advice and guide their buying decisions. According to Bangladeshi context, social media has changed consumer’s thinking and buying behavior. Consumers are now controlling the brand. For example: Facebook, creates a great impact to attract today’s customers to consume more differentiate products as well as opinion of friends (word of mouth) has become marketing’s most influential feature in the 21st century. iv. Rising of e-commerce: In Bangladesh, e-commerce or online marketing is rising rapidly due to Internet. However, new companies can enter into e-commerce easily because they do not need sales forces and huge capital investments as they do in offline markets. As the number of people with internet access increases, the competition in many industries will also increase. It helps cost reduction in production, distribution, and transaction. Besides, by reducing customers’ search costs, the internet makes price comparison easy for customers. Internet also creates new substitution by enabling new approaches to meeting customer needs and performing business functions. The internet also facilitates an electronic integration of the supply chain activities, achieving new promotion venues, efficient distribution and delivery. Thus, the impact of the rapid development of e-commerce has deteriorating the future development of the mass marketing. For example:,, are some of the popular e-commerce portal in Bangladesh. It’s no secret that traditional mass is on its way out. To meet new demand of customer, a firm must produce individual and customized products to compete. Basic human needs and wants can be delivered to the customer by a wide range of choices. Technology has given the consumer the power and ability to interact with manufacturers in producing the exact product, with the exact features, and at the target price desired. Consumers are better educated and better informed than previous generations. These increases in information, technology, and sophistication are causing firms to respond to the customers’ wishes for individuality. Those firms who choose not to compete or fail to compete in these arenas run the risk of falling brand and in experiencing the subsequent losses in market share and profits. To capture more market-share, some producers of mass market goods employ a marketing strategy known as product differentiation to make their offering seem distinct from that of competitors, even though the products are largely the same. 4