Mass Marketing vs Targeted Marketing – What’s the Difference?

The simple explanation to define the difference between targeted and mass marketing is that mass marketing tries to reach as many people as possible, while targeted marketing attempts to reach a specifically defined and profiled audience. Both of these methods can be an effective route to market and can drive leads and sales for a business.

Mass marketing can be more expensive, the message must be stated in the most basic form to have the broadest appeal possible and the can the result can become diluted. In the digital age, people expect to be spoken to on a personal level and a blanket mass marketing campaign could prove a costly exercise if not executed properly.

One example of mass marketing could be a direct mail door drop to a local area for a new restaurant opening in the area. They would blanket an entire catchment area and some of those residents would be potential clients for them, simply down to the postcode. Aside from the address, it’s not targeted but it could generate some results for the restaurant.

You have to ask yourself, if you can take the time to target for a better result, why wouldn’t you?

So how about targeted marketing?

Targeted marketing allows you greater flexibility, the ability to speak to directly to your target market. This would usually be approached by learning more about your target market, their needs, wants and fears and then tailoring your marketing to speak to them directly.

Targeted marketing can potentially help you save time and money on your marketing and lead generation expenses. Instead of the expense of a high volume, scattered effect that mass marketing can often generate, targeted marketing allows you to clearly define your unique value to your target audience a more personal and effective way. Your strategy and planning must be comprehensive, great design, a clear message & great copy is essential. This means that more time may be required to create and develop very specific targeted campaigns to produce the results you require. If time is an important consideration in encouraging sales, targeted marketing planning may be prohibitive to getting your message out to your audience quickly enough.

Either method can be effective, taking into consideration the comments above, but defining the target market, getting the message right and being consistent will usually produce more consistent results.

Particularly in the digital space, we’d always recommend profiling your audience as much as possible to ensure that the digital marketing strategy, message and website design with your business and your client’s needs. Mass marketing is always an option, but it’s a lot riskier in getting the result right first time.

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Mass Marketing vs Targeted Marketing - What's the Difference?

Written By Adam Burrage
Managing Partner at Trident

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