Whether you’re conscious of it or not, you are a marketer.

Yes, you! In fact, you do marketing everyday.

I promise that you already know the answer to the question ……. “Is Mass Marketing Dead?”. You just haven’t quite figured out how to connect the dots of marketing.

Still don’t believe me?

For my readers that are parents, have you realized that whenever you’re trying to get your children to do something, you’re marketing to them?

You may market eating at the table with a knife and fork or even hospitality by saying “please” or “thank you”. We’re promoting ideas, good habits and proper manners.

If like me, you’re a mother of a few, needless to say marketing to children is a particularly difficult market.

No two children are exactly the same- each child has their own interests and opinions. Therefore, if you were to use a certain strategy to captivate and engage one child, most assuredly it would not work for the other child.

If you’ve got a third child or more, the chances of that same strategy ever working on them are slim to none.

Here, you can see prime examples of how mass marketing doesn’t exactly hit the nail on the head- it hardly ever achieves your set objectives.

We’re in a New Era of Marketing

The industrial revolution stimulated the basis of marketing in the late 18th and early 19th century

At that time, democracy undoubtedly wasn’t as prominent as it is today. Everyone obeyed the status quo and was expected to fall in line with figureheads.

It makes me allude to the film ‘The Sound of Music‘ on how society was like in a previous era- essentially everyone ‘followed-the-leader’ like ducklings behind them.

For an age of autocracy, by all means mass marketing would have been appropriate.

BUT- we’re in a different time now, everyone accepts and lives through their individuality.

That’s why if you have more than one child, you may realize that the way in which you teach one may be slightly different than your approach to another child.

What Does This Mean for Your Business?

Let’s say you’re a beautician or cosmetologist by trade and you own a business.

One of your goals would be to get the word out about your business and attract customers, especially if you’re just starting out.

And at this point, you’d feel inclined to target the largest audience possible because aren’t we all humans? and all human have hair and grow nails that they need to groomed. This is mass marketing.

Let me tell you why this doesn’t work.

Take for instance when I had dreadlocks. I looked far and wide for a hairdresser that was adept enough in dreadlocks maintenance.

I could have gone to any hairdresser that perms, relaxes and straightens. However, I wanted one who specialized in dreadlocks styling and maintenance.

Isn’t it shocking? There aren’t much persons who specialize in dreadlocks care. Even considering that there are thousands of people who have dreadlocks in Trinidad, wishing to maintain it with no hassle.

When I finally found someone that specialized in that area, I became a loyal customer to her.

Now, her business is booming! Why? because she’s specialized, she didn’t want to be the average hairdresser- and that’s the exact opposite of mass marketing.

Your Business Should Stand Out

Mass marketing isn’t particularly dead, but if your goal is to stand out as a small business and grow a large customer base, mass marketing is not your best route.

Mass marketing is mainly applied to what we buy and consider “everyday products” or what I consider “boring products”.

People oftentimes buy these products routinely like at a grocery store or marketplace.

“Boring” here doesn’t mean that your purchases are boring per se. I consider boring to mean repetitive and unoriginal- they don’t fascinate.

People usually buy these items regardless of whether it is being advertised or not. That is why mass marketing can work for these products.

Whereas, your business is centered around a unique and innovative product/service. Your goal is to stand out. Your goal is to connect with your customers.

Mass marketing seems to be embedded in the minds of many, mostly because it’s seemingly easier and would reach a wider audience.

For example, let’s say you plan on running a Facebook ad. Have you ever instinctively chosen options with larger limits?

You may have thought to set your audience at a large scale- to everyone in the country, all men and women or everyone ages 18 through 65+.

Nevertheless, a wider audience most times does not lead to increased sales for your business.

Additionally, you can lose a lot of money from mass marketing attempts through mass forms of marketing (i.e newspaper, radio or television ads)

The real question is, how many of those people are actually interested in what you offer?

Most importantly, your aim should be to redirect your efforts toward reaching an audience with prior interest in your niche.

Ads & Mass Advertising

Does mass advertising still work?

Here’s a clever example as to what mass advertising is.

Picture that you’re flying over a neighbourhood in a plane with an aim to drop an invitation to your aunt. You package and drop 5000 invites in and around her neighborhood in hopes that she will receive one of them.

This doesn’t sound very practical.

Let’s examine the companies that mass advertise during the Super Bowl perhaps.

Year after year, countless people globally tune into the Super Bowl, not because of genuine interest in American football but for the entertaining advertisements.

But do we actually buy the products that we see advertising?

No, because we only view these advertisements as entertainment and not for the sole purpose of buying.

Large business corporations spend millions annually on a 30-second advertisement for global eyes to see, but the masses that they target hardly ever feel prompted to buy the product.


Unfortunately, mass marketing is dead- but there is hope!

Your focus should be not on reaching out to everyone, but connect to those who are truly interested in what you have to offer.

If you haven’t already done some introspection and analysis on who your market is, this is what you should do now. Pause, stop and think.

Pinpoint who you really want as your customers and who do you want ordering your product or coming into your store regularly.


Hilary De Freitas is a wife, mother, engineer and marketer. She is dedicated to helping mothers build a successful online business from their passions, so that they don't have to choose between career and family. Hilary has been involved in network marketing, affiliate marketing and digital marketing consulting for the past 10 years. Some of the links in this post are 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

    5 replies to "Is Mass Marketing Dead?"

    • Barb

      There’s a lot of wisdom in this post. I especially like this phrase: “Mass marketing isn’t particularly dead, but if your goal is to stand out as a small business and grow a large customer base, mass marketing is not your best route.”

      Sometimes it’s hard to get people to understand this in the beginning. Your post is helpful in explaining the concepts involved.

    • Jeanine Byers

      I think we can also get so excited about the services or products we offer, that we think everyone should know about it. For example, someone who says, “I coach everyone. Everyone could benefit from coaching.” And I certainly believe that everyone could benefit from color analysis, but the truth is, I should only market to people who will be excited to find me, like you were thrilled to find your hairdresser. And since there is a real need in the black community for color analysts who won’t use a one-size-fits-all philosophy with women of color, I decided to specialize in helping my own community. Thx for the reminder about mass marketing!

      • Hilary

        You are so right! Most welcome to keep this reminder front of mind.

    • Karin

      So true! Having a targeted audience is so powerful! Great stuff.

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