Target marketing and mass marketing are two very different ways to approach reaching an audience. Target marketing recognizes that people are very different and have different wants and needs. In recognizing this, target marketing aims to reach a specifically identified market that it has profiled as its ‘target market’.
Target marketing can allow you to really hone in on those interested in your product or service, but it may not produce as many results as you have narrowed your market, albeit purposefully. Mass marketing is designed to have a broad appeal and does not aim to reach a specific audience. Since mass marketing is aimed at reaching more people, it can be more expensive and take more time, but has the potential to yield better results.
Let’s take food products as an example. Mass marketing examples would be normal frozen dinner products and normal ice cream products. Target marketing for those same areas would be Healthy Choice or Lean Cuisine aiming at a more health conscious market, and soy ice cream or frozen yogurt aiming at a more health conscious or allergy prone audience. The same would go for Coke, versus Coke Zero, or another Coca-Cola product like Dasani.
Of the four P’s (product, price, placement, and promotion), I find promotion to be most important. With the right marketing, people are willing to go out of their way to find products, overpay for a product, and purchase it regardless of necessity. A great example here is the Snuggie. The Snuggie, which is basically a robe-like product advertised as a blanket, is not a necessary good, it is overpriced for what consumers are actually getting, and the product placement is absolutely terrible. However, the Snuggie was promoted on television and media, and it became an overnight sensation. Another example, although less extreme, is Apple. Apple products are very expensive, they were originally sold exclusively in manufacturer’s retail stores, and the products are often comparable to other less popular brands; however, it is the promotion of the name and of its new products that keep people so keen on purchasing them.
By focusing on product placement and promotion in a target market you are sure to hit the bullseye every time.