Last Updated 27 Mar 2020

Mass Marketing and Direct Marketing

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Mass marketing is the traditional method of selling while direct marketing is a new innovation in marketing and advertising. The former, which is usually employed by large companies, is the more costly method since it targets a broad market while the latter, which is favored by small and medium scale organizations, is relatively cheaper as it is aimed at a specific target market.

Mass marketers sell their products with the use of the mass media such as national television, newspapers, radio, and widely circulated journals and magazines. Its use of the mass media makes it a relatively expensive way of marketing because of the cost entailed in attempting to reach a wide audience through a single television spot or issue of a newspaper or magazine. However, advertisers and sellers consider the method somewhat indispensable because the products that they are selling are either attractive to or are believed to be essential to people from all walks of life who are watching television, reading newspapers or magazines, and listening to radio programs.

Some of the products which are mass marketed are different brands of bath soap, detergent bars, toothpaste, and face powder. In the 1960s, before the advent of direct marketing, only big advertisers could usually afford to market products using the mass media due to the prohibitive costs involved. For instance, during the 1980s, a national television network charged an “average cost per thousand viewers” of $16.79 for every spot which lasted for thirty seconds. In other words, if the network reached ten million households, a 30-second spot would cost the advertiser $167,900 (Bianco, Lowry, Berner, Arndt & Grover. 2004).

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Compared to mass marketing, direct marketing is relatively new. This concept, which involves reaching individual customers through telephone calls, electronic mails, or the postal service, caught fire during the twenty-first century. A survey conducted only in 2006 which covered some 500 direct marketers and service providers worldwide and released January 11, 2007, found out that “85% of respondents expect their online direct marketing expenditures to increase in 2007” (Direct Marketing News).

This system of marketing heavily relies on a customer list created, maintained, and regularly updated for the purpose. Organizations who employ this method claim that their marketing efforts are measurable in terms of responses or feedbacks which they receive from their target customers (Business Link).

Evidently, mass marketing, although more expensive compared to direct marketing, could not be dispensed with by marketers who want to sell their products in large quantities to a multitude of consumers. This is because a company who targets millions of people just could not afford to contact them directly and individually.

Works Cited

Bianco, Anthony, Tom Lowry, Robert Berner, Michael Arndt & Ronald Grover.

“The Vanishing Mass Market.” BusinessWeekOnline. 12 July 2004. 9 July 2007.


Business Link. Direct Marketing: the basics. 9 July 2007.


Direct Marketing News. “Alterian finds 85% of marketing and service providers plan to

Increase Online spending in 2007.” 9 July 2007.


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