Mass marketing is the process involved in presenting products to the general public using the mass media such as primetime television, radio, national newspapers, or magazines of general circulation. This is usually done with products which appeal to or perceived to be useful to people from all walks of life such as toothpaste, laundry detergent, or headache pill. This is referred to as the traditional method of marketing and was in use long before specialized or target-specific products came into being.
Compared to the concept of direct marketing, mass marketing is more expensive because it utilizes the traditional mass media which get through to a wider range of audience. For instance, it was estimated that in the 1960s, a single television spot aired simultaneously over the three television stations CBS, ABC, and NBC could already get a message across to 80% of women in the United States. (Bianco, Lowry, Berner, Arndt, Grover. 2004)
Direct marketing, on the other hand, is a relatively new method in marketing where the target customers are contacted directly through mail, electronic mail, or the telephone. This method relies heavily on a customer list created, maintained, and regularly updated by a company or an advertising firm for the purpose. Organizations who are engaged in this method claim that their marketing efforts are measurable in terms of responses they receive from their targets.
The system also allows them to conduct follow-ups in order to consummate sales, or extend after-sale services such as maintenance assistance or performance rating of their products. Basically, direct marketing allows you to “focus limited resources where they are most likely to produce results; measure the success of campaigns accurately by analyzing responses; and test your marketing – you can target a representative sample of your target audience and see what delivers the best response rates before developing a full campaign.” (Business Link) The concept is catching fire.
The result of a transatlantic survey of over 500 direct marketers and service providers conducted in 2006 and released January 11, 2007, showed that “85% of respondents expect their online direct marketing expenditures to increase in 2007.” (Direct Marketing News)
Bianco, A., T. Lowry, R. Berner, M. Arndt, & R. Grover. (2004). The Vanishing Mass
Market. BusinessWeek online. (Retrieved from:
Business Link. Direct Marketing: the basics. (Retrieved from: http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotz/action/detail?r.l1=1073861169&r.13=1073902327&type=RESOURCES&itemID=1073790746&r.12=1073858842&r.s=sc)
Direct Marketing News. “Alterian finds 85% of marketing and service providers plan to increase
Online spending in 2007”. (Retrieved from: