Mass marketing sold standardized mass-produced products to a similarly standardized, undifferentiated mass of consumers. Mass marketing was:
- Top-down – We know what's good for you (and profitable for us!)
- Company-out – We developed it; produced it. It must be good. Buy it.
- Product-oriented – Aren't these terrific features!
- Consumer wishes not the highest priority – Remember "New Coke"?
Ad agencies learned about the product, then did the advertising – without enough understanding of the customers' point of view.
But, you might ask "What if you're selling toothpaste? Everyone buys it. So mass marketing applies – right?"
Maybe – but less so every day. Remember when there were a handful of brands, with one product behind each brand?
Crest was Crest. Period. Go to the market now and see Crest for sensitive teeth, Crest to make your teeth whiter, Crest in a container that stands up by itself. Crest in the squeeze tube. It goes on. And that's just Crest!
The products are differentiated to appeal to different market segments. And, to be efficient and effective, each segment is reached via different media.