Mass marketing is becoming more difficult due to fragmented media. Mass marketing often means paying for wasted exposure…exposure that is not effective for your brand. And mass marketing can be more costly. So the current trend is to niche market. To narrowly target audiences. To allocate time and resources to reach a narrowly defined audience of current or highly potential audience. And there are valid arguments for such a marketing approach.
However, there is a significant downside. You may be missing the opportunity to develop new customers and new markets. Advertising has the ability to expose consumers to new ideas, new options and choices. Consumers may never know they would want to try a product or service without advertising that exposes the consumer to that product or service. Consumers may not know they have choices without exposure to advertising.
One of the great attributes of advertising in a free enterprise system is its ability to create a mass market by creating awareness for the product or service. In an interview in Forbes of Susan Credle, U.S. chief office of Publicis Leo Burnett, Chicago, Credle states it very well, “Unlike a lot of people who claim advertising pushes products on people, I’ve always believed advertising exposes people to choices. Advertising might show me something that I’d never thought about before, something that might make a difference in my life. And on the business side, brands might find people they never knew would love them. When I was in high school I saw a Chanel spot shot by Ridley Scott: Share the Fantasy. Was I the target? Absolutely not. Did I go out and buy Chanel No. 5? Yes. And do I still buy Chanel products today? Yes. All because of an ad I never would have seen if they were narrowly targeting”.
Niche marketing has it advantages. But so does mass marketing. To solely rely on niche or narrow marketing, you could be missing the opportunity to attract new customers and create new markets. It could limit your customer base to a niche and never reach a potentially strong and profitable market.