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FutureNow Post
Monday, Aug. 15, 2005 at 3:26 pm

Rethinking Mass Marketing

By Jeffrey Eisenberg
August 15th, 2005

Mass marketing, a product centric approach, in this increasingly fragmented media market is  showing even more evidence of becoming like pushing on a rope.

Here’s what I read in the NY Times (requires registration) this morning:

At Anheuser-Busch, which sells roughly half of all the
beer in the United States, executives acknowledge they need to do a better job
of making a "personal connection" with the customer.

 "It’s no longer good enough to be a mass media brand,"
said Bob Lachky, executive vice president of global industry development for
Anheuser-Busch. "We have to learn how to sell small."

Any Persuasion Architect could have explained why you always have to sell small. No matter how large your audience you still sell one unit to one person at a time. Mass marketing may have worked only a few years ago; people still bought based on their own motivations but had less choices. People are no longer satisfied with the one-size-fits-all messaging for generic products with a diluted brand promise (more investment in the ads than in delivering the brand experience that creates personal connection) since they have an ever increasing variety of alternatives. 

Marketers should all embrace the fragmenatation, the transparency and the increased interactivity because it’s not going away.

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Comments (2)

  1. Nice posting..this is the same as what Seth Godin said: small is the new big..

    I also put much of this thinking into my own personal blog too –

    where we as marketers need to understand it is not about the mass anymore, it is also about all the small things (the long tail)


  2. But if you only have a limited range of products, will personalized marketing make a great difference if what the consumer can buy is not very personalized at all?

    Even if Anheuser-Busch developed a personalized message for each single potential customer, wouldn’t they all realize pretty quickly that the products themselves were still generic and widespread?

    Personalized, targeted marketing can only work when combined with a greater range of product choice, surely?

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Jeffrey Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark. You can friend him on Facebook.

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