Continuing the conversation about Mass Media from the other day…

50 years ago it was easy to decide where to advertise.  There were fewer options and each option had a significant audience. Today there is no one media that reaches everyone and each media outlet reaches less than any one did 50 years ago. 

Sure, “radio” reaches 93% of all Americans age 12 and older each week, but there are hundreds of radio stations.  That’s a useless statistic for advertisers.

(By the way, my examples today are going to be using the two medias I work in and can help you with… radio and digital.)

The question is Should You Market to the Masses?

90% of the businesses should not.

9% could.

1% does.

The most recognized businesses in the United States include:







and a few more.

Each of those businesses can serve massive amounts of people each week and they fit that 10% category.

Today I’ll focus on McDonald’s. I have studied them for years and worked with them locally for the past 10 years.  McDonald’s does not market to the masses, not in the way they did 50 years ago.

Each year McDonald’s decides where to spend their advertising dollars based to which segment of the masses they want to reach.  Then they buy accordingly. One year their focus was 35 to 65 year olds. This year they switched it to 18 to 50 year olds.  They used traditional mass media (radio) to invite people each year, but they targeted the people listening to stations that fit the age demographic profiles of those stations.

Google is in the 1% that wants everyone and markets to everyone.  But they do it with a boatload of products and services including the Google Search Engine, Gmail, and the Android smartphone platform that powers more mobile devices than any other.

But let’s bring things down to earth and the local level.  The 90% of businesses that should not market to the masses.

There is a health food shop that has been around for over 40 years that uses targeted marketing.  They have a limited capacity and also a niche customer base.  While there is some overlap between them and the McDonald’s clientele, it’s not the same target.

That brings me to what the 90% of most businesses should do instead of old fashioned mass media marketing.

Targeted media marketing.  This requires some thought and research along with planning and strategic planning.  More on targeted media marketing next time.