Magazine article Marketing to Women: Addressing Women and Women's Sensibilities

The Mass Market Is No More

Magazine article Marketing to Women: Addressing Women and Women's Sensibilities

The Mass Market Is No More

Article excerpt

The mass market--and by extension mass marketing--has gone the way of the dinosaur, proclaims BusinessWeek ("The Vanishing Mass Market," July 12, 2004). That's a powerful notion for those of us who observe--and market to--women. When I first started covering the women's market, I was struck by the way it defies traditional definitions of mass and segment.

On the one hand, the mass market is the women's market. BusinessWeek's description of the mass market's heyday was the ability of an advertiser to reach 80% of U.S. women with a network TV spot. It's a familiar refrain: Women are the gatekeepers.

They're also 51% of the population--a pretty massive target. But are they really a mass target in the marketing sense? We've mostly argued no, because:

* Their motivations differ along so many lines: age, income level, family size, lifestyle, race/ethnicity, and the finer shades of psychographics and generations;

* The best way to sell something to a woman is to get as close to one-to-one as possible. …

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