Sheri Hebbeln
January 29, 2015 | Marketing | Sheri Hebbeln

Choosing between mass and targeted marketing

There are a variety of marketing strategies that a winery can use.  Reliable methods require resources and a thorough understanding of your audience to get the best results. One method is to follow the traditional model of getting the message out to as many people as possible, called mass marketing. On the other hand, wineries may be better suited to using their resources in a manner that gets a more focused customer, as with targeted marketing. Choosing one or the other, or utilizing a combination of both, can make a major difference in customer acquisition.

Calling to the masses

Mass marketing, which has been in existence for decades, is simply broadcasting a message to as wide an audience as possible, regardless of demographics or psychographics. This method includes TV advertising, Internet banner ads and print ads. Web-based videos that go viral can also be considered a form of mass marketing.

Mass marketing, is referred to as a "shotgun approach" by the Times-Standard News because of its wide and scattershot effect.  This idea is that every person is a potential customer, and aims to get as many people to visit your website or winery as quickly as possible. The key benefit of this method is that, accordingly, the most amount of people are directed to where you need them to go with the least amount of effort.

There are drawbacks to this method. For one thing, getting the most people to your site means diluting as much of specific messaging as possible.  Second, getting a mass message out to people is very expensive. Finally, there is a chance that, despite getting people to the site, their interests won’t match what you offer and they won’t purchase. While your message is reaching a wide audience, the return on investment (ROI) will be low.

Creating a target

Targeted marketing takes the opposite approach to mass marketing. Instead of getting the most people to your site possible, this strategy requires that you assess and target specific members of the audience to yield a more engaged set of consumers. Sometimes called the "rifle approach" for its narrow and clear focus, this style of marketing requires extensive research of your audience so you can define their characteristics, resulting in a more engaged consumer that is more likely to purchase.

The immediate benefit of using targeted marketing is that it creates an audience that is likely to make a purchase.  No need to weed out consumers that are out of step with what you offer.  Target marketing tends to be less expensive than mass marketing. This creates a higher ROI.

However, there are some disadvantages to targeting, as noted by marketing firm Trident. If you target too narrowly, you may reduce the quantity of consumers and sales to justify using the method. More importantly, you risk wasting too much time by continuously researching your audience when time could be better spent in personally reaching out. The key is to find the balance in your target criteria.



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