Volume 7 No. 1: Does mass reach work?

Let's imagine for a minute that you’re standing at the free-throw line on the basketball court at Staples Center. Next to you stands LeBron James.  

But LeBron has just one shot. 

You have 100.  

Who’s going to make more baskets?  


   Marketing Breakdown   

Is mass marketing still effective? 

Each week, we break down another marketing trend so you can skip having a breakdown.

Most admit they’re likely to out-shoot LeBron in the scenario above, even through sheer luck. But somehow this idea doesn’t always translate into real-world marketing.  

Some feel mass-reach channels—with more opportunities to win customers despite being less targeted—are no longer an effective option for driving business growth. After all, why shoot a hundred baskets if you can guarantee success with just one shot? Well, is your goal really only to make one shot? 

  1. Create future demand with reach. Although targeted ads provide a higher chance of convincing the recipient to act, you’ll eventually run out of people that fit the audience requirements. Reaching a broader audience drives long-term growth. 
  2. Mass reach ≠ irrelevance. Mass-marketing channels still involve targeting, just based on demographics rather than individualized data. And traditional marketing should absolutely have a strategically crafted message. Thoughtful strategies behind mass reach campaigns are one reason why traditional ads are seeing increased engagement this year
  3. It comes down to cost. One argument against mass-reach channels is they’re wasteful since they require spending to reach some consumers who won’t ever become customers. But if the cost of shooting 100 balls is equal to LeBron shooting just one, do a few airballs matter?  

Key Takeaway: Mass-reach channels still play a vital role in the marketing mix. Balancing opportunities for tight targeting and broad reach is the key. 


   The Growth Lab   

Question: How do you evaluate the quality of a marketing strategy?

We ask an experienced group of business leaders, marketers and statisticians about strategies for success.

Answer: "Evaluate a strategy’s quality based on the results it produces. Great strategies should balance building long-term brand value while returning short-term revenue gains. They lead to focused, interesting tactics that deliver real value, balance customer acquisition and rewarding loyalty, build fame and brand advocates, and use integrated tactics rather than one-off events.


Catrina McAuliffe, SVP Brand Strategy 

Catrina’s known for advocating data-driven decisions that focus on the customer. But outside of advertising, she’s known for her love of traveling and sailing. 


   Channel Changers   

Read: Hey Whipple, Squeeze This  

Here we celebrate books, podcasts, videos, and influencers that are actively pushing marketing into the future.

Hey Whipple, Squeeze This serves as an essential resource for those starting out in the advertising business. Author Luke Sullivan guides readers through building brand stories and distinguishes how to use them across media channels. With how-to advice and many examples, Sullivan brings a fresh, modern perspective on what it takes to be a successful advertiser in the age of digital marketing.

Our favorite insight? Sullivan notes that ad campaigns have the capacity for big ideas. He quotes “We’re not in the business of just making ads. We place brands into culture.”


Share Change the Channel

Share this newsletter with coworkers, friends, and neighbors to show off your TV knowledge.