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April 27, 2015
To the End of Mass Marketing!
 
We have often exclaimed our displeasure with the notion of mass marketing. Mass marketing is clunky, messy, and, though the cost per user is low, the revenue per user matches. With the rise of dedicated media platforms and the fragmentation of the Internet, thanks to the likes of Google and Facebook, it is nearly truthful to say that mass marketing, or at least the effectiveness of mass marketing, is quickly dying off.

Now we are left with extremely targeted ad campaigns and media efforts that are tailored only to the actions of specific users and groups. Is that a good thing? In terms of user experience, absolutely. Why place something in front of the user when the user didn't ask for it? In the user's mind, that makes sense. But in terms of discovery, innovation, and exposure to different perspectives and points of view, something like a tailored search and ad experience can actually be detrimental.

Rule: above all, do no harm. In a fast-paced world, people are only worried about what they need to do. If we sit this ad-targeted, web-tailored experience next to AdLand's goal of "goodvertising," meaning branding concepts and products for the betterment of society, we can't honestly say that the views are congruent.

We are all for ending mass marketing, but let's not overcorrect and create these hyper-local communities that do nothing but ponder internal ideas. That's not too great either. Thoughts?

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Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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