As part of your marketing efforts, you must have already segmented potential customers in your target market based on different characteristics like age, male/female, needs, desires, income levels, ability to spend, location, buying habits, etc.

Segmentation is an essential part of marketing that will allow you to offer products and services tailored to the specific needs of each segment.

Differentiated Marketing or Concentrated Marketing are two types of marketing strategies that can be used to target specific market segments.

But what about marketing strategies that cut across all market segments and which do not differentiate between segments?

That’s where Undifferentiated Marketing comes in.

What is Undifferentiated Marketing?

Not all of your marketing strategies need to target only one or a few segments at a time. You may deploy certain marketing strategies that apply to ALL segments of your target market.

In other words, you will not differentiate between segments.

Such “one-size-fits-all” marketing strategies are called Undifferentiated Marketing.

Undifferentiated Marketing refers to a set of marketing strategies that ignore the differences between market segments and instead focus on what’s common between them.

Undifferentiated Marketing is a synonym for Mass Marketing and the objective is to offer a service or a product that appeals to the largest number of buyers across all identified segments.

Undifferentiated Marketing strategies are not easy to execute. Modern consumers (and business customers) are extremely picky and are sophisticated buyers who know what they want and aren’t usually willing to compromise.

This makes it difficult to create a product or service which appeals equally to vastly different people.

However, there are some instances when Undifferentiated Marketing strategies make sense.

We’ll cover these in the examples at the end of the article.

But first, let’s study the Pros and Cons of Undifferentiated Marketing.

Pros of Undifferentiated Marketing

  1. Undifferentiated Marketing reduces the effort and investment needed in segmentation activities.
  2. It can be a very useful strategy for brand development across all market segments.
  3. Because of its indiscriminate nature, it can end up reaching potential customers who do not normally fall into well-defined market segments.
  4. For this exact “shot gun approach”, it is unlikely to miss a potential customer.
  5. Finally, Undifferentiated Marketing can be suitable for a mass market product that depends on volume sales and requires little to no differentiation between different types of customers.

Cons of Differentiated Marketing

  1. Reaching a broad audience can cost a lot more than reaching a segmented audience.
  2. A laser-focused product, service or message will resonate more with a segmented audience rather than one that is “one-size-fits-all”.
  3. A product that is perceived as “one-size-fits-all” may find it difficult to go up against competitor products which may cater to specific segments with tailored products. 
  4. The indiscriminate nature of Undifferentiated Marketing results in wastage. A significant portion of the mass marketing budget can end up targeting an audience that has zero interest in purchasing the marketed product or service.
  5. A change in the market – especially a change in consumer preferences – could quickly render ineffective any strategy based on Undifferentiated Marketing.

Examples of Differentiated Marketing

Example1: IKEA


A well-known mass-market brand using Undifferentiated Marketing is IKEA.

IKEA appeals to everyone. Rich or poor. Young or old. Male or Female. Everyone needs home furniture and IKEA has something for everyone.

Example 2: facebook


Another classic example of a mass-market brand is Facebook. Facebook has the same product, brand, and experience for all users. It does not distinguish between users when offering different features of its product.

Example 3: Netflix


Netflix has something for everyone. While the movies and shows they offer do, in fact, cater to different types of viewers and their tastes, Netflix as a brand is the same for everyone. It offers the same service – access to a large number of high quality video content – to all subscribers.

Key Takeaways

  1. Undifferentiated Marketing ignores the differences between market segments and instead focuses on their commonality.
  2. It is designed to appeal to the largest number of buyers across all segments of the target market
  3. It can be an excellent strategy for brand development across the market and to ensure that all potential customers are being targeted.
  4. Undifferentiated Marketing is difficult to execute and can be expensive and wasteful as it reaches a large number of people who will never become a customer.
  5. Rapid changes in the market or the emergence of a laser-focused competitor can eliminate all advantages of an Undifferentiated Marketing strategy.