What Is Macromarketing?

Macromarketing can be defined as the influence marketing policies, strategies, and objectives have on the economy and society as a whole. Specifically, macromarketing refers to how product, price, place, and promotion—the four Ps of marketing—create demand for goods and services, and thus influence what products or services are produced and sold.

Over time, businesses have become more adept at reaching potential consumers through an expanding set of media. Marketing has thus become a ubiquitous part of a consumer's daily life. Because marketing affects what and how consumers purchase or do, it affects how individuals and businesses interact with each other, the environment, and society as a whole.

How Macromarketing Works

Since macromarketing is meant to reflect society's values, it thus attempts to conduct the marketing of goods, services, and ideas in a way that is consistent with the public good and society at large. Scholars believe that the study of macromarketing is valuable in that it focuses on understanding how individuals and societies innovate, adapt, and learn. Some academics operate under the assumption that macromarketing represents the conscience of the practice of marketing, while others maintain that its value lies primarily in its scientific rigor and objectivity, utilizing tools such as A/B Testing.

Macromarketing History

Macromarketing as a term was first used in 1962 by Robert Bartels in his book "The Development of Marketing Thought," which examined future changes and innovations in marketing. These included increased interdisciplinary research, greater use of conceptualization, and more comparative research.

Macromarketing vs. Micromarketing

Macromarketing is often considered alongside micromarketing. Unlike macromarketing, which focuses on society at large, micromarketing focuses on marketing products or services to a small group of highly targeted consumers who are selected based on specific identifying characteristics—such as ZIP code or job title. This enables companies to customize their campaigns to specific segments.

As a marketing strategy, micromarketing may be more expensive to execute because of the customization, which by definition lacks economy of scale. But since the goal of this type of customization is to better reach qualifying customers or to sell a higher-priced product or service, micromarketing can often pay for itself.

The Bottom Line

Whether marketing to a specific target audience or to society for the greater public good, marketing plans and strategies play an increasingly integral role in the fabric of our daily lives. And as messages have become more sophisticated and influential, it is the consumer's responsibility to parse them.