The Marketing Corner: Total Market Update

By Adele Lassere
Adele Lassere
Adele Lassere
October 30, 2016 Updated: October 30, 2016


What is total market? Simply put, it is a marketing term that is meant to be inclusive and takes note of cultural distinctions for all consumer segments (i.e. Caucasian, African-American, Asian, and Latino) when deploying marketing messages.

However, in practice, many large marketers have their own interpretations of this concept and the results have varied. For many, it has become a cost cutting measure and for others it has become a means to say that everyone is covered. The result of this have not been effective.

The true intent of total market is meant to not only be inclusive and sensitive to cultural significance but to also have a vested interest in those key passion points. As with all new concepts, testing is needed to refine and define a given brand or business needs.

More significantly, total market:

  • Allows adjustment of the conversation by tying messages to core brand tenets
  • Invests in consumer insights and creative development at the start to foster relevant cultural environments that your business needs to be attuned to
  • Uses panoramic cultural lens that assists in generating insights to capture broader consumer market interests
  • Encourages diversity to generate rich and collaborative marketing plans
  • Adopts inclusiveness in all marketing practices/executions to achieve revenue goals against the various consumer segments
  • Listens to consumer response (or lack thereof) to optimize strategies while marketing execution is still in-flight

These core doctrines can assist in developing enhanced marketing plans that truly embrace the meaning of total market. It’s critical to remember that this is not a cost cutting measure. Instead, investment is necessary to gain best results. Otherwise, it won’t be long before you realize that results are not hitting established target goals.

A wise person once said, “you get what you pay for.” Be sure that you truly embrace total market for what it really intends to be. After all, the proof will be in the results.

Adele Lassere is a marketing/advertising consultant, freelance writer and author of “Elements of Buying” (a self-help advertising guide), available at Adele was listed as Black Enterprise’s 2016 Women of Power in Advertising & Marketing and 2013 Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing. Contact: