Mega Marketing: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

What do you do when the marketing circle gets congested? Why, market to the third party, of course! In this lesson, we'll talk more about how mega marketing incorporates marketing to third-party sources.

Welcome, Pepsi

When soft drink company Pepsi decided it wanted a piece of India's 730 million-strong consumer market, it didn't launch a social media campaign or a cluster of television commercials aimed at appealing to Indian citizens. It did something unexpected: it courted the Indian government.

Instead of focusing on winning over the throngs of people who would love to enjoy a Pepsi with lunch, it worked on appealing to government officials. Its competitor, Coca-Cola, had been removed from the market in the 1970s, and government regulations created difficulties for foreign companies to navigate.

Among Pepsi's offerings to get in good graces with the Indian government was its promise to help with exporting certain products, and guaranteeing new technologies, along with jobs, brought to the country. Their campaign, known as mega marketing (we'll discuss that definition in a second), included debates in India's Parliament and various committees, numerous media articles and lobbying the United States on the country's behalf regarding trade restrictions.

Pepsi was able to effectively reach the necessary groups with the right messaging about economic growth and business potential, and eventually won the right to enter the foreign marketplace.

So, what role did mega marketing play - and what is it?

What is Mega Marketing?

Contrary to how it might sound, mega marketing is not just some super-sized approach to marketing, but rather an approach designed to market to, and influence, a third-party player. What does that mean? Well, typically, in a marketing scenario, you have the buyer (such as India's consumers) and the seller (Pepsi). In mega marketing, it's not enough to simply reach out to the buyers, it is also necessary to market to a third-party (in the Pepsi example that would be the Indian government), in order to gain access to, or favor with, the buyers.

U.S. professor Philip Kotler came up with the term to explain how companies sometimes have to manage outside players in their marketing, like the government, labor unions, the media or social groups. The goal? To win over a segment of the public that has the power to influence business and buying decisions.

Want to understand more about the components of mega marketing? Keep reading.

Mega Marketing's Two Add-Ons

Aside from the traditional marketing mix that incorporates the four Ps (Price, Product, Promotion and Place), Kotler said two additional Ps should be used to successfully accomplish mega marketing: Public relations and Power.

In mega marketing, public relations is critical because it's all about controlling the external environment and messages around a brand and/or its products. That's why all of the media articles surrounding Pepsi's promises to the India marketplace were so important. They were creating the type of image they envisioned would help open doors for the company in India, by highlighting the good things their company would do for the country's economy.

The idea of power has also played significantly in the relationship between Pepsi and India. For example, in Pepsi's scenario, one of its power moves over the years has been serving as an intermediary between the United States and Indian governments. This has helped the Indian government in numerous ways and created goodwill around Pepsi's brand in the eyes of Indian officials. Power in a marketing mix is about being able to persuade or influence players who could have some impact on your business.

Want to see one more example of mega marketing in action?

Heathrow's Mega Marketing

For years, Heathrow Airport in London has been lobbying to build a third runway at its facility. Heathrow is London's busiest airport and had been asking the government for years for permission to expand its facilities. Numerous public discussions, government meetings and newspaper articles have been centered on both the positives and negatives of adding a third runway.

Heathrow officials have maintained through their marketing efforts that a third runway would add enormous value to the British economy. Even Heathrow's website boasts information such as:

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