What is Marketing Myopia? Definition and Examples
Marketing Myopia, first expressed in an article by Theodore Levitt in Harvard Business Review, is a short-sighted and inward looking approach to marketing which focuses on fulfillment of immediate needs of the company rather than focusing on marketing from consumers’ point of view.
When a company focus more on sales than on marketing and knowing about the consumers’ needs, that’s when marketing myopia strikes in.
What Is Marketing Myopia?
Marketing Myopia is a situation when a company has a narrow-minded marketing approach and it focuses mainly on only one aspect out of many possible marketing attributes. E.g. focusing just on quality and not on the actual demand of the customer.
When does marketing myopia strike in?
Marketing myopia strikes in when the short term goals are given more importance than the long term goals. Some examples being –
- More focus on selling rather than building relationships with the customers
- Predicting growth without conducting proper research.
- Mass production without knowing the demand.
- Giving importance to just one aspect of the marketing attributes without focusing on what customer actually wants
- Not changing with the dynamic consumer environment
Business, according to Levitt, is actually a customer satisfying institution and hence should be based on customers’ needs and desires.
Businesses should have a vision rather than a goal. They should be able to see themselves at a point ahead of what they are now. This vision should be set assessing their own capabilities, their competitors’, as well as the trends. Or else, a business can get trapped in a self-deceiving cycle.
Conditions that lead to the self-deceiving cycle
- A belief that growth of the business is guaranteed by growth in population.
- The belief that there is no competitive substitute for the company’s product
- Supply creates its own demand, hence mass production.
- Overestimation of product’s qualities without conducting scientific research.
If you ever think there is an absence of future problems, there can be a problem in your thinking.
Businesses often treat their product as their own child and customers’ needs as a stepchild. This result in spending most of the resources in the development of their product and the remaining (less or no) resources on conducting research and marketing. This backfires on the businesses as the stepchild always turn out to be the Cinderella of the story.
Examples of Marketing Myopia
- Kodak lost much of its share to Sony cameras when digital cameras boomed and Kodak didn’t plan for it.
- Nokia losing its marketing share to android and IOS.
- Hollywood didn’t even tap the television market as it was focused just on movies.
- Yahoo (worth $100 billion dollars in 2000) lost to Google and was bought by Verizon at approx. $5 billion (2016).
Marketing Myopia in future
- Dry cleaners – New types of fibre and chemicals will result in less demand for dry cleaners.
- Grocery stores – Supermarkets are a better option than regular grocery stores.
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