Marketing myopia is a common marketing term that refers to a situation where a business pays more interest in its own needs rather than focusing on consumer needs. The theory proposes that a business will prosper more in the end if they focus more on complying with the customer requirements instead of selling commodities. One of the main reasons for marketing myopia is the inability of businesses to predict the future possibilities rightly as they possess a narrow understanding of the market. On the other hand, business owners focusing on marketing strategies imply innovative tools and techniques that can ensure long term profit objectives, that too, at the cost of short term objectives.
Marketing myopia refers to a short-sighted approach to marketing that focuses on the needs of the company instead of being customer-centric or taking care of customers' changing needs and wants. It results in the failure to see and adjust to the rapid changes in their markets. In other words, it suggests that the businesses would do better in the end if they concentrated on meeting consumers' needs instead of selling products.
Marketing myopia was the title of a vital paper on marketing by Theodore Levitt, which was published in Harvard Business Review as early as 1960. It has been critically acclaimed as the birth of the modern marketing movement. According to Levitt, a business that lacks sight of the customer needs will inevitably fail in the long run.
A condition in which the management of a business has a clear idea of everything that's going to happen in the company in the short term but have only a fuzzy view of what their future might be over the longer term. Many owners of small firms and even the senior managers of many larger firms suffer from strategic myopia.
A business can test strategic myopia through a Q&A session where certain questions can be asked and answered. Here are some examples of what all can be asked:
Where do you see your business after 5 to 10 years from now?
Do the other employees and other key stakeholders see your business's future in the same manner?
Does your business have a formal, composed vision, mission and qualities explanation and a formal, composed strategy that is surveyed routinely?
Do you regularly collect feedback from your suppliers and customers?
Now that we have discussed marketing myopia let's know what causes it.
Well, if you ask the experts, their list of reasons is as follows:
Narrow-minded approach to a marketing situation where only short-range goals are considered.
Ignorance towards changing demands of customers and focuses only on its products.
Little or no regard to the latest marketing trends and being doomed with the shadow of obsolescence
There's a saying:
"Prevention is better than cure."
That's what every business across the globe should follow. Focusing on avoiding any mishaps that may cause a hindrance to its growth can help it in succeeding.
One such mishap is marketing myopia, and it can successfully be avoided by filtering every strategic initiative and company program through the screen of its target customers. In other words, being customer-centric can help keep marketing myopia at bay.
Practising Self-Cannibalism is yet another method of preventing marketing myopia. It is the practice of slashing the price of a product or introducing a new product into a market of established product categories. A business does this in an attempt to increase its global market share, boost its profit margins and eventually increase customer loyalty. Though a bit harmful but it is a risk worth taking.
Businesses often commit the mistake of allowing ego and past success to get in the way of testing assumptions about the marketplace which gradually leads to their failure. So, every business should make sure to evolve its offerings to fit the ever-evolving trends of the marketplace. Every step should be taken based on what the experts say.
The moment a company acts selfish and starts focusing solely on its growth, ignoring the changing needs of its customer base, marketing myopia sneaks in. It's a known fact that customer requirements do not always remain the same. Their demands are ever-evolving. Customers never stop expecting improvements and innovations in a company's products. Realizing all these expectations and designing its products in a way that provides a solution to customer problems is what makes a company successful today. In other words, it is a customer-centric approach that helps boost a company's sales, popularity and eventually customer loyalty. On the other hand, a company that is more focused on itself and tends to forgo learning more about its customers' needs ends up failing. This happens because an ignorance towards customers' needs causes them to feel that they are not being valued, eventually making them choose the respective company's competitors.
The central idea to detract from marketing myopia is that a business will endure and perform better in the event that it centres around fulfilling client needs as opposed to selling explicit items. In this manner, this is as much about vital arranging all things considered about advertising.
Let us understand the concept better with the help of real-life examples:
Let us first talk about Pepsi Cola. There was a time when Pepsi cola used to be a runner-up to Coca-Cola. Then one fine day, the business made a bold decision and changed the entire game. Do you know what that decision was about? Well, it was about the brand's diversification. Pepsi cola identified the changing needs of the customers and decided to cater more than what it started off with. Hence, the company began to penetrate different markets like chips and soft drinks. Pepsi cola grew leaps and bounds over the years, and today, it stands second in the market in carbonated beverages.
The second example is that of Buggy Whip that was once prosperous industry. It was the most popular industry manufacturing buggy whips for horse-drawn carriages. With the advent of Henry Ford, the industry declined successively. This happened because Buggy Whip didn't consider Henry Ford as a competition, neglected its customers' needs and ultimately became extinct due to marketing myopia.
Hope the concept of “Marketing Myopia” is clear now. Just in case it’s not, you can refer to these books written by top experts:
Marketing Classics: A Selection of Influential Articles, Enis, Ben M., and Cox, Keith Kohn, 1969.
The SAGE handbook of marketing theory, Maclaran Pauline, 2010.
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