Marketing Myopia Paper
Your Name: Umer Ali
Date Submitted: 3/7/2018
In this article by Theodore Levitt’s, he defined the term, “Marketing Myopia” as it is a situation when company marketing approach is narrow and only focused on one manner out of many other possible marketing aspects. If businesses concentrate on meeting the customer needs rather than selling the products they are making, they can do better and expand their businesses. Levitt also said, “Sustained growth depends on how broadly you define your business- and how carefully you gauge your customers’ needs”. A short-sighted and inward-looking approach that focuses on the needs of the company, leaving the customers needs on side causes marketing myopia. Big companies failed to continue their growth because of failure to proper management. Companies do not realize about the areas they need to expand, in which they are already aware and familiar.
Levitt used many examples to define the marketing myopia. He said major issue for the industries fall down is, they focused on product orientation instead of customer-oriented. The products and services offered by the industries need to be marketed specially and differently according to the demand of customers. If companies want to stay in business, it must change constantly according to the market and customers needs. Levitt gave several examples in the article to emphasize the main concept, the most common is the rail roads lines. He argues that the railroad stops growing because they think that they were in railroad business instead of transportation business. They think that their customer’s need was filled by cars, trucks, airplanes etc. Sadly, because of this thought they let other companies to take away their customers.
Fortunately, Levitt suggests a cure for marketing myopia. He recommended business owners to think about it and ask themselves, “What business are you really in?”. As he argues about the shadow of obsolescence, he said,”there is no such thing as a growth industry”. He also gives an example for a self-deceiving cycle that, “It is hard for people who today confidently hail the twin messiahs of electronics and chemicals to see how things could possibly go wrong with these galloping industries”. He explained four conditions for this cycle, which tell if business will fail. One sign is the population myth; in which the belief is, with the increase in population, growth is assured. Increase in population does not mean that there will be progress in the demand of the product. For example, petroleum industry may take over in demand because of the product they are offering. The idea of indispensability is another sign of self-deceiving cycle. In this case they believe that “there is no competitive substitute for the industry’s major product”.
Levitt believes that as we are living in ever-changing world, the petroleum industry had to changeover numerous times. For example, kerosene in lamp is replaced by electric light bulbs which further replace space heaters with coal industry for central-heating systems. Production pressures is the third sign of self-deceiving cycle. Establishing too much in mass production, results in marketing being unattended. As Levitt said in the article, “The profit possibilities look spectacular. All effort focuses on production. The result is that marketing gets neglected”. We should know the difference between marketing and selling, because production pressure belongs with marketing not the sales. Selling is described as focusing on the needs of seller and marketing is described as the needs of buyers. As a result production pressure and product marketing is usually ignored because production costs will be lower with the increase in units.