Marketing Myopia. Always focus on your consumer, not you!

Marketing myopia is a term created by Theodore Levitt in 1960, economist and professor of the prestigious Harvard Business School.

In particular, Levitt declares that many companies are focused on improving their products while completely forgetting about the real consumer needs.

Furthermore, today many products and services are still falling into this category (syndrome) usually because they need an immediate injection of income or there is some CEO that needs to accomplish the annual demands of the stakeholders.

Even after more than 40 years later, the problem continues

Here some recent examples of marketing myopia:

  • Green building construction. (Construction companies feel the need to develop green buildings due to a marketing tendency for more eco-friendly products and services

    However, the costs overpassed many customers income. Besides, this was not an urgent need to the average real state seeker.

  • The Kodak case. This is one of the most popular cases in MBA marketing studies. Kodak discard the idea of digital photography in benefit of an old product and practices.

    The fear to lose its former analog photography business was greater than the vision of a product that would change the way people capture their memories.

  • Social Media networks and Apps. This is another well-known case of marketing myopia. Since the arriving of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat many entrepreneurs have created mobile apps contemplating the marketing possibilities in these.

    However, many of these fail to achieve success due to their lack of originality. A good UX/UI design is not going to work if what you want is to sell something and not solve your consumer’s needs.

Moreover, this approach also condemns the further development and investment in I+D departments which are to enhance what is already done instead of creating something new that disrupts the market and makes their products unique.

Regardless of these facts, many companies keep creating slightly different products to lure consumers discarding innovations.

However, being innovative is not a common coin these days. Usually, it takes a completely different approach to think out of the box and offer a new solution. These without considering the difficulties a disruptive product will face inside the company.


Here a link to the original article written by Theodore Levitt


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