What is Marketing Myopia? (Causes With Examples)

Originally, the term “Market Myopia” was introduced by the Theodor Levitt in the marketing paper. It was published in the HBR (Harvard Business Review) in 1960,  (republished in 2004), where he stated that businesses can do better than just selling their service or products. His main argument was that companies are too focused on producing goods or services and don’t spend enough time understanding what customers want or need. Therefore, he inspired executives to switch from a production orientation to a consumer orientation.

What is Marketing Myopia?

Myopia that Levitt describes is a lack of insight into what a business is doing for its customers. 

Marketing myopia is a concept that says that companies focus on their needs & short term growth strategies instead of taking care of the needs & wants of the consumer & therefore fail due to their short-sightedness.

The firm is not able to adapt to the highly dynamic market where consumer needs & wants are changing frequently. The company is not able to predict future & think on long terms.

Causes of Marketing Myopia

●     Concentrating more on products and not on customers

●     Failure to Consider Changing Consumer Lifestyle in the Digital Age

●     Companies suppose there are no competitive substitutes

●     Failing to consider the requirements of the consumer

Examples of Marketing Myopia

Kodak could not sustain itself in the market and lost much of its share to Sony cameras when digital cameras boomed.

Blackberry’s phones had a 50% market share in the US and 20% worldwide in 2006. When Smartphones were changing the game in the market, blackberry’s market started sinking. Today, blackberry has 0% of the market in the smartphone category.

Around 15 years back; Nokia’s keypad phones were at the top of the market with the highest demand having the entire market share. Nokia didn’t modify its product with the developing technology. 10 years later, Nokia’s phones were nowhere to be seen in the market. iPhone and Samsung gained the entire market share which was once belonged to Nokia.

Luckily, there is a cure for marketing myopia. Theodor Levitt suggests that business leaders ask themselves: What business are we really in?  The best way for business leaders to answer that question is by asking themselves another: What are we really doing for the customer? Successful organizations focus on customer needs, not on their own products and services, which can, and will be replaced by competitive alternatives.

To read in detail:


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