Marketing myopia

Marketing myopia is a term used in marketing . Indeed, one of the most important marketing papers ever written [[1]] was that on `Marketing Myopia’ by Theodore Levitt. This paper was published in the Harvard Business Review; a journal of which he is now editor. Some commentators have even gone as far as to suggest that its publication marked the beginning of the modern marketing movement in general. Its theme was that the vision of most organizations was constricted in terms of what they, too narrowly, saw as the business they were in. It exhorted CEOs to re-examine their corporate vision; and redefine their markets in terms of wider perspectives. It was successful in its impact because it was, as with all of Levitt’s work, essentially practical and pragmatic. Organizations found that they had been missing opportunities which were plain to see once they adopted the wider view. The impact of the paper was indeed dramatic. The oil companies (which represented one of his main examples in the paper) redefined their business as energy rather than just petroleum; although Shell, which embarked upon an investment programme in nuclear power, subsequently regretted this course of action

One reason that short sightedness is so common is that people feel that they can not accurately predict the future. While this is a legitimate concern, it is also possible to use a whole range of business prediction techniques currently available to estimate future circumstances as best as possible.

greater scope of opportunities as the industry changes. It trains managers to look beyond their current business activities and think “outside the box”. George Steiner (1979) claims that if a buggy whip manufacturer in 1910 defined its business as the “transportation starter business”, they might have been able to make the creative leap necessary to move into the automobile business when technological change demanded it.

People who focus on marketing strategy, various predictive techniques, and the customer’s lifetime value can rise above myopia to a certain extent. This can entail the use of long-term profit objectives (sometimes at the risk of sacrificing short term objectives).

Others have developed similar terms. Kotler and Singh (1981) coined the term “marketing hyperopia”, by which they mean a better vision of distant issues than of near ones. Baughman (1974) uses the term “marketing macropia” meaning an overly broad view of your industry.

Source : Wikipedia