Jerald Tng Jin Hui (Marketing Myopia)
‘Marketing myopia‘ is a term coined by Theodore Levitt. A business suffers from marketing myopia when a company views marketing strictly from the standpoint of selling a specific product rather than from the standpoint of fulfilling customer needs.
Impacts of Marketing Myopia
Having a myopic vision not only reduces the scope of the industry but also leads to stagnation of the product which may have tremendous potential.
Companies assuming that they are in a Growth Industry and that their product/services are the only solutions usually shoot themselves in the foot.
Example – Dry cleaning industry: The dry cleaning industry was once thought to be in the growth industry as majority of clothes were made of wool and were dependent on dry cleaning services for a proper wash. However, in this modern age, clothing are made of materials that are easier to wash with water such as cotton, polyester, synthetic fibers, etc. This resulted in a decline in the need of dry cleaning services. Dry cleaning were shortsighted in their cleaning approach and did not adapt to the market, only targeting wool garments instead of other materials as well. Dry cleaning was soon challenged by laundries and taken over.
Having said the above, failure to consider the requirements of consumers would also backfire on a business.
Example – Nokia (mobile phone industry): Before technology was as developed as it is today, Nokia was one of the leading brands where many used it’s phones for its specifications. However, as technology advances, so are the needs of consumers. Nokia failed to address such a problem and continued to launch products with minor adjustments to the specifications such as battery lifespan, screen width, etc whereas consumers were looking for something new which technology could provide such as touch screen, internet, convenience, etc. As Apple announced their first iPhone, it caught many media attention and the phone was basically like a computer in the pocket which satisfy the needs of consumers pretty well. Over time, Nokia failed to play the catch up game and was soon dethrone by rising brands such as Apple and Samsung.
Failure to consider changing consumer lifestyle is another point to mention that catches businesses off guard as many fail to predict how the future will be. Such as, failure to notice change in consumer lifestyle or predicting market trends. This puts many companies in a precarious situation, thinking that it would be safe not to worry about the future change and focus solely on the present situation of things.
Example – Sony CD Walkman: In the 90s, Sony released the CD Walkman which was gaining popularity even in the early 2000s. However, in the year 2001, Apple launched the iPod, a portable music player that housed digital music files on a tiny device. Such an idea at that point of time was a revolutionary concept and that is when Sony lost all of its momentum due to its failure to identify the change in consumer lifestyle and the advancement of technology.
Marketing myopia remains an important reminder of the risks your company runs if you don’t pay close attention to your consumers’ needs. By concentrating on meeting customer needs rather than on selling products—by always keeping in mind the business that they’re really in—companies could be better prepared for whatever the future would bring.
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Marketing Lessons. (2018). What is Marketing Myopia? Concept and Examples | Marketing Lessons. [online] Available at: https://marketinglessons.in/marketing-myopia-concept-examples/ [Accessed 20 Sep. 2018].
Cleverism. (2018). The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Myopia. [online] Available at: https://www.cleverism.com/ultimate-guide-to-marketing-myopia/ [Accessed 20 Sep. 2018].