MARKETING MYOPIA NOWADAYS
Economics in English
Fifty years ago Theodore Levitt wrote a remarkable article. It exposed two main ideas concerning businesses – companies need to understand what business they are really in; and whatever business they are in, satisfying their customers is fundamental. He coined the term ‘marketing myopia’ - a term used to describe the short-sightedness of many organizations, which build their business around their product and not around the customers, which often leads to their downfall. What is most remarkable about it is that 50 years after the article was published it is still valid, there are still many industries, many business giants which are even more myopic than the notorious railroad companies from Levitt’s example.
While Levitt wrote about his theory, the business world was in the phase of the selling concept, when organizations looked forward to quick and easy short-term profit, without seeing the bigger picture. Eventually the approach of the selling concept brought to customer dissatisfaction, decrease in sales, and downfall of business. Senior executives focused on the products their company produces, not the customer needs they serve, and consequently tended to define the business too narrowly - railroads instead of transport, movies instead of entertainment, oil instead of energy etc. Companies were missing vision, they were developing a product and directing every effort toward selling this product, while the real need was either customization, augmentation, simplification of the product or an entirely new product, or maybe improving a service etc.
When Levitt introduced his idea he clarified that marketing’s goal is to attract and keep the customers, to identify their needs and that the organizations should not make the customers buy what they built, but build something that customers will buy. What is required for driving a business is thinking out of the box, first...