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Marketing myopia

From Academic Kids

Marketing myopia is a term used in marketing that describes an unnecessarily common affliction among business people. It is the failure to see 'down the road'. Many business people make their decisions based on current circumstances. They do not think about what will likely occur in their industry in the future. One reason that short sightedness is so common is that people feel that they can not accurately predict the future. While this is a ligitimate concern, it is also possible to use a whole range of business prediction techniques currently available to estimate future circumstances as best as possible.

Because the world is inherently unpredictable, we are all subject to myopia to a certain extent according to Theodore Levitt (1960) who coined the term. Because of this, organizations should be careful not to define themselves too narrowly. For example, a company that delivers coal should think of itself as being in the energy business. This broad market definition will provide a 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.

See also

References

  • Baughman, J. (1974) Problems and performance of the role of the chief executive, working paper, Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University.
  • Kotler, P. and Singh, R. (1981) "Marketing Warfare in the 1980s", Journal of Business Strategy, winter 1981, pp 30-41.
  • Levitt, T. (1960) "Marketing Myopia", Harvard Business Review, July- August, 1960.
  • Steiner, G. (1979) Strategic Planning: What every manager should know, The Free Press, New York, 1979.
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