Theodore Levitt first suggested the theory of Marketing Myopia in his paper ‘Marketing Paper’. The theory stipulates that companies will only grow its market share if it focuses more on meeting the customers’ needs rather than on selling its products in the market (Levitt, 1975). Levitt observed that the myopic culture of organizations at the time would lead these companies to fail. Over emphasis on marketing and selling would lead to complacency and a complete lack of regard for the customer’s wishes. The shortsightedness of such companies as well as the illusion that they were in a growing industry could be attributed to the myopic nature of their promotional activities.
According to Levitt (1975), if a company wanted to retain its market share amidst growing competition, it would have to strive to meet the customer’s demands and specifications on the products offered. Successful companies do not rely on the elusive notion of their products’ longevity or the excuse that the market is becoming saturated and thus the decline in demand and market share. Rather, they focus predominantly on conducting research on what their customers want and meeting these requirements. The CEOs need to re-evaluate their corporate strategy and markets and widen their perspectives to find more opportunities.
An example of marketing myopia is the failure of Kodak. Arguably, the largest film and photography manufacturers in the world, the opportunities were limitless for the company. However, the company’s closed-mindedness led to its bankruptcy in 2010. The digital camera was invented in 1975 and instead of utilizing this technology, the company opted to continue focusing on its film making business. The company thought it as in the film making business rather than thinking it was in the field of creating storage possibilities (Mastovich, 2011).
Another example of marketing myopia is America’s automobile industry. Companies such as General Motors continued to focus solely on manufacturing large vehicles that were also guzzlers when consumer preference was shifting towards fuel efficient and environmentally conservative cars. GM’s market share dropped significantly as a result and it had to be bailed out by the government (Mohr, 2008).
Levitt, T. (1975). Marketing Myopia. Harvard Business Review 53(5): 26-183.
Mastovich, D. (2011, Sep 15). Kodak’s Marketing Myopia. Massolutions.com. Retrieved on 5/2/2016 from http://massolutions.biz/kodaks-marketing-myopia/
Mohr, A. (2008). GM announcement signals the beginning of the end of the American automobile.