Marketing Myopia: a Conscious Strategy or a Real Problem

12 June 2023
Reading: 5 min
Of course, today’s world is very unpredictable, and any brand is wary of the future. When it comes to strategic planning, it is very risky to mark far ahead and discuss distant perspectives. In addition, it is much easier to focus on the development of one aspect of an advertising campaign than to disperse into areas that will not bring profit in the long run. However, in the case of marketing, a focus on proximate goals or narrow thinking about areas of work can play a cruel trick on you. In the science of promotion, this is called marketing myopia.

In this article, we will look at the phenomenon of marketing myopia from different perspectives, delving into its causes and ways to avoid it.

What is marketing myopia?

Marketing myopia is when a company approaches marketing nearsightedly and focuses on only one aspect of all the many marketing attributes.

The term was first described in an article by Theodore Levitt in the Harvard Business Review. The author views marketing myopia as a short-sighted, closed-minded approach to marketing focused on meeting a company’s immediate needs.

Victims of marketing myopia don’t look at themselves from a buyer’s perspective. Companies focus on sales more than on marketing or consumer needs. A classic example of marketing myopia is a brand focused on developing high-quality products for customers for whom price matters more than quality.

Marketing Myopia: a Conscious Strategy or a Real Problem

How can you identify marketing myopia?

Marketing myopia attacks the specialist when short-term marketing goals seem more important than long-term ones. The entrepreneurial environment is constantly changing, and companies must follow these changes. Companies that fail to assess their capabilities, competitors, customer needs, and changing trends are stuck in a cycle of self-delusion. 

If you believe you won’t have any problems in the future, the problem is in your thinking. Companies often love their products like their own children and treat customers’ needs like foster children. Because of this, companies spend most of their resources on product development, while marketing and research spheres are left with measly crumbs of the budget.

Marketing Myopia: a Conscious Strategy or a Real Problem

Here’s a checklist to help you determine if you’re prone to marketing myopia. If you identify with more than one item on this list, it’s time to think about whether you’re shaping your marketing strategy correctly.

How to avoid marketing myopia?

If the checklist showed a disappointing result, or you just want to take preventive measures to avoid marketing myopia, pay attention to our advice.

Put customers’ needs first

As people change over time, so do their needs. But brands don’t always think about this. It would be so much easier if the consumer always stayed the same: you’d do market research once, find strategies that work, and use them ad infinitum. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Buying behavior can change dramatically, even in a couple of months. For example, think back to 2020: when the pandemic started in March, brands had to quickly and drastically change their marketing strategies and sometimes their business models. Those who did not react quickly to the changes and relied on previously successful strategies must have suffered serious losses.

Change is not always so abrupt. Sometimes they happen gradually. For example, the topic of social responsibility was not important to buyers, but today environmental friendliness is a strong commercial argument that influences purchasing decisions. To avoid short-sighted decisions, stay on top of industry updates.

Encourage the development of your team

Familiar and long-used approaches aren’t necessarily the right ones, and blind allegiance to them leads to marketing myopia. To avoid it, it’s important to create an environment in which your team is willing to evolve. What does that mean? It’s a combination of several factors:

  • Being open to new ideas
  • Experimentation with different strategies
  • Tolerance for mistakes and risks
  • Respect different points of view

Openness and flexibility help to avoid marketing myopia and provoke the professional development of your team members.

Marketing Myopia: a Conscious Strategy or a Real Problem

Optimize your marketing strategy

Don’t get carried away with the same approaches. Even if your marketing strategy is working well, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t optimize it. There are many cases of ultra-successful companies that went downhill ultra-fast. No one is immune to failure. That’s why it’s important to always stay current and not be afraid to change things that are familiar and established.

Study your competitors

Keep up with other players in your industry. Competitive Intelligence is all about legally gathering data about your competitors. It’s critical for any company to invest in this segment of research to not end up in second place. Here are some steps to implement:

  • Monitor social media
  • Use Google Alerts for specific brands
  • Use advertising libraries
  • Adjust content strategy according to the trends of the big players

Marketing Myopia: a Conscious Strategy or a Real Problem

Final thoughts

When you work in the industry for a long time, sometimes you need to notice the scale of your strategic thinking. Sometimes it turns out that you have been focused on short-term profits, forgetting about the cumulative development of the brand and the long-term perspectives. At that point, it is essential to approach an alternative view of the situation and respond to the changing situation in the market quickly. These and many other tips from our article will help you overcome marketing myopia. Make regular researches, draw conclusions, and think of new ways to improve your performance — success will definitely find you.

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