Marketing Myopia is “a nearsighted focus on selling products and services, rather than seeing the “big picture” of what consumers really want.”
Now would be an appropriate time to revisit Theodore Levitt's Marketing Myopia...
Focusing more on immediate sales than on marketing and knowing about the consumers’ needs? That’s Marketing Myopia.
“…it is our role to solve the problems of our customers.”
It’s essential, no matter what your job or industry, that we always remember it is our role to solve the problems of our customers. And to do so better and with more distinctiveness than our competitors. Often, many marketers get stuck in our own ‘fluff’ – we think what we are watching, reading, swiping is representative of those consumers we are attempting to help—a dangerous pitfall.
As Levitt stated, ‘your product is not your business’, and there are several examples, new and old of this. Levitt referenced railroad lines, the fact that had they seen themselves as being in the transport business vs the train business, maybe they would have moved to other modes of transportation. Had the taxi industry seen themselves as a service industry vs a transportation industry, would Uber and Lyft become so entrenched in our modern-day society?
Here’s a nice graphic from Visit Victoria’s Head of Consumer Insights, Julian Major. An excellent example in the below graph is the % of ad people who claim to have used LinkedIn, WhatsApp and Instagram in the last three months vs ‘normal’ people. The chart is from 2016, and whilst numbers may have changed, I’d challenge anyone who says this spread would have improved in that time.
As marketers, our world is currently constructed, incorrectly, on short-term results. Yet, studies show that long-term strategies still outperform their short-term nemesis sometimes at 3x ROI. This was reflected at Schweppes (see Troy McKinna’s book Brand Hustle) and again by Peter Field and Les Binet in The Long and the Short Of It.
So, where to from here?
If you’ve ever thought, ‘yeh I’m under pressure for short term results at the sacrifice of my long term brand objectives’ (which you now know perform strongly), then put your case together. Too often, we are giving the title of marketers to people who can do nothing but post on social channels. No research, no segmentation, targeting, position or actual strategy.
Marketing requires thought, skill and an inherent understanding that the consumer knows more about what they want than you do.
Marketing Myopia – A Refresher on Marketing Myopia
Julian Major – Visit Victoria’s Head of Consumer Insights
Troy McKinna – Brand Hustle: Agents of Spring
Peter Field & Les Binet – The Long and the Short of It