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Summary of marketing myopia

Summary on Marketing Myopia

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The term marketing myopia was first coined by Levitt (1960) referring to a situation where a firm adopts a limited view of the marketing function, seeing it only as a tool used to sell products/services. This is a short-sighted approach were the firms create marketing messages only emphasising the product to create sales (Bickhoff, Hollensen and Opresnik, 2014). Levitt (1960) argued this strategy was likely to lead to failure.

The potential failure results from firms’ inability to understand their products from the customers’ perspective (Levitt, 1960). This may be exacerbated where a firm faces little or no competition, or believe they are in a growth industry which will continue to expand (Stock, 2001). An example of this may be seen with Intel, who continued to sell memory chips, even after they became unprofitable to the firm. Marketing myopia results in fewer sales as well as lost opportunities due to lack of knowledge regarding customer needs and desires (Kotler and Keller, 2011).

If a firm takes a broader view and understands the needs and desires of existing and potential customers, they can adapt marketing messages to appeal directly to the customers’ interests/motivations, which will increase sales. Kotler and Keller (2011) support this approach, arguing customers do not buy products, they buy the benefits provided by those products. For example, a bed is purchased for a good night’s sleep, while a drill is purchased for its ability to make holes (Kotler and Keller, 2011). By understanding what customers want/need, not only can marketing messages be more efficient, firms also have the opportunity to adapt their products/services to better customer needs, potentially gaining competitive advantages and extending the lifecycle of the product (Mintzberg, Ahlstrand and Lampel, 2008). If companies are to succeed and grow, they should remain diligent to avoid marketing myopia.


Bickhoff, N., Hollensen, S., and Opresnik, M., 2014. Marketing and Marketing Management: A First Basic Understanding. In: The Quintessence of Marketing. London: Springer, pp.3–13.
Kotler, P., and Keller, K., 2011. Marketing Management. 14th ed. Harlow: Prentice Hall.
Levitt, T., 1960. Marketing Myopia. Harvard Business Review, [online] 38(July-Aug), pp.24–47. Available at: .
Mintzberg, H., Ahlstrand, B., and Lampel, J.B., 2008. Strategy Safari: The Complete Guide Through the Wilds of Strategic Management, Harlow: Financial Times/ Prentice Hall.
Stock, J.R., 2001. Marketing myopia revisited: lessons for logistics. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 32(1), pp.12–21.