Marketing for Good or for ill?
According to Levitt (1975), businesses should not focus on defining themselves in terms of production; rather they should define themselves by meeting the needs of their customers. Marketing myopia implies that a business will perform better eventually if it focuses on meeting the needs of the customers instead of selling products. For business growth, there is need for actions towards the needs and desires of customers and not on the longevity of the products. Though the idea may result to business failure in instances, where the management are shortsighted, marketing myopia eventually sustains and develops businesses. This concept contradicts the proposal that markets are saturated. This is because; no market has ever been saturated since, human needs and insatiable and continues to grow. The major problem is failure of business managements, which has consequence to threatening and slowing down. Managers should therefore re-examine their vision and redefine their objectives.
Levitt and Klein practically diverted business objectives into centering on customers. Such significant ideas have continually defined marketing practices in the modern market. The main aim of marketing is to sell products and services, an objective that is quite contrary to the new concept. Marketing relies on the creation of perceived need for the products and selling it in respect to the desired products. Through marketing, the desired need of the product is enhanced. These cannot be attained if limited customers are in need of the products. The focus should thus be directed to the customers. Businesses need to guarantee that the demands of the customers to prioritized over other objectives. To remain relevant in the market, companies are called to standardize their products since customer’s desire low priced but quality products.
Although the argument introduced was essential, history records that some businesses have negated the idea. This is due to managerial complacency and loss of sight towards the desires of the market. One major rationale why shortsightedness is prevalent is because business executives focus on their failure to predict the future. Although this is a legitimate concern, it is possible to apply a wide range of business prediction techniques that are presently available to estimate perfectly the future circumstances. As business changes so does the wide scope of opportunities. Managers are therefore called to look beyond present business activities.
To rise above the myopia, executives who have concentrated on marketing strategy, predictive techniques, and customer lifetime values can apply long-term profit objectives and even risk short-term objectives. Though Levitt and Klein introduced marketing myopia and enhanced the concept with applicable instances, they failed to include the broader societal context into the strategy. Failure to include this element has resulted to disastrous effects for both organizations and societies (Levitt, 1975). This mistake stems from single-mindedness concentration on the customer to the elimination of the stakeholders, narrow definition of the customer and customer needs and failure to identify varied societal context of business that demands attendance to multiple stakeholders. Customers may remain the major consideration but stakeholders too need to be included to capture other promotions. For businesses that deal with consumers, employees offer additional market as consumers and hence need to be targeted too. For continued evolution of companies, there is need for broad definition to take advantage of the growth opportunities. A business therefore needs not to think of itself as producing goods and services but an agency of satisfying the needs and wants of the customers. Business executives must create the environment that reflects such as mission.
Levitt, T. (1975). Marketing myopia. Harvard Business Review. 53 (5): 26–183.