What is Marketing Myopia? Concept and Examples

As put forward by Theodore Levitt in Harvard Business Review (1960)


Marketing Myopia Concept and ExamplesMarketing Myopia – Introduction

Marketing Myopia refers to the phenomenon of not being able to see a long term and more sustainable goal for an organisation. For decades, the term Myopia is being used in human sciences referring to Nearsightedness – the ability to see near objects clearly but the inability to see the far off objects. Marketing Myopia, as a term, makes it very clear the inability of the company to be able to identify the actual business in which they are.

Marketing Myopia – The Concept with Examples

Companies need to give a more consumer-centric goal to their business and think beyond just selling their products. Below are some examples which put forward the phenomenon of Marketing Myopia and how can companies look beyond it.

Marketing Myopia in the Transportation Business

A lot of companies operating globally in the railroads business have faced stagnation of growth in their line of business.

What they have failed to realise is that they are not merely in the railways or railroads business. They are actually in the business of transportation. At a time where there are newer and newer ways to commute their railroads business will definitely take a hit. So basically while crafting their diversification plans the companies should consider a holistic picture of transportation as a business and not just railways or railroads. This stands to be a classic example of Marketing Myopia.

Marketing Myopia in Entertainment Business

Hollywood had a narrow escape a few years ago when the leading production houses faced a crunch. Almost all of them underwent a major restructuring. Why all of this happened? Simply because Hollywood assume that they are in the business of making films and did not consider TV as a threat.

What they didn’t realise was the simple fact that they are not in the business of just movies but entertainment as a whole and tomorrow if the consumer has different sources of entertainment their product i.e. movies will definitely take a hit. However, Hollywood managed to escape this Marketing Myopia, as they sooner or later realised TV as a potential growth opportunity for them as well rather considering it altogether a different animal. It was then when Fox, Buena Vista etc- entered into TV production as well and had survived. Few media companies went the extra mile and established amusement parks as they considered that too as a mode of entertainment and thus their business.

Marketing Myopia in Apparels Business

A few years ago, Dry cleaning was one of the most sought after line of business. The worldwide increasing number of wool products led to this ‘than’ very lucrative business. However, what the dry cleaning guys didn’t realise was the fact that they were not merely in the dry cleaning business but were in the business of apparels. As new fabrics arrived, the market share of wool products started going down. Synthetic fibres started gaining more popularity and thereby dry cleaning business suffered.

Marketing Myopia in Consumer Durables

Though not as evident as the cases described earlier in this article, there is a high probability of consumer durable running on electricity to face obsolescence.

The electric goods came into the picture at the cost of traditional fuel-driven appliances e.g. wax candles, kerosene lights etc- Consumers found ease with electric utilities which can directly be plugged and switched on. However, if we see from a different lens, it is very much possible that the next wave of products do away with any electricity plugged in and might have there owned sustainable fuel cells which keep them running. e.g. Imagine a smartphone which never needs to be charged. The best way to handle such obsolesce would be to plan the obsolesce and introduce newer technologies and handhold the market share from one technology to another.

Marketing Myopia in Retail Stores

Once considered to be the bread and butter of many households, now retails stores face a threat from a supermarket, online shopping etc. What these households running Mom & Pop shops do not realise is that they are not merely in the business of selling their products to nearby areas, they are in the business of quick & easy access of groceries.

Supermarkets came into the picture because of convenience. Instead of wandering around different stores for goods, people started to flock to supermarkets to get everything under one roof. Similarly, the consumer doesn’t mind buying the product from an online shop as long as it delivers as per their time and have the product range that they are looking for.

Marketing Myopia – Conclusion

Overseeing a broader holistic picture in business makes it more sustainable. Organisations should not only take care of their own product into account while gauging competition but also factor in other threats which might pop up because of being in that business. We should not fall a prey of myths like – population will grow our sales will grow. While diversifying, companies should look at all possibilities which serve the purpose of the business to their consumer rather than just looking at honing skills in one product.


Explore Best Indian Ads HERE


  1. Hi, the post which you have provided is fantastic, I really enjoyed reading your post, and hope to read more. thank you so much for sharing this informative blog.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here