Most marketers understand the importance of strategic planning and research, but the word ‘marketing’ often makes them stumble. They don’t know how to define it or what it entails. In essence, marketing myopia is an inability to see past the current to future possibilities. It’s a lack of imagination and a deficiency in creating strategies to take businesses as far as possible.
Marketing myopia makes us focus solely on the current product or service rather than the customer who will ultimately buy it. In other words, we’re too caught up in what we have now rather than focusing on what we could have in the future.
It’s a common problem for many businesses because it requires discipline and self-awareness to break free from it. Here is an in-depth explanation of marketing myopia and how to break free from it even if you fall victim to this trap repeatedly.
In this article, you can read a complete guide on marketing myopia. You will check how to overcome it and avoid this trap.
What Is Marketing Myopia?
Marketing myopia is when you focus too much on what you have right now at the expense of what you could have in the future. It’s a common problem for many businesses because it requires discipline and self-awareness to break free from it.
It is an inability to see future possibilities and make changes to grow as a business. It becomes a standard trap for many companies because the discipline needed to overcome it doesn’t come naturally to sellers.
Where Did The Marketing Myopia Concept Originate?
Ray L. Birdwhistell, in the 1950s, first coined marketing myopia. It’s a term that describes an inability to see past the current and future possibilities.
The concept is often associated with market research, an area of study important for understanding how people make decisions about products and services. Still, it extends to other fields, such as marketing strategy and business planning.
Birdwhistell argues that marketers should not focus on what they have now but should work towards what could be in the future. He suggests breaking free from our day-to-day mindset and looking beyond those boundaries to gain more awareness of what could happen if we made confident choices.
He refers to this thinking as “marketing myopia” because it means focusing too much on today rather than what could happen tomorrow. In other words, marketers are led astray by the product or service they are currently trying to sell rather than what their customers want from them in the future.
How Has Marketing Myopia Meaning Changed?
The term “marketing myopia” has evolved. In the past, marketing myopia referred to a narrow-minded perspective of marketing focused on current customers instead of future success needs.
In recent years, marketing myopia refers to a broader idea that means many different things. This includes understanding your customer and creating a product or service that meets their needs and exceeds expectations.
Because customers are constantly changing, marketers must adapt and be flexible about what they provide.
One way to avoid the trap of marketing myopia is by relying on data from previous customers. When doing that, you may recognize that improvement is always needed.
What Are The Causes Of Marketing Myopia?
One of the leading causes of marketing myopia is a lack of planning. When we don’t plan, it can lead to our businesses being reactive instead of proactive. To avoid this, ensure you have an action plan and strategy for every situation. Use it as a guideline for your future moves.
It may be challenging at first because you realize that you must sacrifice short-term gains for long-term ones. But if you stick with your plan, things will turn out much better than if you weren’t prepared for anything.
What Are The Implications For “Myopic Businesses”?
It’s important to understand that marketing myopia isn’t just a minor problem. It can be incredibly detrimental to your business. The two most common implications of marketing myopia are below:
- The inability to grow in a sustainable way
- The failure to create new customer segments.
The first and most obvious implication of marketing myopia is the inability to grow sustainably. When focusing on the moment limits your ability to expand and grow efficiently.
You cannot use the resources you already have at your disposal as efficiently as possible because you haven’t looked ahead enough to see what else you need.
For example, suppose your company has been producing widgets for years, and they’ve been completely dominating their marketplace. In that case, they might not even realize they still lack the necessary technology or resources to create a product that will revolutionize the industry.
They might think that they are doing everything. This thought comes just because they have made it work for so long without taking any risks.
What Is The Main Problem That Sellers Suffering From Marketing Myopia Face?
The leading problem sellers suffering from marketing myopia face is that they do not fully understand their customers.
By focusing solely on the current product or service, they miss out on opportunities to sell more of it.
Marketing myopia leads to a lack of customer understanding. It keeps retailers from focusing on how their products or service can benefit customers.
If your business focuses exclusively on promotional marketing, it does not spend enough time with customers. That way, you will never know how to market to them effectively and increase sales for your business.
What Prevents Marketing Myopia?
There are three key ingredients to preventing marketing myopia.
- Self-awareness: You understand your business and customers well enough. It’s easier to avoid marketing myopia because you know how to keep the focus on them.
- Market research: Marketing myopia occurs when companies do not perform market research before crafting their strategy. The moment you think about customers instead of products is when you can break free from marketing myopia.
- Discipline: You must discipline your company for an extended period. That way, it breaks free from this common trap in many companies.
How Can A Firm Avoid Marketing Myopia?
If you’re having a hard time seeing into the future, there are things you can do to fix it.
First, plan your company’s marketing strategy. Ask yourself how long it will take to see results from your marketing efforts. If it is in six months or a year, it might not make sense to invest in any new marketing strategies right now.
Second, consider investing in the right people. They have different perspectives than your everyday employees with fresh mindsets. Hire open-minded and creative people and allow them to brainstorm new ideas for marketing campaigns that could lead to success. They’ll have a better chance of seeing through myopia.
Lastly, constantly challenge yourself by asking questions like ‘what if?’ or ‘how would we do things differently?’ Anything is possible with enough planning and research, so try thinking outside the box!
Marketing Myopia Examples
Many things can lead to marketing myopia, but there are three main reasons.
The first reason is that businesses want to be true to themselves by staying true to who they are and not trying too hard to appeal to customers.
The second reason is that businesses think their market research is enough and don’t want to change their product or service.
Finally, companies fall victim to marketing myopia when they try to do everything independently and don’t know how much help they can get from outside sources.
Let’s look at an example of marketing myopia: A brand-new company has just been established and wants to start selling a new product. They have this idea of what success will look like.
They see hundreds of other companies selling their products well, so they set out to be successful. One thing leads to another, and before long, these people have completely changed their business into something else because they didn’t realize how much help they could have gotten from outside sources.
This happened because they were stuck in marketing myopia and didn’t take any time for outside research or help to build a strategic plan.
How Relevant is Marketing Myopia Today?
The need for marketing myopia has changed drastically over the years. In a digital world, businesses must consider how to reach their target audience.
Many companies are now trying to distinguish themselves from others in their expertise.
It’s not enough to make products that customers want now; you must consider who will buy your product and what they need it for.
As a result, marketing myopia is more prevalent than ever because many people try to differentiate themselves. They’ve been trying to make it easier for consumers to select the right company or product.
Marketing myopia comes into play when businesses are trying to build their brand awareness rather than building customer relationships with loyal fans and followers.
Marketing Myopia In Small Businesses
This topic is one of the most prevalent problems in small businesses. It can lead to many issues, including poor business decisions, lack of growth, and even failure.
Many small businesses fall victim to marketing myopia because they don’t fully understand what marketing involves or how it affects their business.
Marketing myopia results in many small businesses focusing on what they are doing now rather than planning for the future. This can lead to poor decision-making and risk-averse behavior that may be costly for them down the road.
The Future Of Marketing Myopia
Marketing myopia is the tendency to focus too much on the present and not enough on the future. It’s a significant problem if you want to make a profit, but it can hinder growth or success.
Some people focus solely on what they have and don’t want to put any effort into anything else because they feel it doesn’t matter now. They think that it won’t ever get done if they don’t do that work now. But this is marketing myopia.
You can combat marketing myopia with strategic planning and research that takes time and effort, but it can be an impossible task for some businesses.
In many cases, marketing myopia can also lead to burnout because you spend every waking moment doing necessary tasks that won’t pay off in the end. After all, there’s no vision for the future.
Christian has over ten years of experience in marketing agencies. Currently, he has been dedicating his time to a tech startup and also writing for major publications. He loves podcasts and reading to keep up with the latest trends in marketing.