Now would be an appropriate time to revisit Theodore Levitt’s Marketing Myopia…

Marketing Myopia is “a nearsighted focus on selling products and services, rather than seeing the “big picture” of what consumers really want.”

Focusing more on 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 important, no matter what your job or industry, that we always remember it is our role to solve the problems of our customers. Often, and I do it occasionally too, we get stuck in our own ‘fluff’ – where what we are watching, reading, swiping etc is representative of those consumers we are electing to help. This is not true.

As Levitt stated, ‘your product is not your business’ and there are a number of 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. To keep on the same vein, the taxi industry. Had they 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 little graphic from Visit Victoria’s Head of Consumer Insights, Julian Major. A prime example in the attached is the % of ad people who claim to have used LinkedIn, WhatsApp and Instagram in the last 3 months vs ‘normal’ people. The chart is from 2016 – but whilst numbers have maybe increased, the spread would still look the same.


As marketers, our world is built, nowadays, 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 read this article and thought, yeh I’m under pressure for short term results at the sacrifice of my long term brand objectives (which you now know perform better), then put your case together. Too often we are giving the title of marketers to people who can post on digital channels.

Marketing requires thought, skill and understanding. It’s what goes into creating a video, a photo or an article – not simply just turning on the camera, hitting a button or slapping a keyboard.

Do you agree, disagree, not sure?

Let me know

Further Reading

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

Written by Dan Wilkins

Instagram – @TheWilkoShow
LinkedIn – Dan Wilkins
Twitter – @TheWilkoShow

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