What is marketing myopia, and how can it be avoided?

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Marketing myopia is when a business concerns itself more with its needs than the needs of its target market – its customers. In essence, marketing myopia occurs when an organization focuses too much on seeking sales and profits, while ignoring the needs and wants of its customers. It is not wrong for a business to concentrate on increasing sales and profits. In fact, that is what every business should be doing, or they won’t be “doing” anything for much longer.

The problem occurs when a company, in its desire to grow, ignores the changing needs of its customer base. Customers are always demanding new, improved, and innovative products that provide solutions to them. A company that focuses on itself too much tends to forgo learning more about its customers needs. The result is that these companies lose touch with their customers’ concerns and then eventually lose these customers to their competitors. It’s because the company focused on what they wanted – sometimes at the expense of its customers.

A company has to draw a fine line between trying to build its sales and profits aggressively and serving its customer base properly. When the customer is put first – sales and profits will typically follow. The customer is the driving force behind business success.

Marketing myopia can be avoided through filtering every strategic initiative and company program through the screen of the customers it seeks to serve, Fundamentally, any company initiative or program must have the customer at its heart.

Take for example McDonald’s recent foray into providing all-day breakfast at its U.S. restaurants. It certainly is an initiative to grow sales, market share, and profits. However, this program, which is now very successful for McDonald’s, would have been an abject failure if the focus of the program was only on the company and its desire for sales. Instead, McDonald’s concentrated on what its customers wanted – breakfast all-day, at reasonable prices, provided quickly at convenient locations across America.

McDonald’s marketing program is directed at the consumer – not inwardly at itself. It knows that if its customers are satisfied, then the company will satisfy its need for sales growth and profit and market share growth because this growth will be the direct result of customers well-served.

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