What Is Marketing Myopia – Definition and Examples

You must have heard of the term myopia, but seeing it in a phrase next to the word marketing might seem unusual for some of you. Myopia means shortsightedness, so marketing myopia might mean shortsightedness when it comes to business and marketing in general. In a way, it means a misunderstanding of marketing goals, but the problem is actually more complex.

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Marketing myopia – a definition

The term marketing myopia is related to shortsightedness as this phenomenon means not seeing the most suitable goal for a business. More precisely, the company has only one objective instead of applying more marketing tactics and dealing with more objectives.

Instead of concentrating on the needs of the customers, the company puts its own needs first. It cannot adapt to the changes suffered by the market, so it remains in its own world and ignores whatever happens outside. This is a defective way to apply marketing techniques, as the matter is always more complex than that.

Let’s say that a company wants to make good quality products. It starts seeking the means to achieve this quality, but it forgets about other factors. In this unending quest for quality, the company might forget about the actual needs of the customers. This is extremely counterproductive, as quality is useless without someone to consume it.

How does marketing myopia manifest?

Most of the time, marketing myopia appears among those companies that are driven by profit. Their ultimate goal is to sell, but they forget to think about the customer needs first. This might be the most common phenomenon, but it’s far from being the only one.

Marketing myopia also appears when companies are not prepared enough for business. They might interpret some signs wrong, and fail to do a proper research. This makes them consume too many resources thinking they will grow, but they actually lose a lot more than they earn.

Ignoring customer needs has other consequences as well. If they keep producing without being aware of the demand, chances are they will be at a loss. Just because you produce a lot, it doesn’t mean you will automatically find someone to consume, so research is crucial.

All these examples reveal one important thing – customers are the core of marketing. Companies should always keep an eye on them, on how they change and what they look for. Marketing is a complex matter, and there’s never only one aspect to consider.

The effects of marketing myopia

Whenever a company is subject to marketing myopia, it ends up overestimating itself. What happens then is called a self-deceiving cycle. They are directed by a goal, that usually doesn’t consider all factors. They should opt for a vision instead, that includes assessing their own capabilities, those of the market and of other competitors, but also the customers and what they like.

If a company initiates a mass production assuming it should get its consumers anyway, it enters a self-deceiving cycle. Also, overestimating some products without any proof that they are actually good has the same effect. In the same category, there is the conception that no other company can replace you, or comparing population growth to consumption growth.

Examples of marketing myopia

To have a better grasp on the concept of marketing myopia, here are a few examples of real businesses that fell victims to it. They ignored some aspects in their marketing strategies that led to them suffering some serious losses.


The best example of marketing myopia is that of Hollywood. It managed to escape the crisis in the end, but only after major changes. We all know that Hollywood is well-known in the film industry. At the beginning, it didn’t regard TV as a threat, and ignored it completely.

The producers did so because they thought they only dealt with the film industry. However, the truth was they actually represented the entire entertainment industry. At first, films owned the supremacy over entertainment but, slowly, people started finding more and more diverse sources of fun. Fortunately, Hollywood finally understood the potential of TV and took it into consideration.


This might explain why railroad companies have started having a hard time. Most of them regard themselves as merely dealing with railroads and railways. However, they should understand they are in the transportation business, and that this field has become extremely modern lately. Nowadays, people have a lot to choose from when it comes to means of transport, and they tend to choose others instead of railroads pretty often.


This concerns the dry cleaning businesses, which faced a surge when wool products were extremely popular. However, these businesses didn’t understand they were part of the entire apparel industry, which developed quickly. Therefore, the place of wool clothes has been taken by other fabrics. This came as a huge blow to the dry cleaning businesses, who suddenly were left without customers.


Tiny retail stores are another good example of marketing myopia. As time has passed, they faced plenty of threats, first with supermarkets, then with online shopping. Instead of focusing on selling a limited number of products for a small number of people, they should have shifted their business after the retail industry.

People often choose bigger shops over these small stores because they can find anything they want in supermarkets. Now, since they can order products online and have them brought at the door, they are even less likely to go to such a small store and shop there. These modest business owners should understand they are in the retail business.

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Summing up

Marketing myopia is quite a common problem among businesses, and they don’t even realize they should change their perspective. These companies do not look at the broad picture, and don’t analyze the big industry they belong to. Instead, they choose to concentrate on a niche, which often turns into their demise.

Customers are the most important for a business, but they don’t look at industries like companies do. They are ready to consume from the most accessible source, and can leave a supplier as long as it doesn’t fulfill their needs. This is why customer needs should always be a priority.

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