The Deadliest Plague in Business: Marketing Myopia


Recently, an influx of companies have undertaken the feat of overcoming Marketing Myopia–and many are increasing in success.  To introduce you to the concept of Marketing Myopia, it is necessary for you to understand that there’s a battle between a focus on consumer needs, and a focus on products.  In 1960, Theodore Levitt published a paper in the Harvard Business Review, introducing this topic. Theodore argues that businesses will be more successful if they focus on the needs of customers, rather than solely focus on improving products.

In recent news, American Airlines and Jet Blue have been attempting to board more passengers and cut down on costs.  They have decreased leg room from one to two inches, and have minimized the space of the bathrooms.  Customers and flight attendants have complained about feeling claustrophobic and have said that the sinks are so small that the water splashes on them.  These two airlines are focused on the extra profit they can make and are neglecting the needs of the consumers.

On the other hand, Southwest Airlines has had many changes, but are focusing more on the needs of the customer.  For example, any time that there is a problem, employees are trained to correct the situation in a friendly manner.  If luggage is damaged, they will offer options of replacement or repair. THAT is the most important thing to consumers – the freedom to make their own decisions and have flexibility.  Consumers want options.

Shep Hyken shares three points of what makes a business profitable:

  • Protect your reputation
  • Make it easy for customers
  • Consider the real cost

Shep said, “Southwest Airlines took ownership of the inevitable problem and has a plan in place. They formulated a customer-focused solution and made it an integral part of their system.  Southwest knows that the cost of offering new luggage is repaid in happy customers who will be likely to choose their airline again. Looking at it that way, the cost of replacing broken luggage could actually be a gain.”

Although Southwest is still not the top airline, they are very efficient in customer service and gain the trust of consumers.  Southwest is now ranked number one in customer service among all U.S. airlines, which could easily provide them support to be in a top placement of overall rankings.

At Phix Marketing, we will go the extra mile to make our clients satisfied, and let them customize the services needed.  We believe that our clients’ needs should come before our own, and we strive to help others find success in their business.  For further information, please visit our ‘Services’ page.