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Marketing Myopia (Harvard Business Review Classics) Paperback – June 16, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Theodore Levitt was an influential scholar and former editor of Harvard Business Review whose writings radically altered the way marketing is practiced and studied. He wrote eight books on marketing, including Innovation in Marketing and The Marketing Imagination.

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Product Details

  • Series: Harvard Business Review Classics
  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (June 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422126013
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422126011
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 4.2 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #827,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The article by Ted Levitt has a style and tone similar to Peter Druckers writings. The main lesson for a company or its top management is to ask why it does what it does, or in other words, what is the its reason for existence or Raison d'être. The answer can be, in the examples provided by the author, 'railroad' vs. 'transportation', or 'oil' vs. 'energy'. By defining the objective incorrectly the company can doom itself to decline or extinction.

The author then further drives the point home by trying to explain a company can be inwardly focussed, on its products, or outwardly focussed, on its customers.

Then the author commits two follies. First, it tries to predict the future. The article's strong argument upto this point severely weakens once the reader realizes that the demise of oil companies and the rise of alternative fuel sources, as predicted, did not really happen for next 50 years after the article was written.

Second, the inward-outward argument almost turns into marketing vs. rest of enterprise including operations, finance, technical research. The american auto industry example is (finally) true but only if you ignore all the successful reinventions by the american auto industry in past 50 years. It is still unclear, atleast to me, that the 'quality' advantage of Japanese car companies was really acheived as a result of any marketing effort or was it just a process of continous improvement in companies like Toyota. It is difficult say if this was not the result of inward focus in the company.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Me from NY on August 10, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent Book!
Changed the way I though about my business and customers. Helped me realize what my true business is and how to better target my marketing. A must for every small business owner.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By N. G. on August 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was looking for something new about the marketing of commodities, don't know exactly how my search leaded me to this book, but anyway it was a boring one and didn't learn anything new
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on April 8, 2014
Format: Paperback
Levitt is famous for stating in this article that railroads floundered about 50-years ago because they saw themselves in the railroad business, not the transportation business; similarly with Hollywood more recently - seeing itself in the movie business instead of the entertainment business. However, to contend that railroads could have made serious inroads into trucking and aviation flies in the face of anti-trust law and the often-quoted 'stick to your knitting' rule.

Levitt also says that there is no such thing as a growth industry - only companies organized and operated to create and capitalize on growth opportunities. Industries that assume themselves to be riding some automatic growth escalator invariably descend into stagnation. Four conditions usually guarantee this: 1)The belief that growth is assured by an expanding and more affluent population. 2)The belief there is no competitive substitute for the industry's major product. 3)Too much faith in mass production and the advantages of declining unit costs as output rises. 4)Preoccupation with a product that lends itself to carefully controlled scientific experimentation, improvement, and manufacturing cost reduction.
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