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