The marketing concept and marketing myopia


The marketing concept is defined as an established system whereby it is believed that an organization must fully comprehend the needs of its clients and based on these needs it should fashion its goods and services (Homburg, Jozić, & Kuehnl, 2017). Only then will the organization have the capacity to hold out the competition from the competition within the marketplace. What principles should guide an organization selling and marketing efforts? How much attention should be directed towards the interests of the society, clients, and the organization? In most cases, these interests clash; nevertheless, a company’s selling and marketing activities should be executed under a well-designed plan of effectiveness, efficiency, and socially responsibility. This plan is what constitutes the marketing strategy. There are five marketing concepts that companies take up and implement. These concepts include the product concept, production concept, selling the concept, marketing concept, and societal marketing concept. Often companies take a shortsighted approach to business, viewing the marketing concept as a merely a tool for selling products, which results in what is commonly known as marketing myopia.

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The Product Concept

The product concept holds that clients will prefer products with the most innovative features, products that provide the best performance and those that give the most quality. Production managers concentrating on the product concept focus on developing a better product and enhancing them over time. They assume that consumers prefer well-developed products and can appraise performance and quality.

The Production Concept

The production concept is considered one of the oldest concepts in economics and business. Adam Smith in his widely acclaimed 1776 publication of the book “The Wealth of Nations” noted that producers should focus exclusively on giving consumers what they want and desire. This concept holds that clients have a preference for products that are inexpensive and available. Organizational executives concentrating on this concept focus on attaining mass production at low costs and high production efficiency. They contend that the majority of clients are mainly focused on getting products that cost less.

The Selling Concept

The selling concept holds that businesses and consumers if not engaged, will not purchase enough products as provided by the selling companies in the marketplace. As a result, companies ought to undertake an aggressive promotion and selling campaign. The selling concept further holds that clients demonstrate buying resistance or inertia and have to be persuaded into purchasing. The selling concept further assumes that organizations have enough promotion and marketing tools that can stimulate more sales (Homburg, Jozić, & Kuehnl, 2017).

The Marketing Concept

The marketing concept as a constituent of the larger marketing concept challenges the other highlighted business philosophies as outlined above. The principles of the marketing concept were developed in the 1950s. This concept provides that a company’s way to attaining its organizational objectives is to become more efficient and effective than the other competing firms in the marketplace though developing, delivering, and communicating client value to its intended client base. There are four pillars that are fundamental to the marketing concept: profitability, integrated marketing, client needs, and target market.

The Societal Marketing Concept

The societal marketing concept holds that the fundamental task of the organization in the marketplace is to establish and effectively evaluate the interests, needs, and wants of the target market. Upon identifying these needs and interests, companies should deliver the sought after satisfactions more efficiently and effectively than other competing firms in the marketplace. This concept further holds that the provision of these products in a bid to satisfy the identified needs must be executed in a manner that enhances or preserves the clients’ and society’s wellbeing.

These five concepts are fundamental to organizational success in the marketplace in offsetting competition and being able to identify and satisfy client’s needs and wants. Every business wants to scale upwards. However, in many cases, companies have often fallen under the shadow of mismanagement. In a bid to expand capacity and profitability, companies focus on selling more as opposed to marketing, a common problem, which leads to marketing myopia. Levitt (1960) defines it as “a firm’s shortsightedness or narrowness when it is attempting to define its business” (Cited in Richard, Womack, & Allaway, 1993). This is usually one of the biggest challenges faced by companies going global as selling focuses on the needs of the selling company as opposed to marketing, which focuses on the needs of the buyer.

In today’s highly competitive business environment, managers are at times caught up in a maze with high sales targets that must be achieved to ensure stakeholders gain value on equity. As a result, most managers are often caught up in a “love affair” with the company’s services and goods and fail to take note and act on the underlying market needs. Most corporations practice this concept of producing more to sell more, which results in overcapacity; the objective being to sell what they produce as opposed to selling what the market needs. This loss of focus leads to marketing myopia.

A good example is the railroad’s industry. In many different parts of the world, the railroad’s industry has faced the same problem: limited growth. Companies engaged in the railroad’s industry are experiencing challenges not because demand for transportation has reduced but owing to the practice and attitudes of those companies operating in the industry. Companies in the railroad business assumed that they were in the railroad business and not the transport business. Rather than provide transport services efficiently and effectively, most companies became product oriented. While other sectors have continued to create customer-oriented solutions to the transport needs, the railroad has lagged behind for many years. If companies take time to engage with the world, then their engagement would result into innovation such as companies involved in cosmetics and skin care products (Doz, Santos, & Williamson, 2004).

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For businesses to guarantee sustained evolution and transformation, they ought to define their sectors extensively to leverage the growth opportunities. They ought to act and ascertain the desires and needs of the clients not depend on the apparent longevity of the services and products presented in the market. A business will perform better and survive if it concentrates on understanding and satisfying client wants and needs as opposed to selling particular products.

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  1. Doz, Y., Santos, J., & Williamson, P. J. (2004). Marketing myopia re-visited: Why every company needs to learn from the world. Ivey Business Journal68(3), n-a.
  2. Homburg, C., Jozić, D., & Kuehnl, C. (2017). Customer experience management: toward implementing an evolving marketing concept. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science45(3), 377-401.
  3. Richard, M. D., Womack, J. A., & Allaway, A. W. (1993). Marketing myopia: An integrated view. Journal of Product & Brand Management2(3), 49-54.
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