Myopia in marketing: causes and prevention with example

Myopia In Marketing: Causes and Prevention with Example

81 / 100

Ever wondered why Kingfisher Airlines, Kodak and Nokia failed? 

I am sure you have.

Despite being market leaders once in their respective industries, their downfall was a result of their failure to grasp the bigger picture in their marketing strategies.

This shortsightedness, known as Marketing Myopia, is detrimental to any brand either big or small. 

Although most businesses aspire to grow and thrive, they often overlook the fact that success isn’t achieved overnight. Adapting to the ever-changing market trends and emerging technologies is crucial to stay ahead of the competition.

So, stay tuned for some eye-opening insights and tips on myopia in marketing, with real-life examples of brands that succumbed to this trap and actionable suggestions to steer your brand away from such short-sightedness.

What is Myopia in Marketing?

The concept of ‘Marketing Myopia’ was first introduced by Theodore Levitt in his article published in the Harvard Business Review. It refers to the situation where a company adopts a narrow-minded and internally-focused marketing approach, which prioritizes fulfilling the company’s immediate needs rather than prioritizing the consumers’ perspective.

One of the prime examples of marketing myopia is when a brand prioritizes the sale of its products while neglecting the quality improvement of the product.

Uncovering the Root Causes of Myopia in Marketing

cause of myopia in marketing

Concentrating More on Products and Not on Customers

The most common cause for myopic marketing is a lack of understanding of what customers really want. Some businesses become so focused on their own products and services that they forget to consider what customers want and need. Ultimately this tunnel vision hinders innovation and adaptation, leading to missed opportunities and disappointed customers.

Marketing without market research

Lack of investment in marketing research is a common culprit of myopic marketing. When businesses assume they possess all the necessary knowledge about their customers and the market, they risk losing ground to competitors who offer more relevant solutions to customers. This is particularly crucial for new businesses, as staying attuned to market changes is vital for survival in a constantly evolving landscape

Unwillingness to Adapt to Changes in the Market

In today’s cut-throat competition, businesses that fail to evolve with the market are unlikely to survive. This happens when businesses become too comfortable with their products and services and fail to adapt to new trends or technologies. 

A prime example of this is the impact of social media on consumer behaviour and demand, which some businesses have failed to recognize. Those that have embraced digital platforms and channels have gained a competitive edge, leaving others behind in the race for market share.

Ambitions Without a Roadmap

Some businesses are myopic because they are too focused on the current profit. Without a well-planned blueprint of future goals, a business cannot sustain itself for long.

For example, a brand may become hesitant to change its products or services after encountering setbacks in the market, even when it’s evident that customer needs are shifting. Failure to adapt to evolving customer preferences can result in lost opportunities and reduced profitability over time.

Tips to Avoid Marketing Myopia

Change with Customer Needs.

As a business owner, you might think it would have been easier if consumers’ needs stayed the same and you’d only have to do market research once, identify the strategies that worked and stick with them. Unfortunately, the reality is far from that. 

Even a couple of months can make a world of difference in consumer behaviour.

Take 2020 for instance when the pandemic started in March, brands were forced to change their marketing strategies, and in some cases, their entire business models. Those who failed to recognize this shift experienced significant financial losses.

However, not all shifts are as drastic, some take place gradually over time. 

You can also look at the online landscape and how viewers are consuming content. Podcasting has now reached a stage where blogging was a decade ago.

The bottom line is that keeping pace with evolving consumer behaviour is critical to avoiding myopic business practices.

Promote new ideas within your team.

Just because the conventional way gives satisfying results doesn’t mean it’s the best way. That mentality is what leads to marketing myopia. To prevent this, it’s critical to cultivate a work culture that encourages creativity and new ideas.

Wondering how to do it? Include these small actions in your working environment: 

  • Welcome unconventional ideas
  • Try out trending marketing strategies
  • Accept the possibility of setbacks and take risky moves
  • Bring onboard teammates from diverse backgrounds

Utilise competitive intelligence.

Your competitors are not just the other businesses that offer similar products or services but you can also leverage them to identify gaps in the market you are not capturing.

Competitive intelligence is the act of legally and ethically observing and compiling information on your competitors. This includes scrutinizing their social media presence, studying their advertising campaigns, and keeping an eye on offers provided by them in the market.

Tools such as Crayon, SEMrush, and Kompyte provide invaluable assistance in converting this intelligence into practical ideas to drive your business to new heights.

Optimize your marketing strategy

In today’s rapidly evolving marketing landscape, relying on a single marketing strategy is insufficient. Even if your current approach is delivering positive results, optimization efforts should still be pursued. After all, companies like Nokia saw immense success, until they didn’t.

Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future success. Nevertheless, it can furnish valuable lessons to draw from but the marketing strategies aligning with the current marketing scenario keep business in the game.

Have a clear vision

How can your product or service make a difference now and in the future? What is your purpose and mission as a business? 

Businesses that have answers to these questions are more likely to thrive and get successful in their marketing campaigns.

Having a clear vision helps you stay focused on the big picture and avoid getting distracted by short-term goals or tactics. It also helps you communicate your value proposition to your customers and stakeholders and inspire them to support your cause.

Keep up with the market trends

When it comes to marketing strategy, this is the most critical thing to keep in mind. With a constantly changing marketplace due to various factors such as technology, economy, society and environment. 

You need to stay updated on the latest market trends and how they affect your customers and your industry. You also need to be proactive and adaptable to change your marketing strategies accordingly. Don’t rely on past success or assumptions; always look for new opportunities and challenges.

Examples of Marketing Myopia

Kingfisher Airlines

From ruling the skies to crashing down in flames, the Kingfisher Airlines saga is a classic tale of marketing myopia.

Back in 2010, Kingfisher Airlines used to rule Indian skies with a market share of over 20%. However, with unplanned ambitions and ineffective leadership from its flamboyant owner Vijay Mallya, the airline stopped flying in 2012 and was declared bankrupt in 2018.

Kingfisher Airlines downfall

With no heed paid to profitability or sustainability, the airlines faced a rough ride of high operational costs, mounting debt, taxes, and fierce competition from low-cost carriers like IndiGo and SpiceJet. And to top it off, a lack of proper marketing strategy led to a catastrophic international expansion that proved to be the last nail in the coffin.

The story of Kingfisher Airlines is a cautionary tale for businesses, a reminder that even the mightiest can fall if they neglect the basics of running a successful enterprise.


Another renowned victim of marketing myopia is Nokia and a perfect example to learn from how neglecting innovation can lead to downfall. Once the undisputed leader of the mobile phone market in India with a whopping 70% market share in 2008, Nokia failed to keep up with the changing times.

Nokia fail

As smartphones took over and the demand for Android and iOS platforms surged, Nokia made the grave mistake of sticking to its Symbian operating system and feature phones. Meanwhile, nimble competitors like Samsung, Micromax, and Apple offered trendier alternatives to users, leaving Nokia’s offerings in the dust.

The outcome? Nokia’s market share crashed down to a mere 5% by 2013, and it eventually had to sell its mobile phone business to Microsoft.


For years, Kodak was the global brand that dominated the photography market in India for decades. But as digital cameras became more popular, Kodak failed to adapt.


Because the company did not embrace the digital revolution and kept its focus on film and prints, even as its customer base shifted to digital. While its competitors like Canon, Sony, and HP changed the digital revolution and invested heavily in digital services and online platforms, Kodak lagged behind. The result was a massive loss in market share, eventually leading to their bankruptcy in 2012, and an exit from the Indian market in 2014.

KODAK logo

Kodak’s story is a reminder that no brand, no matter how big, is invincible. To stay ahead of the game, you must keep up with the times, innovate, and adapt to changing customer needs.


In the early 2000s, Blockbuster was the undisputed leader of the DVD rental industry.

But by 2009, the company filed for bankruptcy. What went wrong?

Blockbuster logo

The main reason for Blockbuster’s downfall was marketing myopia. The company was so focused on its existing business model that it failed to adapt to the changing marketplace.

As streaming services like Netflix and Hulu became more popular, Blockbuster denied to embrace them. Instead, they clung to their brick-and-mortar stores and video cassette rentals, which eventually became obsolete.

The Bottom Line

In today’s fast-paced world, businesses need to stay agile and adapt to the ever-changing market trends and consumer needs. Focusing too narrowly on one aspect of the business, whether it be product development or sales, can lead to myopia in marketing and hinder long-term success. 

Companies that fail to innovate and adapt to market changes risk losing ground to competitors. To avoid marketing myopia, businesses must cultivate a work culture that encourages creativity and new ideas, utilise competitive intelligence, optimize marketing strategies, and have a clear vision for the future. Keeping pace with evolving consumer behaviour is critical to avoiding myopic business practices and staying ahead of the curve.

If this blog has captivated your interest, then you will also enjoy reading: How to Use Social Media for E-commerce Like a Pro!



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

4 × 2 =

You may also like