In the business world, how many times do we think we know better than others? And by others I mean our customers or consumers- the lifeblood of any business. The answer to this question is too many times. This type of thinking can be particularly dangerous when it comes to marketing. Theodore Levitt coined a term in his 1960 paper for the Harvard Business Review that illustrates how bad thinking we know better than the consumer can be. He called it Marketing Myopia and what it basically means is focusing on what you offer instead of your consumers. It involves marketers spending more time on selling their product and its enhancements/features instead of on satisfying their customers' needs.
Marketers need to avoid this and adopt a "Marketing Mentality"
A marketing mentality means that you understand more than what the consumers think they want or what they say they want. It means that you understand what your whole marketplace really consists of and the possibilities that exist within it so:
- A good marketer should be customer oriented. That means thinking about the needs and wants of customers and benefits that we give to them to meet those needs and wants. He/she needs to also be able to listen to his/her consumer base and understand what exactly their pain points are. Do this and you will find that ideas for product enhancements will come quickly because you already know what they want.
- A good marketer also should understand the competition. After all, the market is made up of customers and competition. You always have to think about your target market and how you are beating the competition for those customers. Ultimately you want to meet their needs and wants better than the competition.