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Marketing myopia is an advertising strategy that does not focus on the needs and wants of consumers, but the desires of a company to sell specific goods or services in the economic market. Classic economic theory attempts to explain that consumers will tell companies the type of goods and services desired through the economic behavior demonstrated by individual consumers. Companies can benefit from this behavior by actively researching how consumers are spending their money and what goods are services are currently popular in the economic market. Marketing myopia can distort the company’s view when managers focus more on what the company can produce rather than what consumers are willing to buy.
A classic example is seen by Ford Motor Company’s development of the Edsel. The Ford Edsel was a late 1950s passenger car built under the marketing strategy that it was going to revolutionize the automotive industry. The car was designed with the intent of being a large, stylish vehicle that would meet the driving needs for thousands of U.S. consumers and families. Although the Edsel was released with much fanfare and publicity from marketing agencies and media outlets, it was an almost immediate failure in the consumer market. While reviews at the time cited the vehicle’s poor workmanship and styling, business experts have attributed the failure to the company's inability to understand consumer desires. The name Edsel is now a business term synonymous with business or marketing failure.
Marketing myopia may also occur when a business focuses on developing advertising strategies for the wrong target markets or demographic groups. Individuals in the economic market usually view advertising strategies or techniques in different ways; their perceptions are built upon culture, race, age, or other personal opinions. Companies that fail to understand the perceptions of consumers when advertising goods or services usually wind up struggling.
Companies in today’s business environment often spend a lot of money conducting marketing research before releasing new products or services. This research or focus group activity may be related to the utter failure of the Ford Edsel marketing campaign. Rather than spending huge sums of money on national advertising or marketing campaigns, companies will use test markets to determine the strength of consumer demand for goods or services prior to a national rollout of new products. These test markets may also help companies build specific marketing strategies based on the feedback they receive from individual consumers.