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Marketing Myopia - Why Every Business Suffers from It and How to Correct It in Your Copywriting

Did you know every year 30,000 new products are introduced and every year 95% of them fail. (Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen)


No one’s immune. Think Coca-Cola, Amazon all, at some point, launched products that flopped.



For some, it can be poor market research - for others venturing out of their area of expertise. (Yes "Colgate Beef Lasagne." and Amazon Fire Phone We're looking at you.)

But the most common reason for failure can be attributed to something 99% of company leaders don't even know they have - Marketing Myopia—a nearsighted focus on selling and marketing their products and services, rather than seeing the “big picture” of what their customers want.


Ooof If that feels like a sucker punch let me explain.

Marketing Myopia was coined by Theodore Levitt in his 1960 Harvard Business Review article and refers to the shortsightedness of businesses.


He wrote, “The railroad industry failed because they assumed themselves to be in the railroad business rather than in the transportation business.


They were product-oriented rather than customer-oriented.

If they had thought that they were in the business of helping customers get from one place to another, then they would have transformed their service offerings.”


Nowadays we modern marketers quote Blockbuster vs Netflix, once a dominant force in the video rental industry, Blockbuster's narrow focus on location and their brick-and-mortar stores and late fees revenue model blinded them to the potential of online streaming services like Netflix.

And in recent days we've seen Bumble miss the mark with their rebranding messaging.

USA Today reported: "People, particularly women, were quick to point out that the tone of the ads was anything but empowering, using shame to coerce women into getting back on the app."

This tunnel vision often occurs when businesses become too internally focused and fail to recognize the broader market trends and opportunities.

They focus too heavily on their short-term product and features and

make content that's not in touch with their client base, (most marketing teams and CEOs fail to acknowledge they may not be their ideal client).

How to Escape from Marketing Myopia

Luckily, for us, there is a cure for Marketing Myopia.


Levitt argued that companies should see themselves as satisfying customer needs rather than merely producing goods or services and suggested that leaders ask themselves: What business are we really in?

I would add asking: "What are you really doing for your customer?"

Customer - Centric Headlines

Instead of writing headlines focused solely on your product, consider addressing the specific problems, needs, or desires of your target audience.

This can be done by understanding your customer's buying journey and trigger points and Addressing your customer's Pain Points.


Ask: What keeps them up at night compared to What you think they want?


Show them that you understand their needs  -Does your clients really worry about saving time and money or do they want to protect their business from Legal Fees?

2. Features vs. Benefits

In copywriting, it's easy to fall into the trap of listing the features of your product.

However, highlighting the benefits and turning your features into customer value brings them one step closer to a sale by putting your product or service in their hands, and framing it positively in their life.


  • Feature-Centric: "Our Smartphone Has a 12-Megapixel Camera with a resolution of approximately 4000 x 3000 pixels"

  • Customer Value-Centric: "Make those once-in-a-lifetime memories last. Capture Stunning Sunsets, and professional selfies with our Precision 12-Megapixel Camera"

3. Customer Stories and Testimonials

One of the most powerful ways to combat Marketing Myopia is by sharing customer stories and testimonials.


Real-life examples speak for themselves and showcase how your services solve your target audience's specific problems.


Customers trust what others say more than what a company says.


Try not to write your case stories like a press release.


Make a personal connection with potential customers who share similar goals.


  • Business-Centric: "Our Web Design Includes Weekly Progress Tracking"

  • Customer-Centric: "Sarah booked 5 sales calls, 53 new leads, and her Grandmother said her website looked lovely – Weekly Progress Tracking Made It Easy!"


Successful copywriting isn't just about promoting a product; it's about providing solutions and fulfilling desires.

By focusing on your customers' needs, emphasizing benefits over features, incorporating customer stories, and addressing pain points, you can craft copy that connects with your audience on a deeper level and drives action.

Can you do me a favour. It took me over 8 hours to research, write, edit and promote my newsletter it only takes you a few seconds to share this with your team.


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