Earlier marketing briefs discussed the value of sensory marketing for relevant and sticky communication with customers. Today, our concern will be unconventional marketing vocabulary related to one particular sense: eyesight. Ability to see and foresee, envision, imagine or even dream about future is the key to anticipate important trends and remain attached to customers. Having a vision (another term for eye-sight) seems to be the common denominator for all marketing actions. Without vision there is no aim. Without aim there are no results. One would say that a marketing without vision shall not be successful.
However, marketers do sometimes talk about marketing blindness, which is related to customers. Cluttered and excessive marketing communications may result in lower ability of recipients to pay attention and further process information – people may turn a blind eye and become ignorant to marketing messages. In particular, contextual online marketing, banners, social media or YouTube ads may be suffering from deliberate attention block.
Theodore Levitt coined marketing myopia (shortsightedness) in 1960, which was perhaps the first time when language of ophthalmologists cross roads with language of marketers. Myopic marketing professional do not just wear eye glasses but seem to displace customers from their perspective altogether. Complacent with success and market growth, marketers tend to overlook signs of weakening or deteriorating markets or undermine threats of newly entering technological substitutes. Preoccupation with current and upcoming products in the company portfolio may quickly replace or be in juxtaposition to customer aspirations and needs. Another feature of shortsightedness in the era of emphasizing innovative solutions is the largely unfounded belief in the economies of scale – that innovative products will simply have to be cheaper to manufacture as they become more widespread. Rapid proliferation and growth can easily lead to capacity issues with manufacturers, suppliers or raw materials. Fast growing demand may keep prices high for longer than expected. Thus innovative markets and segments may remain much smaller in volume indices for much longer than anticipated, or may never become economically viable. No wonder, predictions and forecasts for innovative technologies are often off target.
Later, marketing literature attempted to extend myopic terminology into hyperopia (Kotler and Singh 1981) or macropia (Baughman 1974). Hyperopia (farsightedness) refers to situations, where marketers worry too much about upcoming products and technologies – who will be our customers, how and what do we sell to them in the future? By definition, marketing is at large tactical and operational in nature (my apologies to those confessing strategic marketing). Concerns over possibly disruptive changes may derail overall marketing concept from focus on current core activities and bread-and-butter clients.
Macropia is unrelated to terminology used by eye doctors. It concerns blurry marketer’s focus beyond established market segments and product definitions and was suggested in the tenure paper of James P. Baughman when aspiring for a professorship at Harvard (the term does not seem to be used ever before or after). Baughman did become a tenured professor. People may get distracted and start seeing causal linkages everywhere. Off course, competition might appear unexpectedly, which is no reason for detailed competitive analyses in each and every remotely related industry.
Having strategic marketing foresight matters. We shall all remember though that eye-sight is just one out of five human senses. Beyond sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste, there is one sense which matters the most for business theory and practice: the common sense.
Literatúra/List of References
 Baughman, P. J., 1974. Problems and performance of the role of the chief executive in the general electric company, 1882-1974, (working paper Graduate School of Business Administration Harvard University, 1974).
 Kotler, P., and Singh, R., 1981. Marketing warfare in the 1980s. In: Journal of Business Strategy. 1981, 1(3), pp. 30-41. ISSN 0275-6668.
 Levitt, T., 1960. Marketing myopia. In: Harvard Business Review. 1960, 38(4), pp. 45-56. ISSN 0017-8012.
Marketing: Mizet ze zorného pole
Marketing si jako mnoho společenských disciplín často vypůjčuje terminologii z jiných odvětví lidského zkoumání a bádání. Nejinak je tomu i v případě lidského zraku a jeho chorob – termíny jako krátkozrakost, dalekozrakost, slepota nebo vize (v angličtině totéž co zrak) nabývají v jazyce marketérů specifických přenesených významů. Literatura dokonce přinesla i termín macropie („makro-zrakost“). Senzorický marketing se sice zabývá všemi pěti lidskými smysl – z nich se však pro podnikohospodářskou teorii a praxi jeví nejrelevantněji jediný – smysl pro zdravý selský rozum.
Kontakt na autorov/Address
doc. Ing. Pavel Štrach, Ph.D., Ph.D., ŠKODA AUTO Vysoká škola o.p.s., Katedra marketingu a managementu, Na Karmeli 1457, 293 01 Mladá Boleslav, Česká republika, e-mail: email@example.com