Has your business growth hit a plateau? Not sure why your marketing strategy isn’t producing the results you believe it should?
You, my friend, may be suffering from a case of marketing myopia.
It’s a common challenge for founders, entrepreneurs, and C-level executives. When you live and breathe your business, it’s easy enough to get caught up in what you know. After all, you know it so well.
While being an industry expert certainly has its benefits, it can hinder your ability to see things from a different, fresh perspective.
Since creativity, original ideas, and an objective outside view are absolutely critical to marketing strategy, myopia can severely impact business growth and long-term success.
The good news is, marketing myopia is a treatable condition and we’re on hand with the remedy! Before we get into your treatment plan, let’s define exactly what marketing myopia is.
What is Marketing Myopia?
You’ve probably heard the term “marketing myopia” thrown around in marketing circles, but what does it really mean? Think of it like this: marketing myopia is like wearing horse blinkers—or wearing headphones on full volume. You’re so focused on what’s directly in front of you, you miss the bigger picture of what’s going on around you. The noise in your ears is drowning out important external information.
In marketing terms, marketing myopia is the tendency to become so consumed with your own products, services, and industry that you lose sight of what your customers really want and need. It’s a classic case of not being able to see the forest for the trees.
When you suffer from marketing myopia, you end up making decisions based on what you think is best for your company, rather than what’s best for your customers. And when that happens, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
So, in short, marketing myopia is the enemy of growth and success. And no one is immune. Understandably, it’s a common pitfall for anyone heavily involved in a business, including founders, CMOs, CTOs, COOs, and other stakeholders.
Do You Have Marketing Myopia?
If you’re unsure whether you or your business is suffering from marketing myopia, here are some tell-tale signs to look out for:
- You believe your product or service is the best or the only solution. While it’s essential to have confidence in your offering, arrogance leads to short-sightedness. You’re always at risk of another company doing it better than you, or taking you over, and being aware of that is a strength.
- You’re suspicious of the latest marketing trends and technologies. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Well, not necessarily. We often wrongly associate familiarity with efficiency, and if you’ve been using the same software, tools, or systems for a while (without exploring alternatives), you may be guilty of this.
- Your priority is promoting your own product rather than paying attention to what your customers really want. For example, Kodak was so focused on selling its film products that it failed to see the shift towards digital photography. It didn’t adapt quickly enough, and ultimately went bankrupt.
- You’re dismissive of your competition. Remember when Blockbuster declined to buy Netflix for $50 million in 2000? Netflix founder Reed Hastings said he was laughed out of the room. With the very public demise of Blockbuster and Netflix valued at $194 billion today, Hastings had the last laugh.
- You’re reluctant to consider different marketing channels or strategies. Look at Sears, for example. Its refusal to adapt to the rise of online shopping. E-commerce led to its ultimate downfall, with the company filing for bankruptcy in 2018.
- You’re laser-focused on short-term goals and overlooking the bigger picture. For example, a CMO for a startup may be so focused on driving immediate sales that they’re not thinking about how to build long-term brand loyalty (resulting in potentially business-destroying churn).
As a founder, C-level exec, or another business stakeholder, it’s important to be self-aware and recognise these signs within yourself and your team. If left unchecked, marketing myopia can lead to missed opportunities and stunt business growth.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to overcome marketing myopia to achieve that epic business success you think about when you lay in bed at night. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Tips to Overcome Marketing Myopia
So, we’ve seen what marketing myopia is and how it can hinder growth—no matter how established your business is. Now let’s dive into some actionable tips to help you break the cycle and position yourself, your team, and your business for success.
- Understand Your Audience
One of the biggest challenges with marketing myopia is losing sight of your audience’s wants and being out of touch with their needs. You might be so focused on what you’re trying to sell that you forget to consider how it will benefit your target market.
That’s why it’s crucial to understand your audience on a deep level. By knowing your target audience, you can tailor your marketing efforts to meet their specific desires and preferences. Building marketing campaigns around customer feedback ensures they speak to your target audience directly—and in their language. Going one step further, you can even use real client quotes as marketing material.
Here are some ways to better understand your audience:
- Conduct market research: Use surveys, focus groups, and other research methods to gather data on your audience’s needs, pain points, and motivations.
- Create buyer personas: Use the information you gathered from your research to create detailed buyer personas, aka. avatars. These personas should represent your target audience and include information like age, gender, occupation, interests, and buying habits.
- Use data to inform your marketing decisions: Analyse data from your website, social media, and other marketing channels to understand what’s working and what’s not. Use this data to adjust your marketing strategy and improve your results.
Once you truly understand your audience, you’re better equipped to create marketing campaigns that resonate with them. And that will drive conversions, sales, and the kind of results you literally can’t wait to present to stakeholders.
- Expand Your Horizons
To overcome marketing myopia, it’s important to broaden your perspective and look beyond your immediate industry or niche. After all, variety is the spice of life!
Just because something worked in the past doesn’t mean it will continue to work in the future. Exploring new markets, industries, and even geographies can give you a fresh perspective and provide insights to inform your marketing strategy.
Here are a few ways to expand your horizons:
- Attend industry events and conferences outside your immediate field: This can help you learn about new trends and innovations that could influence your area.
- Read widely: Expose yourself to a variety of concepts, keeping an open mind about how you can apply these ideas to your industry.
- Seek out partnerships with companies in different industries: Explore new opportunities and discover new resources that can help your business thrive.
- Take inspiration from successful marketing campaigns outside your industry: Use the lessons you’ve learned in your own marketing strategies.
Some of the best innovations have been borne from solutions (both failed and successful) for one problem being applied in a totally different sphere.
Take biomimicry, for example (think whale fins influencing wind turbine design, or gecko feet and the development of super-adhesives). Or the Qualcomm Communications Chief, Brandie Claborn, who claims the teachings of the Dalai Lama influenced her communication abilities “more than any other resource”. Finally, a personal favourite of mine is when the Royal Ontario Museum entered the world of online dating, sending “Teddy” the dinosaur (#paleodiet) out into the wilds of Tinder to engage with a younger audience. It’s out there—but it worked.
So, don’t limit yourself to what you already know. You can’t predict where you’ll find inspiration. It can strike in the unlikeliest of places.
- Keep Up with Technology and Trends
Marketing is an evolving field and will be forever. Staying up to date with the latest technology and trends is crucial in overcoming marketing myopia. Embracing new tools and tactics can help you gain a competitive edge and stay ahead of the curve.
However, it’s easier said than done. As technology barrels ahead and new trends emerge daily, roles like CMO grow ever more complex and demanding. Just some of the recent considerations for modern marketers include:
- CRO tools
- Live chat
- Influencer marketing
- Mobile optimization
- Push notifications
- AI-based automation
- Personalised content
- Geolocation data & hyperlocal marketing
- Responsible consumerism
- Voice search
- Video marketing
- Integrated online-offline experiences
- Augmented reality
- Account-based marketing
- Audience diversification
- Emerging markets
- Generational influence shifts
You need to keep your finger on the pulse when it comes to marketing trends to discover innovative new ways to reach your target audience. Take the example of Burger King’s “Whopper Detour” campaign, which used geofencing technology to offer customers a one-cent Whopper if they ordered it through the Burger King app while inside a McDonald’s restaurant. The campaign—while cheeky as hell—was a huge success, with Burger King seeing a 37% increase in app downloads and a significant boost in sales.
- Be Flexible and Adaptable
Flexibility is the name of the game when it comes to marketing. It’s like playing Jenga—sometimes you need to pull out a piece and move it somewhere else to keep the tower standing. The same goes for your marketing strategy. Don’t be hesitant to change: it’s important to be willing to pivot and adjust your tactics as needed to stay ahead of the game.
Take NivaMD, for example. When they launched their health & fitness technology in the UK, the products were marketed as a one-off purchase. With the help of R11, the products have now been repackaged to create an entirely new offering designed to meet customers’ needs (a subscription-based pricing model for both the B2C and B2B markets). This level of flexibility and adaptability is essential for modern brands that want to keep up with customers’ evolving expectations and demands.
At the end of the day, marketing is a dynamic beast; it needs constant monitoring and adjusting based on performance and results.
- Collaborate with Creative Agencies
You know what they say, two heads are better than one, and that couldn’t be more true when it comes to marketing!
As the CMO role becomes increasingly technical and engineering-focused, it leaves less time to embrace the creative side of marketing. Leveraging the artistic genius and expertise of an agency partner can be enlightening. It can give you a whole new perspective on your marketing strategy and be a breath of fresh air—an injection of originality—that helps you break out of the marketing myopia bubble.
Collaborating with agencies that have experience in different industries is especially helpful when it comes to bringing new ideas to the table. A good creative agency can also act as a sounding board and provide valuable feedback to help you hone your marketing strategy.
Not to mention, as the number of marketing channels and technology available to marketers grows, the demand for content grows and it becomes harder to manage. Having an agency partner can free up some much-needed time and resources, so you can focus on other important aspects of your business. R11, for example, can act as the entire creative arm of the business, giving your CMO space to step back and focus on high-level strategizing.
Don’t let marketing myopia hold you back from achieving your business goals. Collaborate with an agency to see how their creative energy can help you take your marketing strategy to the next level.
Recruit R11 in the Battle Against Marketing Myopia
Ready to escape your tunnel vision? The R11 team is waiting to hoist you out, eyes blinking, into the glorious sun-drenched world of creative marketing genius!
We’ve helped brands in all sorts of niches over the years: from artistic roller skating and real estate to singing coaches, golf courses, healthcare technology brands, and all sorts in between.
Our extensive cross-industry experience is a massive advantage. Teams that work exclusively in your industry simply don’t have the breadth of experience to come up with the inspired ideas we do. We bring a fresh outside perspective from a hundred different angles.
But our creative ingenuity isn’t the only reason brands want to work with us. We’re a pretty rare find: a real hybrid of artistic vision and disciplined business sense. We respect deadlines and understand the business impact of proper execution.
Well, we’ve covered a lot of ground today! Hopefully, you’ve gained some insight into the world of marketing myopia and how to overcome it. Remember, you don’t want to be the guy or gal with the headphones on. Look, you don’t know what you don’t know—but we can help you open your eyes (and ears!) and expand your horizons.
Take the time to understand your audience, keep up with the latest technology and trends, be flexible and adaptable, and collaborate with cross-industry experienced creative agencies like R11 to bring imaginative solutions to your challenges.
Don’t be afraid to try new things, take risks, and experiment with different strategies. As they say: fortune favours the bold.
So, take off your blinders, open your mind, and embrace the possibilities that creative marketing has to offer! There is no ceiling when it comes to creativity. With the right mindset, a willingness to learn and grow, and the ideal partnership, you can achieve greater business success and drive growth like never before.