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Recommended Readings: Marketing

 

Marketing Myopia by Theodore Levitt

In this landmark article, Theodore Levitt argues that "the history of every dead and dying 'growth' industry shows a self-deceiving cycle of bountiful expansion and undetected decay." Railroads failed not because the need for passenger transportation declined or because that need was filled by cars, airplanes, and other modes of transport. Rather, the industry failed because those behind it assumed they were in the railroad business rather than the transportation business. They were railroad-oriented instead of transportation-oriented, product-oriented instead of customer-oriented. For companies to ensure continued evolution, they must define their industries broadly to take advantage of growth opportunities. They must ascertain and act on their customers' needs and desires, not take demand for granted. An organization must learn to think of itself not as producing goods or services but as doing the things that will make people want to do business with it.