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Recommended Reading


Marketing Myopia Torment Your Customers (They'll Love It)

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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.

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Torment Your Customers (They'll Love It) by Stephen Brown

In the past decade, marketing gurus have emphasised customer care, customer focus, and customer centricity. But according to Stephen Brown, the customer craze has gone too far. In this article, he makes the case for "retromarketing"- a return to the days when marketing succeeded by tormenting customers rather than pandering to them. Brown argues that many recent consumer marketing coups have decidedly not been customer-driven. They've relied instead on five basic retromarketing principles:

Exclusivity. Retromarketing holds back supplies and delays gratification.

Secrecy. Whereas modern marketing is up-front and transparent, retromarketing revels in mystery, intrigue, and covert operation.

Amplification. In a world of incessant commercial chatter, amplification is vital, and it can be induced in many ways, from mystery to affront to surprise.

Entertainment. Marketing must divert, engage, and amuse. The lack of entertainment is modern marketing's greatest failure.

Tricksterism. Customers love to be teased. The tricks don't have to be elaborate to be effective; they can come cheap. But the rewards can be great if the brand is embraced, even briefly, by the crowd.

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