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Best of Multimedia: Marketing Myopia in 120 Seconds

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An animated look at Theodore Levitt’s theory of why concentrating on customers matters more than a focus on driving sales.

The late Theodore Levitt left a stamp on marketing strategy when he coined the term marketing myopia in a piece published by Harvard Business Review in 1960. The most successful companies, he said, focus on meeting customers’ needs rather than on simply selling products and services.

In about two minutes, this video, part of HBR’s “The Explainer” series, outlines Levitt’s manifesto, citing his classic example. It’s the story of how the railroad industry lost customers to the airline, trucking, and automotive industries by failing to view its business broadly—as a transportation provider, and not just as a railroad. 

Whether you agree that Levitt’s theory still rings true—or not—the video provides a solid and speedy tutorial on his idea.

The Explainer: Marketing Myopia 

Charity Delich

Charity J. Delich is the marketing & public relations manager of strategy+business.

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