28 Aug Why Fad Diets Are Unhealthy… For Your Business
Most of us have tried a fad diet (or two), or at least know of someone who has. What is it about these diets that are so attractive? It probably has something to do with their promise of generating results, and fast. In this day and age of instant everything, if something doesn’t yield results quickly, it’s abandoned and considered unsuccessful. The need for instant outcomes extends from the individual to the corporation, where executives want immediate results.
And how do they achieve immediate results? The usual course of action is to launch a promotional campaign. These campaigns have a limited life, and are designed to boost sales and increase the bottom line—temporarily. Most of the time, promotions achieve their desired objective, just as someone consuming only cabbage soup drops the desired weight in time for their beach holiday. But then what? What happens after the promotion ends and you’re back from your holiday? Are you able to maintain the results? More often than not, the answer is no.
Using short-term fixes like promotions is a form of “marketing myopia.” This term was first introduced in 1960 by Theodore Levitt in a paper published in the Harvard Business Review. According to Levitt, marketing myopia is the short-sightedness of businesses who define themselves too narrowly (by focusing on their products) rather than stepping back and seeing what business they’re really in (by focusing on their customers’ needs).
By being customer-oriented rather than product-oriented, a business avoids the risk of becoming irrelevant and dispensable to its customers. This is why a company like Shell should consider itself to be in the energy industry, rather than the petroleum industry.
So where to begin? It starts with a sound marketing strategy. By thoroughly researching and assessing its industry, a company can find where the strongest need is and fill that gap. This positioning then becomes the backbone of the business and permeates all aspects of its operations through its brand.
It might seem like a no-brainer, but going back to basics is what many businesses need in order to succeed and respond to the highs and lows of the market.