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It’s all about customer needs


PHILIP HUNTE

It’s all about customer needs

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MARKETING MYOPIA, first coined by professor Theodore Levitt in 1960, addresses the reality that some service providers turn a blind eye to customers’ needs or seem not to care less about what are these needs.

The whole problem hinges on the mission statement of the organisation i.e what business are they in. The solution lies in discovering what the customer needs as opposed to what the business is selling.

The concept is manifested in several organisations. The Transport Board moves passengers instead of providing a service, and has also failed to see the threat posed by private transport and the minibuses.

A newspaper might be selling space whereas the advertiser’s aim is to buy audiences. A cinema shows pictures as opposed to providing entertainment to patrons.

Sometimes customers walk into business places and television sets are at their highest volume whether customers want this or not.

A ride in a minibus or ZR and the set is turned on to the maximum, bass and all, despite the fact that the commuter wants to get to work and could do with some lighter music.

Barmen play the type of music they want to hear despite their customers trying to make conversation.

Companies, especially market leaders, entranced by their level of products and service are not finding out if there is customer dissatisfaction or room for improvements.

Most students also, besides not completing their studies, fail because they do not understand what the examiner wants. A customer pull rather than a product push. The examiner is trying to draw out the best effort of the students rather than the students pushing regurgitated knowledge at him.

So long as we indulge in what we are selling or doing and not what our customers or clients want, we are victims of “marketing myopia”.

– PHILIP HUNTE

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