Customer Or Competitor? Essay

1557 words - 6 pages

Success in marketing leads to success in business. An appropriate strategy can facilitate further growth and development of a company whilst an inadequate strategy will guide the company into a swift decline. With so much on the line it is of obvious importance to pick the right marketing strategy, but what is right? Theodore Levitt published the much-acclaimed article “Marketing Myopia” in 1960 that outlays a strategy revolving around the consumer. Al Ries and Jack Trout’s “Marketing Warfare” spells out a very different method being that marketing is like war, your opponents should be your focus. Each perspective presents interesting facts and opinions of marketing strategies, which will be explored in comparison to the other as well as dissected for their relevancy to today’s market environments.
The two outlooks on marketing strategy are very dissimilar as a whole. Levitt proposes that one must focus on the consumer’s needs and wants in order to succeed in business. This focus on the consumer leads to defining your business in a broad sense, as to not detract from your growth opportunities. An example of this idea can be illustrated in the sno-cone industry. Instead of defining your business as being in the sno-cone industry, Levitt would advise you to define it as in the “treat” business. This more broad definition allows for expansion into cupcakes, various dessert coffees, smoothies, and numerous other treats to expand your company. Dissimilarly, Ries/Trout’s focus lies on the competition. In war a group is faced by many opponents and much thought should go into figuring out the plans of the rivals. To succeed in business, Ries/Trout argue that it is necessary in marketing, as in war, to spend a large amount of time out-maneuvering and over-powering your opponent. Moreover, each viewpoint on strategy thinks differently of the consumer and the consumer’s viewpoint on industry. In “Marketing Warfare” a particular brand or product has a stronghold in a consumer’s mind. Once established, this position of dominance is not easily dethroned in the eye of the consumer. “Marketing Myopia” paints a more subdued portrait of a consumer. Levitt states that consumers simply want what they want, whichever company gives them what they desire will probably gain their business.
While drastically differing in approach, both marketing strategies share some similar qualities. Both perspectives acknowledge and respond to the fact that industry is a constantly changing entity. It is necessary to modify or change what you are doing in order to keep up with the fluctuating marketplace. To further the growth of your business being prepared and optimistic towards the prospect of change will allow your business to effectively maneuver future markets. Each outlook pays tribute to the idea that their product is not indispensible. Many companies or industries have been under the notion that everyone needs their product now and will continue needing it in the future....

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